RECAP | OTTAWA WEST 2, WHITEWATER 1 – Monday Feb 19th 2018
The Ottawa West Golden Knights continued their winning streak to two games with a 2-1 win over the Whitewater Kings on Monday night at the Barbara Ann Scott arena.
Luke Mulvihill had two apples while Stratis and Wall had goals in the game. Cuglietta made 37 saves in the win.
Ottawa West also recorded their first win on back to back night’s which was something the team struggled to do when playing two nights in a row.
“No matter what, this win keeps our third place hopes alive and that’s the main thing,” said Head Coach Steve Sundin after a big two points. “We put ourselves in this position and now we need some help from other teams. At least it keeps us alive for third place and that’s important”.
Coming into the game, Ottawa West started with three lines and one extra forward with Brown out with the flue, Lecours out with a head injury and Jamer suspended for the rest of the season. They were also without Andrew MacKinnon who suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday and called up Stef Mellios from the Nepean Raiders Midget AA.
“Well what we did tonight was we just made sure that we had our first two lines going and had four other guys going in a rotation,” said Sundin on playing short. “I thought Young, Goodfellow, Fleming and Bidin played very well because they did their job and did not get scored on”.
After Ottawa West was also short on the backend, Steve made a last minute call to the Nepean Raiders Bantam AA program and brought up Stef Mellios as their sixth defenseman.
“I thought he played very well, I hope that he will come and tryout for us next year,” mentioned Sundin on the 16 year old’s Jr hockey debut. “Bob Ward, our head scout has been watching him all year and he told me he can play here”.
Ottawa West opened the scoring midway through the second period after they got a power-play and took advantage. Daniel Stratis scored his 5th goal of the season when he fired a puck from the midpoint to give West a 1-0 which stood going into the third period.
After two periods of play at the Barbara Ann Scott arena, the Golden Knights were outshooting the Kings 28-23 and did a great job killing off three tough penalties in the second period to keep the score 1-0 for Ottawa.
Alex Wall then scored early into the third period after he fired the puck into the net from the slot. The goal gave Ottawa West a 2-0 lead in the third but it also gave Wall his third goal in his last four games.
“I was a great pass by Mulvihill and I just got it and found a little opening, put the puck in and it felt great,” noted Wall on his goal.
After netting his second goal in his two games and third over his last four Wall mentioned that his play has improved over the course of the season, “I think I’m more confident and just going to the net hard and looking for passes from Mulvihill in front of the net”.
Later in the third period, Ottawa got into more penalty trouble. Franco Gagnon took a roughing penalty which ended up being a game misconduct and the Kings went to work for a five minute power-play. Ottawa was able to kill off the first two minutes of the penalty but made a mistake at centre which allowed a goal from Whitewater with ten minutes remaining in the third. Peter White created a 3-on-1 breakout and fed a saucer pace to Moore bringing Whitewater within one goal.
“I feel we did a good job on the PK but we still have to figure out how to stop that backdoor pass because they’re really killing us and if we figure that out I think we will be set,” explained Alex Wall on the teams overall play on the penalty kill and the Kings third goal.
Steve Sundin thought the PK was good as well but mentioned that their best penalty killer was their goaltender, “Cuglietta was outstanding tonight. When you only allow one goal and get a five minute major and take a too many men on the ice penalty, so you have to give him credit from keeping us in it”.
Although the penalty kill in the third period was spectacular in Sundin’s eyes, he also thought that guys that usually don’t play a two way game were excellent as well.
“I thought Tristen Taillefer had his best game of the season. He played both ways, he was defensive and he was physical. I really liked his game,” added Sundin.
Ottawa West were able to stop Whitewater the rest of the way as the team picked up their 27th win of the year and 60th point. They are now one point behind Alexandria for third in the Martin Division. The Glens have one game in hand on Ottawa but the Golden Knights have two more games left on the schedule. They play tonight against Winchester at home and in Perth on Friday night.
Dante De Caria, OWGK Broadcaster.