Recap | Ottawa 3, Ottawa West 1
The Ottawa West Golden Knights had their three game winning streak snapped after suffering a tough loss to the rival Ottawa Canadians on Tuesday night inside the Earl Armstrong arena.
After taking 30 minutes to work on the Golden Knights special teams during Monday’s practice – Ottawa West went 0-8 on the power-play tonight which became the difference maker according to Head Coach, Steve Sundin.
“We were trying to do things that we normally don’t do on the power-play. We’re just not executing and that was the difference in the hockey game because they were 2-for-8 and we can’t go 0-for-8 and have them be better on the power-play”.
During a 0-for-8 skid on the power-play, Ottawa West had two five on three man advantages which also came against them in the end.
“I think some individuals aren’t competing enough and there being selfish trying to make plays that aren’t there and score goals that they’re not going to score and they’re loss percentage plays” explained Sundin on their power-play.
In the first period, the Canadians took a 1-0 lead when Robbie Pickard scored from the point after Joshua Filoso won the faceoff and quickly fed it to the point for the goal. This came after Head Coach Steve Sundin asked the team to cover the point for the third consecutive defensive faceoff but were unable to complete the task. 1-0 OJC after one period of play.
From a fans view, it looked like the Canadians outplayed the Golden Knights but Steve Sundin disagreed and thought his squad was the better team after one period.
“No, I thought we outplayed them, we only had seven shots but I thought we had more and I thought we outplayed them.
Towards the second half of the second period Ottawa West began to miss on their power-play opportunities and were unable to score on a 5-on-3 man advantage before finally tying the game 1-1. Franco Gagnon scored his 22nd of the season (16th with OW) after he picked up the puck along the left boards in his own end and skated up the wing, driving past Giordano and flipping it over the glove of Whitewater, tying things up 1-1 at the 12:46 mark in the second.
“Frank just scored a beautiful goal, going down the wing and beating Giordano to the outside and he buried it so I thought it was a very competitive game right to the end” said Sundin.
With the score still tied 1-1 at the half-way mark in the third frame, Brad Odam got tied up with a Canadians forward in front of the net after he slashed Cuglietta and Odam was given the penalty for slashing when he tried to protect his goalie and Ottawa West went to the penalty kill, again.
On the penalty to Odam, Justin Turner gave the Canadians a 2-1 lead before OJC took a 3-1 lead after a bench minor was given to Ottawa West following the third goal.
“Well there was a couple questionable calls” noted Sundin. The one on Kevin Groulx was really soft and as a referee you just need to left stuff like that go. I didn’t like the one on Odam because they stuck our goalie and he retaliated and I thought he should have taken both players but he didn’t” and it killed us because we went down 5-v-3”.
With the clock winding down, the Golden Knights had one more power-play but were unsuccessful, ultimately falling to the Canadians 3-1 the final score in their final meeting of the regular season.
Overall, besides the horrible power-play the Golden Knights had a lot of trouble passing the puck and began to force plays.
“Our passing was not there tonight” mentioned Sundin. “The problem is that the only guys that are scoring on this hockey club are Lecours, Gagnon and Mulvihill. We just have to be better as a hockey club and I think we need to practice more”.
Ottawa West received an excellent performance from their goaltender, Chris Cuglietta who made three acrobatic saves and kept West in the game.
“He was fabulous tonight” said Assistant Coach, Kevin Groulx. “I think he’s been the best goalie in the league since the start of January and he gives us a chance every night but the other guys have to give him the best opportunity to pick up the win because he is doing his job”.
With the season series between the Canadians and the Golden Knights closed, Groulx believes the old rivalry is back.
“They have three of our old players (Turner, Giordano & Cowley) and we have a couple of their former players and as a coach is really fun to be a part of these types of rivalries. If we meet in the play offs it’s going to be a hell of a series”.
The Golden Knights net game is Thursday January 18th against the Arnprior Packers at home. They have two more road game on tap this weekend, taking on Renfrew on Friday and Casselman on Sunday night.
Dante De Caria, Ottawa West Golden Knights (@Diamond_Dante)