RECAP | Ottawa West 4, Embrun 3 – Game 1 of the Best of 3 Wild Card Series
The Ottawa West Golden Knights defeated the Embrun Panthers in game one of the Martin Division Wild Card Series 4-3 in the final seconds to take a 1-0 series lead.
Ottawa West would score with three seconds left in the third to take the lead after Embrun scored five seconds earlier.
Luke Mulvihill had two goals and an assist plus the game winning goal while Cameron Scrivens also had a multi-point game with two helpers. Chris Cuglietta kept Ottawa West in the game with three goals against on 50 shots.
The Golden Knights were leading 3-1 after two periods after Goodfellow scored his first career playoff goal late into the third period, giving West an insurance marker going into the final frame looking to close it out.
Mark Morrison scored halfway through the third period on a delayed penalty. Ottawa West had their backs against the wall with the Panthers gathering momentum towards the end the game, now down 3-2.
With the Golden Knights still up 3-2 with under two minutes left, they exceled a bit once Embrun took a penalty with a 1:36 remaining. Their hearts started pounding again once they went back down 4-3 with two penalties taken from Scrivens and Wall with under a minute to go in the game. This gave Embrun a chance as they went to a 5-on-3 man advantage with the net empty and a faceoff in the Ottawa end with 16 seconds remaining.
“I’m sorry but the referee’s put us down, there was too many penalties and this is playoffs, you have to let us play,” explained Head Coach Steve Sundin after Ottawa took 32 minutes in penalties.
With the score so close, Sundin felt that with two strong teams playing, the officials had to let the teams play.
“I’m sure Darrell (Embrun Coach) is going to say the same thing. There was too many questionable calls and you have to let these guys play.”
On the 5-on-3 advantage, Embrun sent traffic towards the net and Jeremy Barrie potted in his second of the game, tying the contest 3-3 with eight seconds remaining on the clock.
“Well they pulled the goalie to make it five on three and that’s really tough to defend,” added Sundin on the late goal. “It was a scramble and the puck bounced around and we couldn’t get a hold of it and it ended up on their stick.”
At that point in the game, the Golden Knights bench was quiet and the only noise you could hear was cursing and sticks being slashed against the boards in frustration.
“When it first goes in you get a little deflated but the game goes on and it’s still a tie hockey game and there was still time left on the clock,” said Golden Knights captain Luke Mulvihill on how they felt after the tying goal was scored.
The Embrun bench was howling and cheering as if this game was going into overtime but Mulvihill and Cameron Scrivens had a different idea.
“We had the same idea. That idea was just going right through them on the draw and it paid off because we stayed focused after that last goal.”
With Embrun and Ottawa West tied 3-3 and eight seconds left in the third, Cameron Scrivens won the faceoff and split the defense and fed it to Mulvihill on the right circle all alone, as he fired it over the shoulder of Sabourin to give West a 4-3 lead with three seconds left in the third.
“Scrivens just made a great play moving into the offensive zone and gave me a great pass. I was thinking to get it up high and I was fortunate to do it,” smiled Mulvihill after he scored the biggest goal in his career.
As a twenty year old forward and the captain of the Golden Knights, Luke said this is why we play, “you play all year to make it to the playoffs and you want to always contribute to the team so it was a big goal for us and it felt good.”
The goal in Sundin’s eyes gave Ottawa West a much needed boost going into Embrun’s barn on Wednesday night.
“We’re going to have to play the same type of game we played tonight,” mentioned Sundin. “There backs are against the wall and their going to come out real strong because they want to play game three back here (Ottawa West) on Thursday.”
With game two scheduled for Wednesday in Embrun at 8:30, Steve Sundin wants his team to take it to them early and work hard to get the series win.
The Golden Knights broadcast can be found on mixlr.com/owgkradio 10 minutes prior to puck drop with Mason Detre and Diamond Dante.