Photo and Article by: Dante De Caria
Ottawa, Ontario – The Ottawa Jr. Senators (16-8-0) improved to 2-0 against the Hawkesbury Hawks (17-5-2) after a 5-1 win on Saturday night at the Jim Durrell Sports Complex.
The Jr. Senators jump within one point of Rockland for fourth and four points behind the Brockville Braves and Hawks for first in the CCHL standings.
“I’ve said this before, the way the league is this year, any team can win on any night,” said Ottawa Jr. Senators Assistant Coach Jamie Mayo.
“We’ve lost games against lower teams in the standings so I don’t think we can take any team lightly this year.”
After a 7-4 loss against Rockland on Wednesday, the Jr. Senators bounce back, limiting the first place Hawks to just 17 shots.
“What we wanted to do was comeback and play a lot better defensively than we did on Wednesday against Rockland and I thought we did that. Anytime you can limit a really talented hockey club that’s so well coached like Hawkesbury, you’re doing good things,” added Mayo.
“The guys took the message before the game and they did that,” Mayo noted. “Any 5-1 win is a good thing because it’s so tight. Whoever it is, you’ve got to take that.”
Geoff Dempster scored his second as a Jr. Senator 4:55 into the third period, giving OJS a 3-0 lead. He grabbed the puck at center-ice, split two defenders and beat Hawks goaltender Matt Petizian on his backhand, netting his second of two points on the night.
“It was a beauty, it was nice to see. He caught the defense flat-footed and made a nice move on Petizian so it was a very nice goal.”
Darcy Walsh extended his scoring and goal lead in the CCHL with two goals on Saturday. He now has 19 goals and 33 points this season.
Despite the offensive showcase, Mayo says it was an overall team effort and a great defensive game.
“I thought we did a good job boxing them out. We did a good job keeping there attacks to the outside and when they had opportunities for second shots our defense did the good job clearing pucks and making sure there were no second chance opportunities.
“It’s a five-man unit in the defensive-zone that has to get the job done and I thought they did that,” added Mayo.
Mayo also says that Ottawa’s fore-check was one of reason’s why they forced Hawkesbury to make mistakes in there own end.
“I thought our forwards did a really good job getting in on their defense and force them into mistakes. The don’t make a lot of mistakes and give up a lot of goals so I thought our forwards did a really good job on the fore-check today.”
David Toppa also picked up his first goal in his first game with Ottawa in the win. It was his first game in five months after playing with Patrick Johnston in the QCHL last season.
Ottawa will start a three-game homestand on Wednesday with the Jr. Sens host the Kanata Lasers.