After a dominant 10-1 effort in the Fred Page Cup Final, the Ottawa Jr. Senators are Chilliwack bound to skate in the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship.
iPlayHockey had the opportunity to discuss the Fred Page Cup and the Jr. Senators preparational efforts for the RBC Cup with Head Coach Martin Dagenais!
Best of luck out west, boys!
How did you prepare a young group of players for such a big game on the stage that is the Fred Page Cup?
“We didn’t really do anything differently. We knew that obviously it was a huge game and a team that we beat 3-2 in a shootout Friday night and so we knew we had to bring our best to win it and the lopsided score was not expected, but we’ll certainly take it.”
Things seemed to turn around for the Jr. Senators after the second intermission in your first game against Le Collège Français de Longueuil when the team came out and quickly erased a 2-0 lead. Did you say something to the players in the dressing room, or did a particular player step up to lead the team?
“I said to the guys that it’s in their hands right now. I thought the leadership group would have to be better in the third period for us to win that game and I thought we came out and completely dominated that period. Overtime could have went both ways and then obviously to win in the ninth round in the shootout was huge, because we got the break on the Saturday, and it made a difference on Sunday.”
Do you think the home crowd provided your team with an advantage throughout the tournament?
“Yeah for sure. I thought we had a very good fanbase this year, to get more than 1,000 people on Sunday cheering for us is always fun. The only game in the tournament that went over 1,000 people so the guys were jacked up. We’re a city team, we’re used to playing in front of 100 or 150 every game, so to get that support was definitely welcome.”
What was the mentality of your players going into the final – coming out to dominate a great hockey team 10-1 requires something special.
“We knew that we controlled most of the game on Friday night, just because we put the puck in deep. We had a lot of guys from our top six group that hadn’t scored yet in the tournament but they were getting the chances and working hard so it was only a matter of time. We just exploded and everyone started scoring at the same time. Some of the goals were the players working their butt off, some of them were highlight reel.”
How do you handle the quick turnaround from celebrating the Fred Page Cup win to preparing for the RBC Cup?
“It’s tough. I don’t think it’s as tough for the players because they celebrated for probably 48 hours. We had practice yesterday but as coaches we’ve been at it since 8AM Monday morning planning the trip; obviously the plane, hotels, restaurants – there’s so much to do so it’s a lot of work logistic-wise.