By: Mason Detre
The Ottawa Jr. Senators (21-8-2) improve to 3-0 against the Kanata Lasers (16-16-4) winning 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday night at the KRC – Tom Flood Arena.
The Jr. Senators are now tied with Hawkesbury for 4th place in the CCHL with one game in hand after the Hawks lost to Cornwall on Thursday night.
”Your telling me now that they loss to Cornwall. I didn’t know. That’s a good thing for us but if they lost then they will be hungrier tomorrow,” said Ottawa Jr. Senators Head Coach Martin Dagenais.
Ottawa outshot Kanata 57-43 throughout the game. Dagenais thought that the guys dominated most of the play.
“I thought we played well. Limited their scoring chances 5 on 5. I thought we controlled most of the game and to do it without Toppa, Manderville, Cole upfront and our best d-man Beezer (Adrien Bisson). added Dagenais.
Danny Pion and Conor Smart gave Ottawa the lead after trailing 1-0 in the second period. Pion extends his point streak to two-games and Smart extended his to five-games.
Ottawa was playing without Owen Cole and Adrien Bisson because they both made Team Canada East in the World Jr. A selection camps. Dagenais says that it impacts the team without having them for two weeks.
“Other guys have to step up. Owen Cole is the top scorer in the league right now and Adrien Bisson is arguably the best d-man so you’re losing two big pieces. I look at Taylor Egan, Noah Rowe, and Bailey Brant who has been playing some amazing hockey for us. Upfront, guys like Piche, Dempster, Remer and Smart were really good too. Different guys that bring secondary scoring were able to bring it tonight.”
The turning point of this game was Joshua Ward. He stopped a breakaway shorthanded chance from Poeze then made the save of the year after Nocita sent a pass to Poeze who had the open net and got robbed by Wards paddle late in the second period.
“He didn’t face a lot of shots, but they were coming in bunches and a lot of dangerous ones. The two saves that he made, one on the Penalty Kill breakaway and then on the Power Play, where we thought was a wide-open net and making the incredible save. I was happy with Wards performance.
Ward made 41 saves and recorded his sixth victory of the season. He commented on the big saved he made to still give Ottawa the advantage.
“As a goalie, it is hard to talk about those because play by play, so I did what I could to get the boys in it and got a good kill out of it. So, I’m sure Jamie (Mayo – Jr. Sens assistant coach) would love that one,” said Jr. Sens Goalie Josh Ward on the win.
Kanata would tie the game with Connor Sleeth scoring with under six minutes left in regulation to force OT. In the extra frame Jackson had the opportunity to end it by going through the Lasers defenders but hit the post. It was the only chance in extra-time and would need a shootout.
Taylor Egan and Sleeth scored in the first round then Kyle Jackson would get the shootout winner in the second round to give Ottawa their third straight win.
“I wasn’t looking for a fourth round in the shootout so I figured to put that game to a stop,” said Ward.
Dagenais added that Thomas Freel will be out, and David Toppa will be in the lineup tomorrow against Hawkesbury. Freel was called up from the Ottawa Canadians to play with the Jr. Sens Thursday night.
Next game goes under 24 hours from now when they travel to take on the Hawkesbury Hawks at the Robert Harley Sports Complex. Game is scheduled to start at 7:30. Mason Detre will have the call alongside Dante De Caria on mixlr.com/ojsradio.