RECAP | Ottawa West 4, Embrun 2 – Embrun Arena: Sunday, Feb 18th
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Ottawa West Golden Knights traveled to Embrun for a 1:30 start and finally snapped their long two week skid where they went 0-3-2.
The most important part of the 4-2 win was the fact that Ottawa West picked up a giant two points which ties them with the Embrun Panthers for fourth in the Martin Division. Now three points behind the Alexandria Glens with three games left on the season calendar.
Today’s game in Head Coach Steve Sundin’s eyes was a “must win hockey game” as the Golden Knights had their backs up against the wall – as their recent performances were not good, as the squad was only able to pick up two points (two shootout losses) during their five game skid.
After a 6-5 shootout loss to the Renfrew Timberwolves on Thursday, Steve Sundin was ecstatic after the game and thought that this was the bounce back performance the team needed.
“Today was a huge win for us. I thought top to bottom, we played our hearts out and Cuglietta was the difference in net. He was outstanding in net for us”.
The Golden Knights started off the game very strong. They didn’t allow the Panthers to record a shot on goal for the first five minutes of the first frame and continued to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
With lots of offensive time in the Panthers end, Ottawa West finally found the back of the net, scoring two goals from Mulvihill and Wall at the halfway mark of the first period.
Wall scored his ninth of the year while Mulvihill netted his career tying 35th goal of the season. It would stand, 2-0 for Ottawa after one period.
“Anytime you can get a 2-0 lead on the opposition is good because it’s hard to comeback in this league so getting up 2-0 in the first was a big part of our win today, that’s for sure” explained Sundin on his teams excellent start.
After an excellent first period where Ottawa West outshot Embrun 12-6 – the Panthers found a way to get back in the hockey game early in the second period. 20 seconds into the frame, Andrew Burke scored his 25th of the season after he received a pass from the corner and made no mistake, after he was left wide open in the slot.
The Panthers would continue to dominate the second period but were unable to find the net again after a big momentum booster, with the deficit cut to a one goal game. Ottawa West killed off four penalties in the second period to keep the game 2-1 going into the third, which was key.
“We made them chase the game in the first period and we chased them in the second period” said Sundin on his teams tough second period. “We weren’t good in the second period and I think the difference was our power-play early and our penalty killing was really good today”.
On the Golden Knights penalty kill, they didn’t allow the Panthers to get a clear shot away. West continued to block shots, clear pucks out of their own zone and stayed physical on their own end.
With Ottawa West up 2-1 in the third period they managed to put Embrun away with two more unanswered goals from Scrivens on the power-play and Taillefer who gave the Knights the lead before Brosseau scored with under a minute to play in the game. Ottawa West picked up a big two points but despite the high offensive play from Ottawa’s forwards, Steve Sundin believed goaltending was the difference.
“You can’t win without goaltending at every level of hockey and we got that tonight. We was outstanding and allowed our team to get a couple of goals and we did”.
Over the last five games, Ottawa West had struggled to score goals but tonight, Sundin felt the team had a flurry of chances and buried the ones that counted.
“I thought Wall had a good game. Mulvihill also did his thing, he played well and Bidin also had a good game. So it was good to see, it was really good”.
The Ottawa West Golden Knights are back in action tomorrow night against the Whitewater Kings. These two teams have met twice this season and the season series is tied 1-1.
Ottawa West has three more games this week including tomorrow night at home. They are also in action on Thrusday against Winchester at home and are on the road to play Perth on Friday night for the final game of the 2017-18 season.
By: Dante De Caria.