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Ottawa starts 2019 with a win

By: Dante De Caria

Ottawa, Ontario – The Ottawa Jr. Senators (16-11-2) started 2019 with a 6-1 win over the Pembroke Lumber Kings (15-24-1) on Wednesday night at the Jim Durrell Sports Complex.

Ottawa now ties Brockville for fourth in the CCHL standings with 54 points and are now three points out of second place and eight points behind the Hawkesbury Hawks for first.

The Lumber Kings dressed nine forwards, five defense, with one of them being a forward and two goalies. Head Coach Martin Dagenais said their pressure fore-check was very important.

“We told them that after the first period. It was still 0-0 and we said we have to pressure them because it’s going to be a long change for their defensemen,” said Dagenais. “I think we took advantage of that and I don’t think they had any legs left in the third. We kept rolling all our lines and it paid off.”

The Jr. Senators scored two unanswered goals in the second and four more in the third period. Kyle Jackson broke the scoreless tie just 17 seconds into the second frame, scoring easily on a three-on-none and Faisal Alsaif netted his first of two goals after he wired a hard slap-shot from the point.

Dagenais says that this is the way he wanted to start the New Year, “We had a good first period but took over in the second and third. After 18-days off and to get this type of effort is impressive.”

Ottawa defenseman Faisal Alsaif scored twice for his first career two goal game and Darcy Walsh and Kyle Jackson each scored three points (1G/2A).

Alsaif’s second goal made it 4-0 Ottawa in the third. He received Geoff Dempster‘s pass at the left circle and fired it bar-down for one of the prettiest goals of his career.

“I saw Dempster with the puck along the wall and he gave me a great saucer pass and I saw short-side high wide open and I just let it rip,” said Alsaif.

After not scoring a goal in his first 23 career games, Alsaif has four goals since the start of December (10 games).

“I feel like the coaches are trusting me more offensively. They give me the green light to go when I have a lane and I’ve been working on my shot lately and it’s starting to pay off,” added Alsaif.

The rest of Ottawa’s D-core was not overshadowed by Alsaif’s two-goal performance. Head Coach Martin Dagenais says that all six D-men played a very good game.

The Jr. Senators improve to 19-3 three plus goal games and 20-6-2 when out shooting the opponent after Ottawa led the shots 43-15.

Ottawa ties the season series 2-2. Previously, the Lumber Kings had beat the Jr. Senators at home, 5-0 and 5-3. Their next two match-ups against Pembroke will be played at the Pembroke Memorial Center.

Ottawa’s next game is this Saturday at home when they host the Navan Grads at the Jim Durrell Sports Complex.