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Braves defeat CCHL’s top team – Recorder & Times

Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times

The game was a lot closer than the final score might suggest.

The Brockville Braves and Carleton Place Canadians were scoreless through the first 48 minutes of their CCHL game on Sunday afternoon. The second-place Braves managed to outscore the first-place Canadians 4-1 the rest of the way and pick up a road victory.

Matthew Shanklin gave Brockville a 1-0 lead at 8:41 of the third period; it was his third goal of the season. Justin McRae’s 21st goal of the year on a power play at 16:02 made it 2-0.

Brett Thorne cut the lead in half just over a minute later, and Carleton Place pulled its goalie with about 1:40 left in regulation. Parker Casey’s empty-netter and eighth goal of the year gave the Braves a two-goal lead at 18:46. The Canadians pulled their goalie again a short time later, but Mathieu Wuth sealed the deal by getting Brockville’s second empty-netter of the afternoon with 31 seconds on the clock. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Carleton Place outshot Brockville, although shot totals were unavailable. Braves goaltender Jake Begley was named first star; teammate Shanklin was second star. The third star went to Austin Mourar of Carleton Place.

The Braves got back to basics in the third period and started shooting the puck, Brockville head coach Randy Jones said on Monday. Brockville continued to play strong defence and was able to capitalize on a couple of opportunities, according to the coach.

“It was a great team effort,” said Jones, who noted that the Braves’ PK withstood five-on-three chances by the Canadians in the second period and sparked some energy for the visitors.

The victory pulled the Braves (30-9-3-2) to within 14 points of the Canadians; Brockville still has four games in hand on Carleton Place. The Braves are 18 points up on third-place Pembroke.

Brockville was shut out by the Hawks 3-0 in Hawkesbury on Friday night. Antoine Bourdeau made 37 saves in his return to the Braves. Mathieu Chenier stopped all 35 Brockville shots to earn the shutout for the Hawks.

“I didn’t think we were hungry enough on the offensive side,” said Jones.

“We didn’t really test him a whole lot,” said the Braves coach, who gave Chenier and the Hawks credit for playing a good game.

Hawkesbury has won 12 of its last 14.

“It was one of those games, but I was definitely happy to see the bounce-back in yesterday’s performance and effort,” Jones said in reference to the win in Carleton Place.

Brockville takes on the Jr. Senators (23-20-2) in Ottawa on Wednesday night. The Sens are third in the Yzerman Division. The Braves will be home to the Lumber Kings (22-19-2-1) on Friday night.

Brockville is back in the CJHL’s Jr. A top 20 in Canada. The Braves are ranked 19th in this week’s list announced on Monday; Brockville was an honourable mention last week after falling from 18th place.

Carleton Place is ranked fifth this week, down a notch from the previous list. No other CCHL teams have made the list since early in the season.

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