Ottawa, Ontario – The Ottawa West Golden Knights (13-6-1) evened the season-series at one with a 4-2 victory over the Casselman Vikings (15-5) on Saturday night at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena.
With the win, the Golden Knights also jump to third place in the CCHL2 standings with 27 points. They now trail the second place Casselman Vikings by three-points. These two will meet again twice in the second half.
The Golden Knights extend their home winning streak to seven-games. During that time they’ve outscored opponents 37-to-9.
“The boys are very comfortable here at home. That’s the way it used to be in the old days. We would sometimes win 15 or 16 games in a row at home and we’re heading in that direction again which I’m really pleased about,” said Ottawa West Golden Knights Head Coach Steve Sundin.
This is the first win against Casselman in exactly a year. The last time the Golden Knights beat the Vikings was on Novmeber 17th, 2017 at home.
Ottawa West and Casselman played short on Saturday as Vikings had seven players out with injuries and the Golden Knights were without Sam Brown and Jakob Harris. Ottawa West ended up dressing six defensemen and 11 forwards.
“We (Ottawa West) were missing two of our top-six defensemen so we moved Stef Mellios and Noah Weatherall to the backend and they did a good job,” said Steve Sundin.
“The gameplan was to not let them (Casselman) enter the zone with speed and when we get the puck we need move it quickly out of the zone. We ran around a little bit but that’s when Mitchell Bown had to make some big saves.”
Mitchell Bown had to make 13 saves in the third period to preserve the win. He finished the game allowing two-goals on 33 shots for his eighth victory of the season. He has now won six of his last seven starts, allowing three-goals on less in all of his last six wins.
Sundin also thought that veteran defensemen’s Daniel Stratis and Andrew Mackinnon were solid defensively, making Bown’s job a lot easier.
The Ottawa West Head Coach also said that Michel Ruest (Vikings Coach) style is to always finish your checks and play physical but says the Golden Knights matched their physicality.
“You’re not going to push a Steve Sundin team around, I won’t have it. You can hit us as much as you want but we’re going to come at you just as hard.”
Ottawa West jumped to a 2-0 lead just a minute into the second period. Daniel Startis fired his second of the year into the net from the right slot on the power-play.
The Vikings cut the deficit to one twice in the game but could not find away to to tie it. After Stratis’s goal they scored just over two-minutes later to make it 3-2 and then scored 20 seconds after Marco Haw put the Golden Knights up 3-1 in the third.
Justin Jamer’s seventh of the year was the difference maker as he found a lose-puck in the slot and gave Ottawa West a 4-2 lead with seven-minutes to go in the third period.
“He was well rested because he got a two minute penalty and a 10 minute misconduct so he had some jump in his legs and was determined,” added Sundin.
Sundin says that Vikings goaltender Nicholas Campbell made it really though for the Golden Knights to score early on after he made a few great saves.
“He’s a good goalie. He came from the Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL Tier 1) so he’s just a quality starter an we just found a way to beat him as we were really hard on the fore-check.”
Noah Marshall extended his goal-streak to three-games after opening the scoring late in the first period. Prior to his three-goals last week, Marshall had not scored in eight-games.
“Marshall is hard to hit off the puck and he has great hands. I know the Ottawa Canadians are looking at him and saying they made a mistake by letting him go and he’s playing so well for us. Just a great kid.”
This week, the Ottawa West Golden Knights will place twice. They’re back in action at home on Thursday against the Winchester Hawks and are on the road in Westport on Friday.
FULL INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SUNDIN: