Recorder & Times – Jonathon Brodie
The Brockville Braves answered their coach’s call before the third period Friday as they went on to beat the Kanata Lasers 5-3 at the Memorial Centre.
A rough night got rougher for the Braves the previous evening. After losing 3-2 to the Lasers on the road Thursday, the team’s bus broke down on their trip back home and players had to check-in to a hotel wand didn’t get into bed until about 4 a.m., said Braves coach Jesse Winchester. The next morning didn’t get much easier as the team scrambled for rides to get home.
With everything that happened in the 24 hours leading into Friday’s matchup, Brockville played a pretty even-tempo game in the opening two periods and were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes. Going into the final period, Winchester said he addressed Thursday’s tumultuous events and told his team the last 20 minutes of regulation would, “Define us in a way because our backs were a little against the wall.”
If that’s the case and the final frame is a telling-point as to the kind of team the Braves are then Brockville might be in good hands heading forward.
The Braves opened the third period with two goals in just over five minutes starting with newcomer Adam Church making a pretty pass to Philippe Gilmour to score his team-high ninth goal of the year. It was followed up by Adam Van Ettinger streaking down the right side and wiring a shot past goalie Joe Marcouiller three minutes later.
Kanata kept things tight with a goal of their own, but Brockville’s Nicholas Hawkins extended the lead back to two goals when he put a wrist shot between Marcouiller’s pads while the Braves were on a power play.
Braves Mike McArthur, who scored a goal in the first period, put the finishing touches on the game when he beat JJ Boucher in a race to a loose puck and scored an empty-netter.
When the final horn blew, Brockville picked up 25 of their 51 shots in the third period. They also scored four goals in a single period and they had only scored four goals in an entire game just once in their previous five matchups.
“We just gutted out and I’m happy with a lot of the efforts,” said Winchester. “We used everybody tonight and we got efforts from everybody.”
You could say this was a different Braves team from the one that hit the Memorial Centre ice last Friday.
There were four players in Brockville’s lineup that weren’t with the team a week ago with forwards Tyson Kirkby, Nicolas Vlahos and Church, and defenceman Hunter Fraser all joining the roster.
“Big efforts up and down the lineup and it’s important and hopefully it’s a stepping stone for us especially with the new faces (general manage Dustin Traylen) brought in,” said Winchester. “We needed something to gel and hopefully this is that.”
The Brave travel to Kemptville on Sunday to take on the 73s, which is the team Kirkby spent four seasons with before getting traded to Brockville on Tuesday.
Original Story at Recorder.ca