WEEKLY RECAP | Golden Knights lock up Martin Division and regular season title

Photo: Davide Disipio

By: Davide Disipio

The Ottawa West Golden Knights (33-6-2) were busy this past week, competing in four games over the last six days. the team secured four wins in the process, while also earning some hardware. Tuesday began with a convincing 6-0 win over the Carleton Place Jr. Canadians followed up by a 7-5 home win against Alexandria, then a 5-3 takedown of the Char-Lan Rebels, then finally a 7-6 overtime win against division rival Casselman Vikings.

Ottawa West 6, Carleton Place 0 (Tuesday)

Jack Haymes managed to score his first career CCHL2 hat trick while brother Noah Haymes and Sean Kearns continued to stay hot by adding three assists. Sam Edwards, Jared Brush, and Nicholas McFarlane also found the back of the net in the blowout win.

Brent Pledge-Dickson got the nod, making 28 saves for his third shutout of the season. In the win, the Golden Knights became first in the league to total five-team shutouts.

Ottawa West went 3-for-8 on the power play and Carleton Place’s power play was 0-for-2.

Shots were 31-28 for Ottawa West and extend their winning streak to two games, and bounced back against the Canadians after an earlier season loss on home ice.

Ottawa West 7, Alexandria 5 (Thursday)

The Golden Knights extend their winning streak to three games and clinched the Martin Division for only the 2nd time in franchise history.

Noah Haymes recorded two goals and two assists while Sean Kearns and Jack Haymes each had a goal and two assists.

Noah Haymes was able to extend his point streak to 11 games, while Jack Haymes’ pushed his to ten games.

Keon Troccoli-Roik added two assists, moving his point streak to two games after being held off the board for his last eight contests.

Alexandria wouldn’t go away all night long as Zachary Power, Nico Pozzebon and Reese Donnelly each had a goal and an assist in their fifth straight loss.

The Golden Knights were sluggish defensively and allowed Alexandria to stick around, but not after goaltender William McEvoy saw his goals-against average (GAA) go from a league-best 1.97 to 2.14.

Ottawa West went 0-for-4 on the powerplay, while Alexandria was 1-for-3, shots were 54-33 for Ottawa West.

Ottawa West 5, Char-Lan 3 (Saturday)

The Golden Knights officially clinched first place in the league and home ice throughout the entire CCHL2 playoffs with their fourth straight win.

Clay Byers finally scored his first CCHL2 goal after going his first 14 career games without a goal, as he Ric Shin and Jack Haymes had the Golden Knights up three after 20.

Noah Haymes extended his point streak to 12 games by adding an assist in the first period.

Stef Mellios would collect the game-winner early in the second before Sam Edwards put the icing on the cake halfway through the third when it appeared the Golden Knights weren’t at their best for a second straight game.

“Were pretty pumped up,” said Sam Edwards. “Coming into this year I don’t think anyone expected us to be this good, undercover guys that no one heard of from AA, and credit our scouts for finding these diamonds in the rough, and the home ice in playoffs will be huge for us because it’s tough to beat us here and we’ll have at most four home games.

Late in the game, Nolan MacMillan would score his first CCHL2 goal which then cut to the deficit to 4-1. Isaac Testani and Joesph Samson would get the other goals to make keep the Rebels close.

Pledge-Dickson was big making 19 saves for his second straight win.

Ottawa West was 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while Cahr-Lan was 1-for-4 as Ottawa West lead the shot clock 33-22.

Ottawa West 7, Casselman 6 – OT (Monday)

In one of the most intense and back and forth games of the season, the Golden squeaked away with a narrow overtime win headlined by Sam Edwards’s highlight real game-winning goal.

“As a fan, you got to love that,” said Golden Knights bench boss Steve Sundin. “13 goals in a game is fun for them, but as a coach, not so much, but the main thing is we got two points and won the season series against our biggest rival.”

Ottawa West wins the season series by taking three of four games and go out winning the last three.

Noah Haymes scored twice to extend his point streak to a season-high 13 games, tying Michael Gallivan who had a 13 game point streak from late November to mid-January.

Jack Haymes capitalized for another four-point effort, scoring and adding three helpers, while and Sean Kearns scored twice and added two more assists.

The Golden Knights are 18-0 when Jack Haymes scores this season and centers what most call the most unstoppable line in the league.

“They are so hard to defend and play against,” said Sundin. “They are able to connect nearly every pass tape-to-tape, Noah (Haymes) scored a pair of big goals, Kearns got two massive ones (one of them to tie the game 5-5), putting them together back in October was the best thing for this team.”

After Ottawa West had given up three unanswered goals to start the second, after having a 2-1 lead following the first period, both teams would combine for seven goals in the second. In the third, Casselman and Ottawa West each found the back of the net to have the score tied 6-6 after regulation.

Both teams ran into penalty trouble late in the game which carried into overtime, then Sean Kearns pulled off an improbable between the legs pass connecting with Sam Edwards for the overtime winner.

“I took the puck the behind the net and tried a Michael Gallivan kick play out to (Sean) Kearns, who started carrying it out towards the blue line, then all of a sudden I saw him drop it, and I knew I couldn’t miss after a feed like that,” said Edwards after scoring his sixth goal in his last 8 games, following 14 games without a goal.

Brent Pledge-Dickson stopped 24 of 30 Casselman shots for his eighth win in his last 10 starts.

Golden Knights end the 2019-2020 home schedule a league-best 17-4-1 record at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena.

The Golden Knights finish off the 2019-2020 CCHL2 season on the road with a Wednesday night matchup at the Nick Smith Centre to face the Arnprior Packers, then on Sunday in Richmond to take on the Royals, before two weeks off with game 1 of the Martin Division Quater-Final series slated for March 9th at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena. Catch all the action at mixlr.com/OWGKradio and on Hockey TV.