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Braves take big lead, lose to Bears in shootout – Recorder & Times

Recorder & Times Staff

The first half of the game went very well for the Brockville Braves.

The Jr. A Braves had a 5-1 lead against the Bears in Smiths Falls on Tuesday night, but the home team scored the next five goals and went on to win 7-6 in a shootout. The loss extends Brockville’s winless streak to four games; the team had started February with five wins in a row.

Troy Bowditch opened the scoring for the Braves at 5:27 of the first; it was his 16th goal of the season. The Bears’ Cade Helmer tied the game midway through the period, but Brockville’s Colin Stacey scored goals 70 seconds apart – his fifth and sixth of the year – to make it 3-1. Bowditch’s second of the night late in the period gave the Braves a three-goal lead, and Ben Dirven’s seventh goal of the season made the score 5-1 at 8:19 of the second.

Cue the Smiths Falls comeback.

Bruce Coltart scored for Smiths Falls on a power play at 17:42. Justin Trudel made it 5-3 67 seconds into the third. Theo Todd’s power-play goal at 7:37 cut the lead to one. Reid Russett tied the game with a power-play marker at 16:04, and then Ryan Richardson gave the Bears their first lead of the night 11 seconds later.

The Braves pulled their goalie and got a power play. Justin McRae scored his 25th of the season with 1:26 left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime. Coltart did not score on a penalty shot midway through the extra frame. Russett was the only one who scored the shootout.

Brockville started the night with the right mentality and game plan and had a strong 20 minutes, head coach Randy Jones said in an interview Wednesday. The Braves got the fifth goal and continued to play well but got into some penalty trouble, Jones noted. “They capitalized,” the coach remarked.

Brockville outshot Smiths Falls 36-30 in the 65 minutes of play before the shootout. Bears goalie Victor Desjardins was named first star; Stacey, who also had two assists, and Bowditch were the second and third stars. Antoine Bourdeau was in net for the Braves.

The point for the overtime loss moved Brockville (35-14-3-5) into a tie with Rockland for the second overall seed in the CCHL. The Braves have a game in hand on the Nationals. Brockville plays in Cornwall on Thursday night.

Smiths Falls (29-22-3-2) is now tied with Pembroke and Ottawa for fifth overall in the league. The top eight advance to the playoffs.

The regular season is scheduled to end March 8.

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