RECAP | November 23rd 2017
Perth 3, Ottawa West 1
The Ottawa West Golden Knights were upset by the Perth Blue Wings Thursday night at the Barbara Ann Scott arena. The Golden Knights were unable to get their offence going in the first two periods – they only had one goal after 40 minutes. They did mount a comeback, but ultimately fell to Perth 3-1.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the first period. The Golden Knights could not pass the puck cleanly and were not able to establish their breakout. After one period of play, Perth were outshooting Ottawa, 15-9 and had no score.
The second period was the same story for Ottawa West. The Blue Wings took a 1-0 lead after Matt Knight-Bedour fired a low shot from the point which was initially saved by Cameron Iob but was tapped in by Marc-Andre Leblanc on the rebound. The Blue Wings were leading Ottawa West, 1-0 after two periods.
“Plain and simple we got complacent,” said assistant coach, Kevin Groulx. “Our players did not show enough respect for the opposition and when you let teams that are lower in the standings stick around, you give them more confidence and they played a full 60 minutes tonight.”
The Golden Knights outshot the Blue Wings, 14-13 in the second period but were unable to find any quality chances in front of the net. Most of their shots were either from the point with no traffic or shots that were right into the chest of the Perth goaltender.
“We had a lack of urgency tonight” said Groulx. “We were going through the motions, playing hockey like it was any other game and it’s not because every two points matters” said Kevin Groulx.
In the final period, Ottawa West finally showed some life. Luke Mulvihill outwaited the Blue Wings netminder, John Peacock before slipping it under his pad to tie the game, 1-1 in the third.
Shortly after, a former Ottawa West Golden Knight Dylan Sharply scored on the power play to give the Blue Wings the lead.
Ottawa had three chances to score with Peacock out of position with under seven minutes to play in the third but somehow we unable to find the net.
“We played 7-8 minutes of Ottawa West Golden Knights hockey tonight and that was all in the third period” said Groulx. “Our hockey is when we’re getting pucks on net, cycling and back checking hard.”
Perth would score an empty net goal, giving them their second consecutive victory and 11th win on the season. They are now tied with Arnprior for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Richardson division.
The loss snaps the Golden Knights three game win streak. Ottawa West is now 5-4 over the month of November, outscoring opponents 40-34 during their last nine games.
“We’re one of the teams to be and we just came out of a good weekend, beating two top teams (Embrun and Casselman),” said Groulx. “Our guys were not ready tonight and I’m very disappointed.”
Next week, Ottawa West will have to take on two top teams in Alexandria on Thursday and Embrun on Friday. Practice this week will be key, noting that some changes will be made on Monday “We don’t think some of our best players are in shape” said Groulx. “That’s okay because we’re only in November but it worries me because every other team is getting in better shape and we’re not getting better”.
One positive to note from Thurday’s loss to Perth was the play of Sam Wilson, who made his debut in the lineup as a Golden Knight “Sam played a very good game and we are very happy with that acquisition” said Groulx.
Ottawa West next game is at home on Thursday, November 30th. They take on the Alexandria Glens at 7:15 inside the Barbara Ann Scott arena. You can catch the action live on mixlr.com/owgkradio.
FULL GROULX INTERVIEW HERE: Groulx after a tough 3-1 loss to Perth