By: Davide Disipio
Casselman, ON – Game two of the Martin Division Semi-Finals shifted to the JR Brisson Complex as the Golden Knights took a 1-0 series lead on the road to a building where they have only won three times in over the last four seasons.
Both teams exchanged two goals each in the opening 20 with Keon Troccoli-Roik and Nicholas McFarlane getting the Golden Knights on the board with Adam Paquette and Xavier Léveillé responded for the Vikings in an opening frame where the Golden Knights looked locked in balancing the Viking’s physicality.
The second period saw the flood gates open with the Vikings scoring two goals in a minute 24 at the halfway point which appeared to sink the Golden Knights.
Ottawa West responded with two of their own from Sam Edwards, then Troccoli-Roik slid home his second of the game to tie the game, but Casselman returned the favour over a minute later with Mathieu Talbot getting his second of the night to give the home side a 5-4 lead after two.
Head Coach Steve Sundin was calling for his bottom six to begin producing and saw that happen with Troccoli-Roik and Clay Byers combining for five points in the loss.
The aforementioned Byers tied the game over four and a half into the third to spark the Golden Knights bench again.
As legs became heavier, and the contest began to drag on, fatigue became an issue. Sean Kearns failed on a clearing attempt as the Vikings got numerous cracks at a loose puck in from of Brent Pledge-Dickson before Frédérick Gagnier fired home the game-winner with 14.7 seconds to go in regulation.
Pledge-Dickson made 31 stops in the loss, while his counterpart Nicholas Campbell turned aside 27 of 32.
Ottawa West was 2-for-6 on the man advantage while Casselman was 2-for-7.
This sets up game three back at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena with the best of seven series tied at one game apiece. Catch the pregame show with Davide Disipio, Mason Detre, and Liam Arkinson on Hockey TV, mixlr.com/OWGKradio, and CKDJ 107.9 FM starting at 7:10 with puck drop set for 7:30 pm.