by Brian Rappleyea
In his first full season with the Ottawa Junior Senators, 2003-born forward Mark MacPhee has been an important part of the playoff bound team, who will be paired up against the Brockville Braves in the first round.
The 16-year-old has played in 53 games, scoring eight goals, including a game-winner against Navan, and seven assists, for 15 points. The Gloucester, Ontario native stands at six-feet tall and weighs in at 168 pounds, but he plays “bigger.” Perhaps because he spends a lot of time outside, particularly playing baseball or basketball with his friends, which when coupled with a strong work ethic, conveys a well roundedness which leads MacPhee into what he feels is one of his best attributes – his on the puck play.
“I value my work ethic on the puck, and my ability to battle in the corner,” said MacPhee on a few of his particular skills. Head Coach/GM Martin Dagenais shares this position on his young forward as well and has high praise:
“Mark is our youngest forward, but he’s as tough as any player in the league. He’s hard on pucks and he can create offense with his skill set and his size. He’s improved tremendously since September and we really think he can be a big part of our playoff run.”
Compared to recent seasons, the Junior Senators are a lower seed than they have been, finishing sixth this year and taking four points compared to Brockville’s seven points in their season series. But the team and MacPhee know that it will be a different level of intensity in the playoffs.
“The playoffs are a faster pace, guys are harder on the puck, and guys will do anything to win,” said the lefty shooter.
Prior to this season, MacPhee played his Minor Bantam (2016-17) and Bantam (2017-18) hockey for the Ottawa 67’s, both of which were at the AAA level while tallying over a point a game in each season; 30 points in 27 games and 50 points in 30 games, respectively. The 2016-17 season also included a league championship, during which MacPhee scored 19 points in 12 playoff games.
For 2018-19, MacPhee primarily played for the OJS AAA Midget club, notching 16 goals to go along with 26 assists, for 42 points in 38 games. He also played four games in the CCHL for Ottawa, which included one playoff game.
“The coaches emphasize working on the little things, I learned a lot from the older guys this season, and I feel I’ve brought a level of grit.”
MacPhee on his hopes when it comes to hockey:
“My dream is to have as much fun as possible while going as far as I can.”
For MacPhee and the Junior Senators, those dreams and hopes will continue against Brockville as the Junior Senators look to defend their Bogart Cup championship.