RECAP | Friday December 8th 2017
Westport 9, Ottawa West 7
The Ottawa West Golden Knights and Westport Rideau’s competed in an highly offensive hockey game with 16 goals scored in total. The Golden Knights were leading 4-3 after one period of play but ultimately lost the final two periods before falling in the dying minutes, 9-7 in Westport.
Ottawa West were without five key players last night and had to play the Rideau’s with nine forwards and six defense. Franco Gagnon was serving his third and final game of a suspension, Justin Turner was unable to play due to an exam and Matthew Bidin, Alex Wall and Cameron Iob were out with recent injuries. Their only call was Justin Lefebrve who came from the Jr C North Dundas.
“That was our third game in four nights so we knew coming in that guys had to watch the gas tank a little bit and manage peoples ice times out there” said Ottawa West Golden Knights coach, Kevin Groulx on being short five players. “It was an absolute circus to be honest with you”.
The Golden Knights were also playing their third game in four nights after defeating Char-Lan (4-3) on Tuesday and losing to Carleton Place (3-1) on Thursday.
“At the Junior level I have never played on a team that had to play three games in four nights with two of them on the road in places like Char-Lan or Westport” said Groulx. “I’ve never seen a schedule like that in any league”.
Westport scored two unanswered goals in the first minute of the hockey game to take a 2-0 lead. 39 seconds later, Justin Lefebvre fired a rocket of a shot over the head of Tessier and into the back of the net, cutting the deficit to one and scoring his second goal in his last two games.
After Raphael Lecours tied the game 2-2 on the man-advantage, Ty Nicholson gave the Rideau’s the lead on the power-play with 12:36 remaining in the first period. Less than a minute later, Lecours rifled one past the Rideau’s tender to tie the game again, 3-3. Ottawa would add another one before the end of the period, leading 4-3 after one period.
“Our guys didn’t give up and they didn’t mail it in after a tough first period” mentioned Groulx. “This is a step forward because when we went down two/three goals on the road, you could feel that we were mailing it in”.
The Rideau’s scored two unanswered goals in the first five minutes of the second period to take a 5-4 lead. Ottawa West bounced back 10 minutes later when Tyren Boots noticed Westport was making a bad line-change and went up into the rush to create a two-on-one, feeding a pass to Jamer for a top corner goal – tying the game 5-5 with just over six minutes remaining in the second period.
Just 50 seconds after the tying goal, Shawn Timlin took a roughing penalty to make Ottawa short-handed for the fifth time in the game. Michael Anson made no mistake capitalizing on the man advantage, netting his 11th goal of the year, second of the game and giving the Rideau’s a 6-5 lead going into the third period.
At that point in the game, it was clearly Ottawa was making a lot mistakes in their own end and pinching up into the rush too often.
“You have to take your chances when you’re playing a run and gun style” said Groulx. “It comes with a small rink and lack of structure. Both teams gave up a tone of chances and we defiantly need to clean that up when we play good teams like Westport”.
After Ottawa West scored just 53 seconds into the third period – tying the game 6-6, Westport added two more to take a 8-6 lead with five minutes remaining in the third period.
Luke Mulvihill then netted his third goal of the game just over a minute after the Rideaus 8th goal of the game, cutting the deficit to one. With the net empty, Ottawa lost a faceoff just outside the Westport line and Sheets scored on the open net with 30 seconds remaining in the third, sealing the deal for the Rideaus, 9-7 the final score.
After the game, Steve Sundin noted that the Golden Knights struggled to play North-South hockey and continued to play East-West hockey which was a big part of the Golden Knights loss.
“The team knows that and I think they just need to watch it themselves on video” said Groulx. “North-South is the way you’re going to win hockey games and you need to have an extremely skilled group to play East-West and most of the highly skilled guys don’t stick around too long in this league”.
In the loss, Ottawa West allowed two power-play goals which was another reason the result was 9-7 in favor of Westport.
“That just comes with stupidity and mental exhaustion” mentioned Groulx. “It’s December and we’re right in the thick of things. Guys make mental mistakes especially playing our third game in four nights but you have to get it back”.
The Golden Knights outshot the Rideau’s 52-48 in the loss. Mulvihill added three goals for a total of five points while Lecours netted two goals and two helpers.
Their next game is Wednesday night in Richmond at 8:30. You can catch the action live on our online radio stream: listen – mixlr.com/owgkradio