Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
There’s a reason why the CJHL has taken note of the Brockville Braves.
The Jr. A team cracked the Canadian Jr. A Top 20 rankings on Monday after the Braves won their 11th game in a row – a 4-3 shootout win in Rockland – on Sunday afternoon. Brockville remains in second place in the CCHL’s Robinson Division standings but has built up an eight-point lead over third-place Kanata.
It was a back-and-forth game in Rockland on Sunday. After the Nationals opened the scoring at 12:45 of the first period, Josh Cole’s first goal of the season tied the game at 12:45. Brockville grabbed the lead late in the period on Troy Bowditch’s eighth goal of the year. Rockland made it 2-2 in the second period, but Konnor MacCormick gave the Braves a 3-2 lead at 4:26 of the third on his sixth goal of the season. Cole Craft’s second of the game made it 3-3.
After a scoreless overtime, Brockville won the shootout 2-1 to pick up the extra point and the victory. Ryan Gillespie and Bowditch were successful on their shootout attempts.
The Nationals outshot the Braves 44-33 during the three periods and overtime. Jake Begley picked up the win in net for Brockville and was named first star. Second and third stars went to Craft and Bowditch respectively.
Brockville had extended its winning streak into double digits with a 5-2 win at home against the Ottawa Jr. Senators on Friday night.
Will Torriani’s fifth goal of the season gave the Braves a 1-0 lead at 14:17 of the first period. Ottawa’s Ethan Mulhearn evened the score at 2:47 of the second. Josh Spratt restored Brockville’s lead at 6:48; the power-play marker was Spratt’s seventh goal of the year.
The back-and-forth play continued, as Tucker McIntosh made it 2-2 at 18:39 of the middle frame. Spratt’s second goal of the game 21 seconds later gave the Braves the lead again and would prove to be the winner. Justin McRae and MacCormick assisted on both of Spratt’s goals.
Alex Lachapelle’s second goal of the season made it 4-2 for Brockville at 6:36 of the third period. Braves captain Simon Kerr padded the home team’s lead with his seventh of the year at 14:25; it was an empty-netter.
The Braves outshot the Jr. Senators 30-24. Begley picked up the win in net for Brockville.
Spratt, McRae and Mulhearn were named first, second and third stars respectively. Attendance at the Memorial Centre was listed at 375.
Brockville (18-4-3) takes on Ottawa in a showcase game in Carleton Place on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Braves host Navan Friday night.
Brockville was ranked 18th in Canada by the CJHL on Monday. Carleton Place was eighth. They are the only CCHL teams in the Top 20 this week.
Begley, Kerr, Spratt, McRae and MacCormick were on the Robinson roster for the CCHL all-star game in Ottawa Monday night. Brockville bench boss Randy Jones was one of the assistant coaches.
Original Story at Recorder.ca