Ottawa, Ontario – The Ottawa West Golden Knights (29-5-2) were busy during week 20 of the CCHL2 season, with three games on the schedule. They started off on Tuesday, on the road to defeat division rival the Ottawa Jr. Canadians in a shootout, then they took down the Alexandria Glens at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena on Thursday, then wrapped up with a huge road over the Winchester Hawks. The Golden Knights are also the first team to clinch a spot in the 2020 CCHL2 playoffs with the win on Tuesday.
F/SO | Ottawa West 3, Ottawa 2 (Tuesday)
In a very entertaining game on Tuesday night, the Ottawa West Golden Knights came away with a 3-2 shootout victory to take a 2-1 season series lead over the Ottawa Jr. Canadians.
The Golden Knights extend their winning streak to three consecutive games. Jack Haymes extended his point streak to five games by scoring a goal in the first period.
Ryan Carroll returned into the lineup for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on November 16th against Casselman and was able to pick up the tying goal off a forced turnover from Peterborough Petes prospect, and call up Jax Dubois from the Nepean Raiders u18 Midget AAA who picked up an assist, for his first junior point, right after Will Fitzsimmons gave the Canadians a brief lead in the third period.
“Jax Dubois made a nice play at the blue line to keep the puck in and (Stef) Mellios saw me and put it right on my tape and I was fortunate enough to find some daylight,” said Carroll who was able to tie the game with his seventh goal of the season, against his former team. “Stef and I have been itching to get back together and it was fun to see that all pay off.”
Sean Kearns was able to collect the shootout winner in the fourth round after he went top corner on Ryan Whitehurst. Brent Pledge-Dickson made 33 saves for his 13th win this season.
Shots were equal at 35 while the Canadians power play went 0-for-4, while Ottawa West did not have a power-play chance.
Ottawa West 5, Alexandria 3 (Thursday)
In a chippy affair, Sam Edwards was finally able to score his first goal of the season a minute and a half into the third period, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Sean Kearns scored his 18th of the season in his 16th multi-point game of the season to bring his point total on the season to 50. Bobby Dempster and Antonio Silenu each added two assists in the win for the Golden Knights.
Ottawa West outshot Alexandria 38-30, while both teams combined for 126 PIM throughout the game, as Alexandria’s powerplay went 1-for-11, and Ottawa West went 3-for-11.
William McEvoy made 27 stops in the win for his 12th straight victory.
Ottawa West 7, Winchester 2 (Friday)
The Ottawa West top line of Noah Haymes, Jack Haymes, and Sean Kearns combined for 16 points in the Golden Knights fifth straight win. Noah Haymes collected the third career hat trick of his CCHL2 career in a five-point night and Sean Kearns scored his first career CCHL2 hat trick, and added three helpers.
“It feels good to get over the hump,” said second-year Golden Knight Sean Kearns. “I’ve had a couple of two-goal games in my career but it feels extra special to get the third.”
After only recording eight goals and six assists in his first CCHL2 season, Kearns, 18, has erupted for 21 goals, 35 assists for 56 points which ranks him third overall in the league.
“I’m proud of it,” added Kearns. “I feel like it’s a big step up from last year. I got to give a big thanks to my linemates, Noah (Haymes), and Jack (Haymes), have really helped me out lots and we’ve been clicking since the start of the year.”
Jack Haymes added five assists for his first five-point game in his first year of CCHL2 hockey.
“They’re unstoppable,” said Head Coach Steve Sundin. “They were tic-tac-toe all over the ice, which lead to a .500 powerplay and as a coach you can’t ask for much more.”
Riley Dubois, Jax Dubois, and Trenton Corrigan were called up and put on a show at both ends of the ice, keeping the Hawks off the board. Sam Edwards also extended his goal streak to two games by netting his second of the season.
“Eddy (Sam Edwards) scored to get us tied and we were going right after that,” added Sundin. “We didn’t look back from there, we played superb defensively where our three callups (Jax and Riley Dubois, Trenton Corrigan), really helped us and allowed us to keep rolling four lines, and I wasn’t afraid to throw them out there.”
The Golden Knights end the month of January with an 8-1 record while outscoring their opponents 38-to-18.
Ottawa West went 3-for-6 on the powerplay, while Winchester was 2-for-5. Golden Knights fired 58 shots on goal to the Hawks 34.
Brent Pledge-Dickson got his third straight win, while also winning his third straight against his former team (Winchester), and is now up to 14 wins on the season.
Since November 1st, the Golden Knights have a league-best 21-2 record with the magic number to clinch the Martin Division at eight points, and nine points to clinch first place in the league standings for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
The next game goes Thursday at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena when the Golden Knights take on the Ottawa Jr. Canadians. It will be the final meeting for the Golden Knights and Canadians, as Ottawa West leads the season series 2-1. You can catch the game on mixlr.com/owgkradio and Hockey TV at 7:20 pm.