Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
It’s another challenge for the Brockville Braves.
The Jr. A Braves are preparing to play the league-leading Jr. Senators in Ottawa on Wednesday night. Brockville (12-6-0-2) is sixth overall in the 12-team CCHL, seven points behind Ottawa (16-3-0-1).
Ottawa is ranked 5th on this week’s CJHL Top 20 list of Jr. A teams in Canada.
“We’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game,” Braves head coach Randy Jones said in an interview. “We’ll have our hands full.”
In their most recent match-up on Nov. 6, the visiting Braves were shut out by the Jr. Senators 4-0. “They took it to us the last game in their barn,” remarked Jones. “We’re going to have to have a much better effort, much better compete level than we did that night.”
In the teams’ season-opener in Brockville on Sept. 24, the Jr. Senators edged the Braves 5-4.
Brockville received a boost on the weekend from their new goaltender, Sami Molu. He had a save percentage of .955 and allowed just three goals in 125 minutes in wins against Cornwall and Renfrew on consecutive nights. Molu received an honourable mention in CCM Hockey’s Player of the Week award.
“I though he played solid both nights,” said the Brockville bench boss, who pointed out that the recent arrival fared well being thrown right into the mix after a few practices with the Braves. “It was good to see.”
Jones, a former NHL defenceman, noted that the Brockville blueliners were solid in front of Molu by moving the puck well, blocking shots and “…trying to make his life as easy as possible.”
The Braves and Wolves were tied in the standings going into the game in Renfrew. Brockville’s Pat Lanthier scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Braves a 3-2 victory.
“It was a hard-fought game from the start. I’m very proud of the boys the way they competed,” Jones said. “They kept their composure and battled all the way to the end.”
Brockville will host Rockland at the Memorial Centre on Friday night at 7:30.
Original Story at Recorder.ca