Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
The Brockville Braves’ roster looks a bit different from when the regular season opened four weeks ago.
The Braves will take on the Smiths Falls Bears at the Brockville Memorial Centre on Friday night; puck drops just after 7:30. Brockville (4-3-3) is fourth in the six-team Robinson Division; Smiths Falls (2-6-0-1) is in last place, six points behind Brockville. Carleton Place is 13 points up on the Braves; the Canadians won 12 of their first 13 games to lead the division and the league.
Brockville announced multiple moves late last week. Among them was a trade with Cornwall that saw now-former Braves assistant captain Tyler McBay go to the Colts in exchange for Konnor MacCormick. The left-winger has picked up at least one point in each of his first three games with Brockville, including a goal in his initial appearance last Friday.
Braves head coach Randy Jones described MacCormick, 20, as a “dynamic” and “hard-nosed” player who can handle all aspects of the game.
“Brings a lot of life, brings a lot of emotion to the team,” he said in an interview Thursday
Jones added that it’s never easy losing a “leader” and “great, great person” like McBay, but the Braves have a lot depth on the blueline and had a need up front.
“You have to look at the team,” said the Brockville coach, who indicated it is unfortunate that the team had to let go a “great player” in McBay.
Early-summer acquisition Cody Bruchkowski was sent to the Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior league late last week in return for a player development fee. Bruchkowski, 20, scored five goals and an assist in seven regular-season games with the Braves.
The Brockville coach said it’s never easy losing a player who can put up points like Bruchkowski. However, Jones indicated the Braves have several young forwards who need ice time.
Bruchkowski, who hails from northwestern Ontario, had been part of the three-team transaction that resulted in CCHL Goaltender of the Year Liam Souliere ending up in Victoria.
Brockville signed a pair of free-agent forwards late last week: Matthew Donovan, 18, and Rayce Jacobs, 19. Coach Jones referred to them as “energy guys” who should be great additions to the team. The Braves also activated left-winger Mathieu Halle a week ago; he scored a goal and picked up an assist in the Hawkesbury game Tuesday night.
The Braves outshot the Hawks but ended up losing in overtime 6-5. Jones indicated that Brockville came out “a bit flat” on Tuesday, adding that Hawkesbury has a good power-play unit. The Braves played with character and got back into the game. Brockville had a lot of zone pressure but was unable to capitalize on its opportunities in overtime, according to the coach.
“We’re still a work in progress,” stated Jones, who spoke of building confidence and trying to become a more consistent team. “It’s fun to watch the boys strive to take that next step.”
Brockville will play the Raiders at the Nepean Sportsplex on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Original Story @ Recorder.ca