Ottawa, Ontario – The Carleton Place Jr Canadians will host the Athens Aeros in game one of a best of five Richardson Division Semi-Finals series inside the Carleton Place Arena.
Game 1: Saturday March 26th @ 7:30pm – Carleton Place Arena
Game 2: Sunday March 27th @ 2:30pm – Centre 76
Game 3: Wednesday March 30th @ 8:15pm – Carleton Place Arena
*Game 4: Thursday March 31st @ 7:30pm – Centre 76
*Game 5: Friday April 1st @ 7:45pm – Carleton Place Arena
In the season series,
October 3rd: Carleton Place 9, Athens 5
October 9th: Athens 6, Carleton Place 5
November 13th: Carleton Place 5, Athens 4
November 14th: Carleton Place 4, Athens 2
February 12th: Carleton Place 7, Athens 4
February 27th: Athens 2, Carleton Place 1
Carleton Place’s Keys to Victory:
The Carleton Place Jr. Canadians had an amazing season by finishing first place in the Richardson Division for the second time in franchise history. General Manager Norm Racine was very impressed with this success during the regular season.
“Finishing in first place is a huge team accomplishment. The players worked hard down the stretch with a challenging schedule and were able to secure home ice throughout the division playoffs.”
Earlier on during the week, Racine was named the General Manager of the year by the league.
“Winning the GM of the year award was humbling. There are a lot of hard working GM’s in the league and to be recognized by my peers is amazing. I certainly could not have won that award without the team we have in place in CP. From our owner, coaches, players, to our u18s program everyone has a piece of that award.”
The team had a lot of success during a long 2021-22 season. With the shut down that happened for a month and a half, Carleton Place was facing with a big task coming from the break by playing close to 20 games down the stretch between February to mid-March. Carleton Place had lots of depth with Sean Ireland (46 PTS), Swyer (42 PTS), Dickey (33 PTS), Smetham (32 PTS), Bouwer (30 PTS) and many more young players that played throughout the season.
“Our team is built on speed and depth. We roll four lines and every line is capable of doing damage on the scoresheet. All year long different players have stepped up they playoffs won’t be anything different,” said Racine on the forward group.
The defense and goaltending also became a big factor during the season by only allowing 108 goals against, which is third in the EOJHL for the least goals allowed.
“Defense and Goaltending were a huge success during the regular season. Veteran goaltender Brad Mitchel had a standout year and rookie goaltender Jackson Pundyk proved he is ready to play at a higher level. On the blue line we have depth from our veteran’s Landon Brooks and Brennan Boyce to rookies Owen Colter and Ethan Wallace. All our defenseman have improved since day one and each has stepped up his when called on,” said Racine.
Mitchell was 13-3 in 17 games, to go along with one shutout, 2.06 GAA / .932 SV%, while Rookie goaltender Jackson Pundyk went 15-3-1 in 20 games, with one shutout, 2.93 GAA / .908 SV%. Owen Colter leads all Carleton Place defenders with 27 points while Boyce had 22 points on the back end. Brookes, Peleso, Wallace, Seibert and Howard all had a tremendous year on defense.
Racine comments on what the keys to victory against Athens.
“The keys to victory against a more experienced team like Athens is to play our game. Stick to the script set out by our coaching staff, use our speed and stay out of the penalty box. If we do that we should be successful.
Athens Keys to Victory:
The Athens Aeros recently defeating Westport in two games and only allowed four goals during the series. Head Coach Michael ‘Bundy’ Seed was pleased about the team performance in the two games.
“In our win against Westport, I was very impressed with our team defense. I thought our D was very solid, and made good decisions by moving pucks out of the zone quick. I also thought our forwards did a great job keeping a guy high which eliminated odd man rushes and helped our D out. Kaleb Griffin was also very good and made key saves when called upon.”
Rhett Palmer and Andrew Sprague leads the way by each collecting five points against Westport while Ty Nicholson and Connor Manderson had four points. The other goal scorers in a short series were Johnston and Gray. Griffin had a 2.00 GAA / .926 SV% as well. Another part of Athens moving on is their special teams.
“Our special teams were very good. We had six power play goals in two games was definitely the big difference. Our PP has been very solid for the past month. PK was good as well, only gave up one goal on the PP,” said Seed on special teams.
Seed mentioned that the depth was another big factor of this series.
“Our depth played a huge role in our series. We were able to roll four lines steady all series, our role players have really stepped up over the last 10 games. Everyone has stepped up and every kid has bought into a team first mentality.”
Seed says the keys to victory once again will be to keep using our depth. Discipline and hard work are also a must for us to be successful.
The key in this series for both these teams will be depth and discipline. Carleton Place needs to use their speed and stay out of the box in able to be successful and Athens needs to capitalize on special teams when the opportunity comes.