by Tim Morris
Playing for the Ottawa Junior Senators has been everything that forward Colin Marshall wanted it to be. It’s the reason the free agent chose the Junior Senators in the first place.
“I knew about their recent success; winning the Bogart and Fred Page Cups last year,” Marshall explained. “There’s a winning culture on the team and it’s a place where I knew I’d really improve (as a player). They have high expectations and hold everyone to a high standard.”
Marshall praised GM/Coach Martin Dagenais and his staff who are “all there to help you.” The Brockville, Ontario native was also impressed with his new teammates.
“It was amazing the way they welcomed all rookies with open arms letting us know what to do and when to do it,” Marshall remarked.
Playing for the Junior Senators has been everything that Marshall had hoped for. However, it did take time for his improved play to emerge.
The last two years, Marshall played for the Ridley College Tigers of the Midwest Prep Hockey League and was a free agent last summer, able to sign with any team in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). He chose the Junior Senators for the reasons he gave. He knew that junior hockey would be superior to prep and spent the summer getting ready.
“I worked a lot on speed and size in the summer,” said the 18-year-old forward. “The move to the CCHL was a big jump. At first, I had a hard time keeping up with the play. I had to make decisions quicker.”
What helped him adjust to the bigger, stronger, faster CCHL game was again, his teammates.
“Being around that speed in practice helped me adapt and I was able to get confidence,” he noted.
Also, studying game-video was another teacher.
“Seeing yourself play really helps,” he said.
Marshall, 6-0, 180 pounds, considers himself to be a two-way power forward who does the little things.
“I compete in all three zones,” he said. “I like killing penalties, blocking shots, helping out in the offensive zone and going into the corners.”
Marshall’s strong all-around play has impressed Dagenais.
“Colin is a depth forward who brings a physical element to our team,” the Ottawa boss remarked. “He’s a good team guy who will do whatever he can to help us win hockey games, including sacrificing his body to block shots.”
Unfortunately, just as Marshall was finding his comfort zone, he suffered a mild concussion in a game that has kept him out of play the last month. Being on the sidelines and watching his teammates playing has been tough on Marshall. He has been taking all the steps towards recovery and expects to be back playing games and helping the Junior Senators shortly.
That will give him just enough time to be up to playing speed for the upcoming playoffs.
Marshall’s short-term goal is to help Ottawa defend their championships. Long term, he wants to play at an even higher level, playing Division I college hockey.
“Definitely I would love to play Division I,” he said.