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Braves Shutout 4-0 by Hawkesbury – R&T

Recorder & Times – Jonathon Brodie

The Brockville Braves lost 4-0 to the Hawkesbury Hawks on Friday at the Memorial Centre, adding to a stretch of games where coach Jesse Winchester hasn’t been impressed with his team.

“We know we’re going to play well against (first-place) Carleton Place and (second-place) Ottawa and we’re excited for those,” said Winchester. “That’s not to disrespect to Hawkesbury because they’re a really good team. Their power play is lethal and (Hawks coach Richard Dorval) has got them going like crazy and they’re a really good team — but we didn’t have the same jump as we did last Saturday (in a 2-1 win against Ottawa). I have no reason for that.”

Brockville didn’t have the bounces going their way Friday.

Hawkesbury opened the scoring just over a minute into the game on their first shot when defenceman Colin Stevens tripped while shooting just inside the blue line, letting off an awkward shot that went through Justin Evenson’s pads.

The next goal came at the end of the first period and was off a soft shot by Zachary Fournier that was tipped by Braves defenceman Simon Kerr when the puck skipped over his stick.

The Hawks added two more goals in the second period, just 47 seconds apart. Both goals bounced off Evenson’s chest and onto the sticks of Hawkesbury players for easy follow-up goals.

“I believe in puck luck, but I believe you make your own luck too,” said Winchester. “We missed checks on pretty much every goal, so whether they’re unlucky or not there are some things we have to be accountable for and I’m not going to use (puck luck) as an excuse.”

The loss gives the Braves just two wins in their last five games. It’s a tough pill to swallow for a club that showed more strength than weakness when they won seven of eight before running into this mediocre stretch.

The Braves have played against Hawkesbury for 120 minutes this season and have taken 71 shots and they have nothing to show for it on the scoreboard with back-to-back shutouts.

Those numbers don’t bother Winchester, though. He believes his team can score.

What’s concerning to him is the fact Brockville has put up two “duds” against the Hawks.

“We’re two months in. We can only use that so much in the first month and we’re still only winning half our games,” said Winchester when asked about his team being so young and new to junior hockey and that have an influence on the Braves record. “Some guys are going to have to start taking some steps.”

The Braves will travel to Rockland on Sunday to take on the Nationals at 2:30 p.m.
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