by Brian Rappleyea
“Mac is a hard worker who can play any role on a hockey team. He was out for almost six weeks with a serious injury, and just came back. He will definitely bring energy to our hockey club as he plays way bigger than his size,” says Head Coach/GM Martin Dagenais on his lefty shooting center, Mackenzie White.
Upon his return to the OJS lineup, away to Cornwall on January 30, White’s first game since December 18, he registered a goal in a strong win over the Colts, 5-1. Dagenais’ praise of his 5-9, 184 pound forward couldn’t have been more on point.
White has CCHL experience with three other CCHL teams: Nepean Raiders, Kanata Lasers, and Smiths Falls Bears, but is enjoying his best campaign in the league with the Junior Senators. Through 41 games played, he has five goals and 12 assists, for 17 points, with a season high three points (1G, 2A) on December 15 against Kanata, which nearly saw OJS cancel out their three-goal deficit when the third period began, outshooting the Lasers 18-7 in that final frame, and 53-24 overall.
“I’m a skilled player who can do damage on the offensive end, but I also have a good 200-foot game,” said White, who has been making strides across that entire 200×85 foot sheet of ice, noting the defensive side of his game in further detail:
“I’d say my defensive game has improved the most this season, I’ve been blocking more shots and doing better all-around on the defensive side, which is really important to us not only for the regular season, but playoffs as well.” White does have some playoff experience in the CCHL when, in 2018, he appeared in all four games for Kanata.
That is the type of play from the forward who grew up in Ottawa and began skating on the family backyard rink at a young age that will satisfy Dagenais as the club gears up for the home stretch of this season, with only 10 games remaining in the regular season.
In recent years, OJS has had a stranglehold on the Yzerman Division, winning it in all five years Dagenais has been at the helm (he was an assistant coach when OJS won the division the two prior years, for a total of seven consecutive). The route to a third consecutive Bogart Cup (CCHL) championship will have to be a bit different this time around; Ottawa currently sits 16 points behind Rockland in the Yzerman Division.
But the team is perhaps regaining their stride, taking six out of eight points since White has returned to the lineup, after accumulating nine points in nine games while the 2000 birth year forward was sidelined.
White, a player who is well versed in what the CCHL regular season and playoffs are about, is currently enrolled at Carleton University for psychology and has his eyes set on not only playing an important role in helping OJS win silverware, but to further his play in the NCAA or CIS.