The Ottawa West Golden Knights extended their winning streak to three games with a 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Canadians on Thursday at the Barbara Ann Scott arena.
The Golden Knights had their game decide in a shootout for the second straight home game after OJC tied the game at four when they scored two unanswered gaols in the final minute of the third.
“They scored two weird goals at the end of the period to tie the game but all that matters to me is that we (Ottawa West) got the two points” said Head Coach Steve Sundin after holding onto their 20th victory of the season.
The Canadians jumped out in front early in the first period, taking a one nothing lead when the league’s best power-play went to work. Johnny Pickering put if over the shoulder of Cuglietta before he was able to slide across to make the stop. Shortly after, Daniel Stratis made a beautiful play, feeding it into the corner for Scrivens and driving to the net to get the easy one timer goal. The Golden Knights were tied 1-1 with the Canadians after 20 minutes.
After the score was nodded up at two after two periods, Steve Sundin didn’t feel that being outshot 30-15 after forty minutes was a concern to him “Well I thought we missed the net a lot but I also thought our scoring chances were better than there’s (OJC)” noted Sundin. “We have to get more scoring opportunities from our secondary players and not just from Lecours, Mulvihill and Gagnon”.
At the half way mark of the third period, Luke Mulvihill and Franco Gagnon gave Ottawa West a 4-2 lead after they both scored two from a sharp angle. Gagnon scored on an open net with the puck taking a weird bounce to his stick off the end boards and Mulvihill scored from behind the next with the Canadians goaltender, Oxborough not playing attention behind the play.
With the game almost in the bag for the Golden Knights, Justin Turner scored with the net empty and 50 seconds remaining in the third to cut the Canadians deficient to one goal. Later on, Steve Sundin elected to play two rookies in Bidin and Jamer for the final ten seconds games which resulted in the Ottawa Canadians tying the game with 0.5 seconds left in the third.
“Bad coaching on my part, I had the wrong people out there” explained Sundin. “With a two goal lead I put the unexperienced kids on the ice but I learned a long time ago that you need to put them (rookies) in situations like that sometimes so they can learn and as a coach I learned as well”.
Scoring the final two goals in the last minute of the third period was former Golden Knight, Justin Turner who had been traded earlier in December and was playing his former team for the first time since being dealt.
“Good on Justin Turner. He came back and tried to beat his former team but it’s funny because he only scored 10 goals here, last year and he only has three there (OJC) and they’ve only won one game since those three guys joined there team” said Sundin on his former players, Giordano and Turner rubbing it into the West bench after they tied the game.
Ottawa West was heading to a shootout for the second consecutive home game which has not been a huge concern for Sundin “We have blown third period leads, that’s the concerning part. We played back to back and they didn’t so I’ll take two points anyway I can get them”.
In overtime, the Canadians had a flurry of chances on odd man rushes but Cuglietta was able to shut the door, making an amazing 47 saves.
“He is really in the zone right now and he’s going to face them next Tuesday so hopefully our team can keep it rolling” referred Sundin.
After the game remained scoreless after overtime, the Golden Knights elected to have OJC shoot first and Justin Turner scored after he cut to the outside and made a one hand on the stick deke to beat Cuglietta “I really didn’t like the hotdog move by Turner in the shootout” said Justin’s former coach, Steve Sundin.
After Cuglietta made a huge save on Filoso and Lecours tied the shootout 1-1, Franco Gagnon fired a rocket of a shot over the shoulder of the Canadians Oxborough for the game winner, 5-4 in a shootout.
“At the end of the day we got the two points, maybe we should have buried them at the end of the third but Cuggs came up big again in the shootout”.
With Ottawa West and the Ottawa Canadians meeting again on Tuesday, Steve Sundin said he doesn’t want to concern himself with other players on OJC “Those guys can circle the calendar all they want because all I wanted was two points and that’s what we got. We’re on a mission to catch them for second place and I think we’re coming together as a hockey club. They (Giordano & Turner) may have scored a goal but they were minus two so it evened out”.
The Golden Knights are back in action tomorrow night in Char-Lan for an 8pm start and head to OJC for a rematch on Tuesday. You can catch all the action on mixlr.com/owgkradio
Dante De Caria, Ottawa West Golden Knights Broadcaster