Jonathon Brodie – Recorder & Times
The Brockville Braves are skating with ease in what is supposed to be a difficult month for them as they’ve started February with four straight wins and have outscored their opponents 21-8.
Despite winning 6-4, Friday was probably the Braves toughest test this month as they not only had to take on the Pembroke Lumber Kings, but they had to battle themselves and their own mistakes as they sent out their penalty kill units eight times and gave up three goals when down a man.
The Braves have been assessed eight penalties or more in just four other games this season and only twice have they given up three power play goals.
“The message on the door in the room before the game was staying disciplined and don’t let (Pembroke’s) power play roll because they got some guys who know how to play,” said Braves Jesse Winchester. “We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, but we had some great efforts on the penalty kill. I thought (Eric) Faith was phenomenal. I thought (Frederick) Allaire stepped in and was great.”
By no means did Friday’s game look like a matchup between a Brockville team battling for third place and a Pembroke club sitting in seventh just inside the post-season rankings.
“Pembroke has a lot of talent and they know how to produce offence. They play us tight and they play us tough,” said Winchester. “I believe they’re a strong team, stronger than their record.”
The goals in the first period came quick and in bunches, leading to a 3-3 tie after 20 minutes. Braves captain Andrew Jarvis scored the games opening goal 48 seconds in. Thirty-six seconds later the Lumber Kings tied it up.
Braves Eric Holland scored six minutes after the opening puck drop and things settled down a bit before heating up again with three goals in three consecutive minutes — two back-to-back by Pembroke and a shorthanded marker by Holland.
Holland earned player of the week honours for his performance last week and he made a case for himself to receive the honour again. Andrew Jarvis gave the Braves the lead in the third minute of the second period before Holland extended his hot streak eight minutes later with his second hat-trick in the last week.
Holland has now scored eight goals in the last four games.
“(Holland) is flying, obviously,” said Winchester. “I had to talk to the line (Holland, Mike McArthur, and Jordie Jefferson) because they were getting a little too cute there at one point, but their success comes from playing the right way. Playing hard, flying, and making plays when they’re there. They don’t have to force stuff.”
Not to be out done, Jarvis, who only had five goals last season, completed a hat-trick of his own in the third period to net his 12th goal of the season. He accumulated just 14 goals in the three seasons prior.
Things only get busier for the Braves from here on out as they are now in the thick of their schedule with 10 games in 19 days.
Brockville will host the Smiths Falls Bears in their next game on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Original Story at Recorder.ca