Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
The Brockville Braves have started the new year on a winning note, earning two victories on the weekend.
The Jr. A Braves defeated the Nepean Raiders 7-1 at the Memorial Centre on Friday night. Brockville had lost its last two games before the Christmas break.
Ryan Gillespie, who received an honourable mention in the CCM Hockey Rookie of the Month for December in the CCHL, gave the home team an early lead 63 seconds into the first period. It was Gillespie’s 13th goal of the season. Josh Spratt made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 7:34 of the opening frame.
Evan Boucher cut the lead in half at 12:44, but Justin McRae’s 20th goal of the season restored Brockville’s two-goal lead at 14:34. The Braves made it 4-1 late in the second period on a power-play goal from Troy Bowditch; it was his 13th goal of the year. Brockville outshot Nepean 32-12 in the first two periods.
Braves defenceman Ben Dirven’s third goal of the season gave the home team a four-goal lead four minutes into the third period. Gillespie’s second of the game made it 6-1 midway through the final frame. Spratt added his second of the game 35 seconds later. Both seconds were power-play goals.
Gillespie and Spratt were named first and third stars of the game respectively. Nepean goaltender Tyler Laureault, who made 44 saves, was named second star. Jake Begley made 14 saves and picked up the win in net for the Braves.
Colin Stacey and Clay Korpi each had three assists for the Braves.
Attendance at the Memorial Centre was listed at 229.
Brockville, which is in second place in the CCHL’s Robinson Division, hit the road on Sunday to take on the Navan Grads, prevailing 5-2.
The two squads were tied at one after the first period, with goals by Brockville’s Simon Kerr and Navan’s Jackson Arcan.
But the Braves roared back in the second with three goals in a stretch of just over five minutes, with Kerr, Parker Casey and Spratt putting the Braves ahead 4-1. The Grades responded later in the second with a goal by Seva Losev.
Braves defenceman Corson Green added another in the third, his first goal of the year.
Green was also named the third start, while Kerr was first and Navan’s Tristan Francis was second.
Aidan Hosein got the win in net for the Braves, while the Grads’ Alex Aslanidis took the loss.
The weekend leaves the Braves (27-8-3) 14 points behind division-leading Carleton Place, with five games in hand.
The Braves and Cornwall Colts will play back-to-back games later this week, in Cornwall on Thursday night and at the Memorial Centre Friday night.
Original Story at Recorder.ca