By: Davide Disipio
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Jr. Senators (22-16-2) ended the first half of the 2019-20 season on a high note, scoring a convincing 4-1 win on home ice, against the Smiths Falls Bears (16-16-3).
The first period saw Smiths Falls come but hard, but Ottawa matched the intensity after taking three consecutive minor penalties within the opening seven minutes of the period. They used the momentum of their aggressive penalty kill, which frustrated the Smiths Falls offensive to take over the game from that point getting a goal from Max Bush after a beautiful individual effort from Zach Gravel set up Bush for his fourth of the season.
For Bush, he tallies his second goal in his last three games, after being held out of the goal collumn since November 1st.
In the second, both teams became a little chippy, resulting in more special team action. David Bérubé recorded his 15th of the season to put Ottawa ahead 2-0, 6:19 into the middle frame, where Theo Todd wired home a powerplay goal to cut the deficit to one.
With 1:40 to go in the second, Ottawa found themselves on a powerplay where Brent Broaders centered the puck to the crease and Smiths Falls goaltender Victor Desjardins straddled the goal line with the loose puck for the taking, where Chris Piché bursted in from the left circle and poked the puck home. Piché believed to have made it 3-1, but referee Sheldon McCarthy initially waved off the goal. He then met with the other three officials, then consulted with the goal judge before reversing his original call, and Piché was given credit with his fourth of the season.
After a less chippy third period, Maxime Blanchard blasted home his fifth of the year, on the powerplay for an extra insurance marker, as Ottawa ends the month of December with a 3-4 record.
“I thought our powerplay helped us out today,” said Ottawa assistant coach Jamie Mayo. “The two powerplay goals came off the guys working really hard. They hadn’t been rewarded lately for all their hard work, and we scored two big goals on the powerplay today, and I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Ottawa’s powerplay went 2-for-5 in the win and sits in fifth overall in the CCHL at the break.
The penalty kill was massive, going 5-for-6, to end the first half at 85.9%, good enough for second in the league, heading into the new year.
Bryan Landsberger (Win, 9-9-1) was able to bounce back from two straight losses, stopping 31 of 32 shots.
After a two week Christmas and New Year’s break, the Jr. Senators are back in action on January 8th for a 7:20 faceoff against the Pembroke Lumber Kings. Catch the action on the Jr. Senators Broadcast Network at mixlr.com/ojsradio or on Hockey TV.