By: Dante De Caria
Cobden, Ontario – The Ottawa West Golden Knights (11-5-1) picked up their fourth consecutive win, defeating the Whitewater Kings (3-8-4), 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Cobden Arena.
With the win, the Ottawa West Golden Knights also extend their road winning streak to a season-high three games after a 5-2 win last Sunday in Richmond and a 2-1 overtime win over Embrun on Friday night.
Forward Michael Gallivan scored two goals, extending his goal-streak to three games and his point-streak to four games (4 G / 1 A).
“I have to give credit to my line-mates, our chemistry has grown so much and it is still growing every game. They know where I am and I know where they are. We make plays for each other,” said Michael Gallivan after his first career two-goal game.
Golden Knights Head Coach Steve Sundin says that Gallivan’s line has been red hot, “That line (Bush, Marshall and Gallivan) is just phenomenal. As a third line, they play like a first line.”
Sundin also gives credit to Nolan Marshall who has been playing with Max Bush and Michael Gallivan a lot recently. They were added to the same line on October the 16th and have since combined for 21 points in nine games – including 11 goals between the trio.
“He’s (Marshall) a big guy, he’s hard to knock off the puck and he’s got really slick hands. He just compliments Bush and Gallivan because they’re grinders,” added Sundin.
Gallivan gave Ottawa West the 1-0 lead early in first period by scoring a highlight goal. He stripped the puck off a Whitewater defender, creating a breakaway – finishing it off with forehand backhand touch.
“I saw them (Whitewater) going for a change and they were making a pass through the middle so I knocked that down and went on a breakaway, faking with my backhand and tucking it in,” said Gallivan on his pretty finish.
After two periods of play, the Golden Knights were leading the Kings 3-2. Gallivan made it a 4-2 game, scoring his second of the game. That turned out to be the game-winning goal because Quinn Vanhoof split the Ottawa West the defense and scored to cut Whitewater’s deficit to one, making it 4-3 late in the third period.
“I’m not afraid to put Gallivan’s line out. That fourth goal was huge because it took the pressure off our AP goalie AJ Lariviere. If they would have had one more quality shot it could have went in,” added Sundin.
Stef Mellios‘ empty netter closed the door on Whitewater, handing them their seventh straight loss. AJ Lariviere made his first career CCHL2 start and got the win, making 26 saves as Ottawa West outshot Whitewater 31-29.
Noah Haymes became the first Golden Knight to record a “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick” this season after scoring a goal, an assist and fighting Artyom Shiman in the second period.
Sundin says that this win was a lot tougher because they played in a much smaller rink. The Golden Knights are not used to playing in that type of rink as the Barbara Ann Scott Arena has more room.
“It’s tough to play in a little barn like this one. There is no room to move because they were pinching hard. I wish the defense would go glass and out but they were trying to make the direct pass and they kept chipping the puck back in.”
The Golden Knights finish Week 8 of the CCHL2 season with a 3-0 record, outscoring the opponent 12-to-6. They’re back in action on Tuesday November 13th when the first place Ottawa Canadians host Ottawa West in a rematch from OJC’s only loss. Ottawa West will host Arnprior on Thursday for DIFD day and Casselman on Saturday.