by Brian Rappleyea
Head Coach and GM Martin Dagenais has developed the Ottawa Junior Senators into a championship winning side and the offseason acquisition of Brent Broaders further emboldens the club’s mantra.
Broaders arrived to OJS after two seasons with the Yarmouth Mariners of the Maritime Hockey League. Broaders’ first season with the Mariners (2017-18) ended with him scoring 15 goals and 16 assists in 49 games In the post-season he added four goals and three assists in 18 playoff games, which ended in a loss in the MHL Final. The next year, Broaders had an even bigger impact, going over a point a game at with 23 goals and 23 assists in 42 games, while putting up similar playoff numbers (nine goals and seven assists in 14 matches) as the Mariners won the league championship.
That league championship would see Yarmouth advance to the Fred Page Cup, the same competition the Junior Senators won and where the lefty forward first caught the eye of Dagenais who just recently spoke highly of his new acquisition:
“Brent’s a shoot-first winger who knows where to be on the ice. He’s one of the most effective players on the power play, because of his great hand-eye coordination. He’s a smart kid who does everything well on the ice. At even strength, he has not produced at the level he wants, but I think this will come. He is still adjusting to a new league. Once he gets going five-on-five, it will make our team that much better.”
Smarts are key for Broaders, who values his hockey I.Q., which undoubtedly drew Dagenais to him. In addition to this, he has been a poacher while OJS has been on the power play. Overall Broaders has six goals and a pair of assists with all six of his tallies coming on the man advantage, tied for the league lead.
Broaders’ years in Yarmouth, a coastal town in southern Nova Scotia shaped him as a player, while his experience from a team standpoint has mirrored OJS’: A loss in a league final, followed by a victory in a final, compared to OJS, who lost two consecutive league finals in a row before winning their next two.
Broaders on his time in Yarmouth:
“It was great, I had a pretty good rookie year, and had a good second year too. Both years we had long playoff runs, in my first year we lost in the finals in six games, last year we were able to win a championship and go to the Fred Page Cup so those experiences were good for me; the coaches had a lot of trust in me and my teammates were great. It was a fantastic two years.”
Hailing from the community of Tilting (population ~250) on Fogo Island (population ~ 2,200), which is off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Broaders has made the transitions from league to league, first playing his Midget AAA hockey for the Central Ice Pak, then to Yarmouth, and now in the nation’s capital.
“I have offensive and defensive capabilities, maybe the offense hasn’t come as much as I would have liked, but I’m just trying to stick to my game, play the 200-foot game the coaches preach and hopefully the bounces will start to go my way.”