By Davide Disipio
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Jr. Senators (22-17-2) long-awaited return to the ice for the 2020 portion of the CCHL schedule began with a tough 3-2 loss at the hands of the Pembroke Lumber Kings (21-17-2) at the Jim Durrell Recreation Complex.
The Lumber Kings came out fast and furious in the opening period, capitalizing with two goals in the opening five minutes to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
Tucker McIntosh would walk in a bury his own rebound for his fourth of the year and first since November 24th four minutes later to cut the lead to one, before the Lumber Kings would restore the two-goal cushion 56 seconds later.
“We lost in the first period,” said Jr. Senators assistant coach Jamie Mayo. “Three mistakes ended up in the back of our net in the first six-seven minutes of the game, and all of a sudden we’re battling from behind. We generated a few good scoring chances in the second and third but couldn’t get anything though.”
It was the Jr. Senators first game in 18 days, which was a 4-1 defeat of the Smiths Falls Bears on December 21st to end the first half schedule and the team coming out flat-footed was not what the doctor ordered.
“You always want to get off to a quick start and make the other team chase the game,” added Mayo. “Unfortunately tonight, we were the chasers for the last 55 minutes, that’s the way it goes.”
In the second period, the final goal of the game would be scored, courtesy of David Bérubé who tallied goal number 16 on the year on the tail end of a 5-on-3 powerplay to give him goals in back to back games.
“We generated a lot of good scoring chances and made some good plays,” said Mayo. “Kids worked really hard and it was tough we couldn’t find the back of the net when we were down one.”
McIntosh added an assist on the Bérubé goal for his first multi-point effort since recording three assists on October 10th.
Lumber Kings goaltender Reece Proulx (win, 17-15-2) made the offensive zone very tough for the Jr. Senators all night long stopping many grade A scoring chances, and 32 of 34 in the win.
The Jr. Senators special teams saw the penalty kill go 2-for-2, while the powerplay was 1-for-4 in the loss.
The back end saw the return of Faisal Alsaif who was back in the lineup for the first time since November 23rd after dealing with an injury.
Felix Schnell got the start allowing three goals on eight shots, while Bryan Landsberger relieved Schnell halfway through the first stopping all 13 he faced.
The Jr. Senators return to the ice on Friday, traveling to Carleton Place, taking on the Canadians on the road for the first time since game 5 of the Bogart Cup Finals that saw the Jr. Senators win their second straight championship. Mason Detre and Josh Primeau will have the call on the Jr. Senators Broadcast Network starting at 7:45 pm.