Ottawa, Ontario – After winning the final three games of the first half against Char-Lan, Richmond and Alexandria, the Ottawa West Golden Knights (22-4-2) defeated the Richmond Royals (12-12-3) 5-1 to start the second half on Thursday night inside the Barbara Ann Scott Arena.
Golden Knights were up 2-1 after the first period and they were able to score three unanswered goals. Noah Haymes tuck the puck through Josh Lacelle at the right side of the goal, after faking the wrap around attempt to make it 3-1.
Clay Byers set up Michael Gallivan 57 seconds later, right after N. Haymes tallied his 12th goal this year. After that fourth Golden Knights goal, it was the end of the night for former Golden Knights AP Josh Lacelle. Sean Kearns also added another goal late in the frame off a rebound.
Six different Ottawa West players collected two points in the winning effort. When the Golden Knights won over Richmond on December 15th, only one line collected all the goals including Sam Brown, but on Thursday, five different players got on the board and nine of them got a point throughout the game.
“I thought we played a very well balanced good game. Five different guys scoring, I’m glad to see that. Clay Byers had a really good game, for a guy that hasn’t played a little over a year. He set up Mike (Michael Gallivan) behind the net on that and it was a key goal. Noah Haymes also had a strong game. Also on the defensive core, we didn’t allow any chances, said Head Coach of the Ottawa West Golden Knights Steve Sundin about the win.
Byers made his debut in a Golden Knight’s uniform and collected one assist throughout the game. The last time he was on the ice was when he won a championship with the Ottawa Sting in Midget AA last year. Sundin says he’s a very similar player to Max Bush and has a very good upside. He’s good at penalty killing and good at taking face offs. He played on a line with Gallivan and Edwards during the game.
The second period was great with the Golden Knights scoring three unanswered goals to put the game wide open. They’ve outscored the opposition 52-22 in the second with a goal differential at +30.
“I don’t know what it is with second period’s, either its the left side of the rink or the building but we always play well in the second period. We rolled four lines when we could, except for all the penalties. I thought we played a pretty strong game and we put it away in the second period. You can tell that we were starting to dominate them,” said Sundin.
During the third period, Sundin decide to play more of the 3rd and 4th lines because of the big lead that they had.
“You want to play everybody when you can, and the bottom six played a really good game. When you have Daniel Goulet on your bottom 6, it says a lot about this hockey club. Also, Jared Brush played a good game with great penalty killing and was a great roll player. I also thought that our 4th line played well too.”
Keon Trocolli Roik’s goal back in the first period early, turned out to be the game winner and has two game winners this season. His last one came against the Alexandria Glens on November 22nd. Sundin says that Keon got a beautiful goal from Sam Edwards off the 2-on-1.
The Penalty Kill was 7-for-7 on the night and the power play was 2-for-6. the Power play ranks first in the league and Penalty Kill still sits at 5th in the league at 87.3%.
“The Penalty Kill has been superb all year. We’re getting good at it because we seem to be taking a lot of penalties and our power play was great. Our percentages keep going up. We work on it in practice and the boys did a good job,” said Sundin.
The Golden Knights outshot Richmond 42-23 during the game and are now 3-0 against the Royals this season. The next meeting between these two will be on the final day of the season on February 23rd at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex.
Next game for the Ottawa West Golden Knights will go tomorrow night inside the Jr Brisson Complex when they face off against the Casselman Vikings at 7:30pm. They are 1-1 against them this season and will look for their fifth straight win. You can catch the broadcast on mixlr.com/owgkradio. Davide Disipio and Mason Detre will have the call of the game.