By Tim Morris
Ethan Manderville is playing with more confidence this season. At this time last year, the right-winger was new to the Junior Senators having joined the club after a Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) trade between Ottawa and the Kanata Lasers.
Until that trade he had only known the Junior Senators as an opponent. Just becoming familiar with the Ottawa team while contributing was his goal in 2017-18.
It turned into one of the most memorable years in the franchise’s history as the team repeated as the CCHL’s Yzerman Division champions before going on a great post-season run capturing the Bogart Cup as league champion before adding the Fred Page Cup (Eastern Canada) to its resume.
This season, Manderville began the campaign as one of just a handful of veterans returning from that championship season with a new role.
“It was nice to start the season with the team,” Manderville explained. “I knew going in what to expect and it gives me a bit more confidence. Also, my role has been changing as the season progresses. As one of the older guys I have to be steady and super reliable.”
Manderville has impressed the need to be consistent to the Junior Senator newcomers. And along with providing steady, reliable play game-in and game-out, he’s looking to become a more proficient scorer.
“Seeing the ice and making reads is what I do best,” the Ottawa winger noted. “Finishing is something I want to work on.”
He has been doing just that, finishing better. In his 36 games with the Junior Senators in 2017-18 Manderville scored four goals added 10 assists for 14 points. In 23 games thus far this season, he has already scored seven times and has assisted on six more for 13 points.
At 6-4, 197-pounds, the native of Ottawa uses his weight on the ice, but not as you might expect.
“I’m not overly physical,” Manderville said.
However, what he uses his large frame for is “puck protection.” He keeps his body between defenders and the ice as he goes to the net to prevent players from poke-checking it away.
Looking back, Manderville said he couldn’t believe his good furtune when the trade was made last year.
“I was happy about the trade,” he said. “It was pretty exciting to be a part of something special. Last season was pretty incredible.”
Duplicating 2017-18 won’t be easy but, Manderville believes his club has reloaded. “There’s no doubt about it, we have a real solid group,” he reported.
As expected, the team started slowly. With a number of new players this season, the Junior Senators spent the early part of the year juggling their lines to find the combinations that would click.
Things are now clicking. Ottawa has been on a roll and currently have moved up to second place in the Yzerman Division with a 15-8 record. Their 30 points are just four behind the first place Hawkesbury Hawks. The Junior Senators have won the last five regular season division titles.
“We’re starting to come together.” Manderville pointed out. “I see it in our play; it’s cleaner. We’ve proved we can play with the best teams.”
At this time next year, Manderville will be lacing up his skates for Colgate University in upstate New York.
“Colgate is a good option for me,” he remarked. “I’m really happy to be playing Division I hockey.”
Until then, Manderville will continue to be super reliable and steady.