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Braves blank Hawks to win game three – R&T

Recorder & Times Staff

They were outshot again, but they managed to pick up an important victory on the road.

The Brockville Braves edged the Hawkesbury Hawks 1-0 on Wednesday night to win game three of their CCHL semi-final playoff series. Ryan Bonfield scored at 11:37 of the third period to break the scoreless tie; it was his fourth goal of the post-season.

The Hawks had jumped out to an 11-0 edge in shots to start the game. The Braves had two power plays later in the period but were unable to capitalize. Shots were 12-8 for Hawkesbury at intermission.

Brockville ran into penalty trouble in the second period, which included a lengthy five-on-three for the Hawks. However, the Braves managed to kill off the four penalties and remain in a scoreless tie through two periods. Shots in the second were 16-10 in favour of Hawkesbury.

The Hawks led 11-7 in shots in the penalty-free third period and outshot the Braves 39-25 for the game but could not get one past Brockville goalie Sami Molu.

“He’s been fantastic for us these playoffs,” Braves head coach Randy Jones said Thursday morning.

Not allowing the Hawks to score during that five-on-three in the second period provided a big momentum shift, according to Jones. “The killers came up huge,” he said in an interview.

The Braves then “found an opportunity,” capitalized on it and secured the final nine minutes of the game, the head coach noted. “There’s times in the playoffs when you’re not going to get a whole lot of chances,” Jones stated. “When you do, you’ve got to make sure they count, and we were able to do that in the third.”

Hawkesbury captain Mark Cooper was named first star of the game. Second star went to Molu. Hawks goalie Matthew Tovell made 24 saves and was named third star.

Attendance at the Robert Hartley arena was 295.

Trailing 2-1 in the series, Brockville will host game four Friday night at 7:30.

Game five will be in Hawkesbury Saturday night.

In the other CCHL semi-finals, Ottawa took a 2-1 series lead with a 2-1 victory at home Wednesday night. Game four is in Renfrew Friday night.

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