Ottawa, Ontario – Wednesday February 27th, the Carleton Place Jr Canadians will host the Renfrew Timberwolves in game one of their best of three Wild Card Series.
Schedule: Carleton Place (25-16-3) vs. Renfrew (21-20-2)
GM 1 – Wednesday February 27/19 @ 8:15PM – @ Carleton Place
GM 2 – Friday March 1/19 @ 8:00PM – @ Renfrew
GM 3 – Saturday March 2/19 @ 8:15PM – @ Carleton Place *If necessary
This matchup will be a very entertaining playoff series for the fans, players and coaches. These teams have met in the post-season before, as last year, Carleton Place won in seven games. Only difference is that they were were the 1st seed in the Richardson Division. The Canadians will have home ice advantage for the second consecutive year because they are the fourth seed. Renfrew are the fifth seed. Nine points separated them in the Richardson Division.
During the season series, the Canadians tied it 2-2 after beating them 4-1 in the second final day of the season. Overall, Carleton Place outscored Renfrew 13-to-11.
December 7th: Carleton Place 4, Renfrew 3 (OT)
January 12th: Renfrew 5, Carleton Place 4 (SO)
February 8th: Renfrew 2, Carleton Place 1
February 23rd: Carleton Place 4, Renfrew 1
Carleton Place’s keys to victory:
The number one key is that the Carleton Place Jr Canadians need to stay out of the penalty box. Last year in Game 3, there was a line brawl that resulted in suspensions. Carleton Place Head Coach Trevor Peters says that we need to play to our identity and stay in control of our emotions. The Timberwolves have a very strong power play, which ranks 4th (19.4%) in the league this season, and can take over if the Canadians are not careful.
Peters also talks about who needs to step it up in this series. “There are a few areas of focus but generally speaking we need the team to step up as a group. We’ve been through some adversity of late and we are using that as fuel, which will be important.” They’ve been also dealing with injuries since the new year. Jake Code still remains on the injured reserved list and missed the remaining 11 games of the season. It’s a tough pill to swallow but if he is healthy by tonight then it will be good news for the team.
Owen Bennett has been a top goaltender in the CCHL2 in his first year. The Georgetown, Ontario native posted a 2.48 GAA / .909 SV%, only facing 30+ shots on 10 of his 29 games. He won two 40+ save games this season. It shows that he can be at his best against very good teams. On the offensive side, the Canadians have two players that were impressive in the season. Those guys are Kyle Lightfoot, James Lister and Brendan Hill. Lightfoot tallied 45 points and had a 13 game point streak earlier in the season while Lister and Hill each recorded over 30 points this season.
Peters also added that this is a different squad than last year.
“Last year was last year, we have a different team this year. It’s interesting in that its earlier in our playoff life but we’ll be ready. We need to be consistent in our execution and while fans might not see it, to me that’s interesting.”
Renfrew’s keys to victory:
The Timberwolves main strength is that they can score. CCHL2 MVP Andrew McIntyre scored 43-goals, 91-points and was a 2.12 points per-game. The team averaged 3.8 goals this season. It won’t be easy with Owen Bennett being in net for the Canadians. Luka Marinic collected 62 points in his final season with the team. Those two will need to carry the offense.
General Manager/Head Coach Brent Sylvester says that McIntyre and Marinic can be the difference but he expects the Canadians to try and contain the two. We will need our depth to pick it up that can support the two.
Sylvester also pointed out a couple things they need to do in this series.
“We will need to match the Canadians work effort on every shift and be aware of their transition game. We also need to pay attention to detail as playoffs is totally different with lack of time and space out on the ice.”
Brad Benvenuti and Johnny Howie each tallied over 20+ points on the backend. Ethan Lapenskie colected 17 wins in 31 games, had a 3.77 GAA and .890 SV%. Sylvester says their goaltending and defense have been playing playoff hockey for a couple of weeks and they feel that they have another gear.
Both teams need to stay out of trouble like last years line brawl. Carleton Place has to stay out of the penalty box and Renfrew needs depth scoring. This series can go anyway because of both teams strengths and weakness. The Timberwolves have a good top six unit, they have experience from last years playoffs. The Canadians have some returning players that made it to the finals last year and have a lot of experience. They have strong goaltending and some depth scoring.