Recorder & Times – Tim Ruhnke
The Brockville Braves continue to be a work in progress.
Brockville hosts Kanata at the Memorial Centre on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Lasers have six wins in seven games. Entering week four of the CCHL regular season, the Braves have a record of 3-2-2 and are fourth in the Robinson Division standings.
“Right now, I’m a little pleased with where we’re at,” head coach Randy Jones said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve shown signs of what we can do.”
In addition to working on elements such as the speed game, transitions, defensive-zone coverage and odd-man rushes in practices this week, Jones is emphasizing work ethic to the players and the need for them to maximize their effort for the full 60 minutes.
“You can’t take a shift off, you can’t take a practice off, you can’t take a period off… and if you do, it can come back to haunt you,” the coach said.
A big concern for Jones is Brockville’s special teams play. The Braves’ penalty-kill success rate is just 76.7 per cent after seven games, which was 10th in the 12-team league as of Thursday.
Brockville was playing “some great hockey” in Ottawa on Saturday night but let the Jr. Senators back into the game because of some “unfortunate” penalties the team would like to have back, according to Jones.
“The best way to look after your PK is to get rid of some unneeded penalties,” the coach remarked.
“Special teams can make or break you,” said Jones, who wants to address the situation now rather than waiting until later in the season.
Brockville’s power-play success rate of 17.4 per cent was seventh in the league as of Thursday. The team gave up two short-handed goals in its first six games.
Brockville was also seventh in the league in penalty minutes.
The Braves have one shootout win and two overtime losses in their first seven games. They’ve all been competitive games and there haven’t been any blowouts, which Jones said makes for a fun league and a fun season. That should also help the players understand the importance of work ethic and giving everything they can each and every shift, according to the coach.
Kanata received an honourable mention in the CJHL national top 10 Jr. A rankings released earlier this week.
Original Story at Recorder.ca