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Braves keep calm and move on to Game 6 – Recorder & Times

Joanthon Brodie – Recorder & Times

Brockville Braves captain Andrew Jarvis wasn’t nervous going into the third period of Game 5 on Saturday in Ottawa.

His team was trailing the Ottawa Jr. Senators 3-1 after two periods and if the Braves stayed on the wrong side of the scoreboard then it would have been the last period played by a guy who has worn a Brockville jersey for 257 games over the course of five years.

The Braves mindset, said Jarvis, was to force overtime. They came close to almost exceeding those expectations as they ended up putting away four goals in the third period. Brockville would have won the game in regulation had Senators Nick Lalonde not scored with six seconds left in the third.

The late goal wasn’t exactly a letdown and, like Jarvis, everyone remained calm. When the Braves went into the locker-room to wait for overtime, winger Jordi Jefferson yelled out, “Well, we obtained our goal and we’re going to overtime boys,” retold Jarvis.

“We all had a chuckle and it was fine right from there,” added the veteran defenceman.

Brockville didn’t have to wait long to keep the smiles coming. Less than two minutes into overtime the Braves went down the ice on a 4-on-2 rush – almost ironic considering odd-man rushes have killed Brockville for most of the series – and defenceman Zac McMahon put home the winner after a nice feed from Philippe Gilmour to win the game 6-5. The Braves trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Jarvis called the game the wildest matchup he’s ever been a part of since joining the CCHL.

Brockville showed how much fight they still have left in them. Just 24 hours prior to Game 5 the Braves were pummeled in their own arena in Game 4 and coach Jesse Winchester called out his team for not sacrificing enough.

“It reveals character when you’re up against it. It’s a test to see who will go down swinging,” said Winchester. “I think our team found a level within them that they didn’t know they had and they’re going to have to continue to push that hard to get to keep playing hockey this month.”

In Game 5 Brockville looked more like the type of team they’ve been the last few months instead of the out-matched club they at times have shown since starting this semifinal series.

The Braves out-shot the Senators 14-10 in the third period, which was the first time Brockville out-shot Ottawa in a frame the entire series (out of 15 periods). The Braves also found their power play Saturday, going 2-for-4. They were a dismal 1-for-21 the rest of the series.

The odds were stacked against Bockville going into the series and they’re stacked even greater now. If the Braves want to make it to the CCHL final they’ll have to hand the Senators three straight losses, which hasn’t happened to them all season. Game 5 was the first loss. The Braves will be looking for No. 2 on Tuesday at the Memorial Centre in Game 6.

There’s a reason Jarvis wasn’t nervous going into what looked like would be the last 20 minutes of his junior hockey career.

There’s something different about this team, said Jarvis. In past years there were times when he knew the end was near. This year’s Braves squad has a neverquit attitude built in them.

“This year, speaking for myself, I’m 20-years-old and it could have been my last period of junior hockey ever and I just was not nervous whatsoever,” said Jarvis. “I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t nervous. I don’t know why. We just have that type of team, the heart on this team is unbelievable.”

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