Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
There was still daylight when fans of the home team left the building happy.
The Brockville Braves edged the Smiths Falls Bears 2-1 in a rare 11-o’clock puck drop at the Memorial Centre on Wednesday. The Braves now have four regulation wins and two shootout losses since the Christmas break.
Corson Green opened the scoring for Brockville on a power play at 6:31 of the second period; it was his second goal since signing with the team last month. Josh Barnes, who came from Cornwall last week in the trade that sent Sam Allison to the Colts, picked up his first goal for Brockville and fourth of the season less than a minute later.
The Bears cut the lead in half late in the middle frame. A power-play goal from Ryan Richardson 32 seconds before intermission made it 2-1.
Smiths Falls pulled its goaltender with about one minute left in regulation. Brockville came close to scoring an empty-netter, and the Braves managed to hang on for the one-goal victory.
“It was an up-and-down game,” said Brockville head coach Randy Jones, who got back to town in the middle of the night after serving as assistant coach in the CJHL Prospects Game in Hamilton on Tuesday night.
“We did some good things, but we also got back to some old habits… getting away from our speed game,” stated Jones, who added that is something that the team will have to fix moving forward.
Brockville goaltender Jake Begley made 30 saves and was named first star of the game. The Braves outshot the Bears 33-31. Justin McRae, who assisted on both Brockville goals, was named second star. Richardson received the third star.
Attendance at the Memorial Centre was listed at 252; the crowd included dozens of students from Fulford Academy and St. Lawrence Academy.
Brockville (29-8-3-2) remains in second place in the CCHL’s Robinson Division, 18 points ahead of third-place Pembroke (which is where Allison ended up after being traded to the Colts). The Braves are 14 points behind Carleton Place, although Brockville has four games in hand on the Canadians.
The Braves do not have a home game on Friday night; instead, Brockville will travel to Hawkesbury for a 7:30 start against the Hawks (24-16-2), who are second in the Yzerman Division. The Braves will then visit Carleton Place on Sunday afternoon.
Jones expects that Brockville goaltender Antoine Bourdeau will soon be seeing game action. He was with the Braves last season and rejoined the team last week in a trade that sent netminder Aidan Hosein to the Markham Royals. Bourdeau picked up 15 wins while with Brockville in 2018-2019 and had a goals-against average of 2.50.
“I know he did some great things for them last year,” noted Jones, who joined the Braves this summer. In describing Bourdeau as a great and reliable goaltender, the coach indicated that the returnee will push Begley and Simon Harkness – the other goalie on the Brockville roster – to keep performing at a high level.
“We’re definitely anxious to get him into a game,” Jones said of Bourdeau.
Hosein, who is from Oakville, was 3-1 in five games with the Braves and had a goals-against of 1.74. The coach wished him all the best, adding that Hosein was a good goaltender for Brockville “and an even better person.”
Original story at Recorder.ca