Playoff Preview: Casselman vs. Ottawa West

By: Dante De Caria


Ottawa, Ontario – The Casselman Vikings will host the Ottawa West Golden Knights in game one of their best of seven Martin Division Semi-Final on Sunday March 3rd inside the Jr. Brisson Sports Complex.

Schedule: Casselman (32-9-3) vs. Ottawa West (29-13-2)

Game 1 Sunday March 3 Casselman 7:30 pm

Game 2 Monday March 4th BAS 7:20 pm

Game 3 Thursday March 7 Casselman 7:30 pm

Game 4 Saturday March 9th BAS 7:20 pm

Game 5 Tuesday March 12 Casselman 7:30 pm

Game 6 Thursday March 14th BAS 7:20 pm

Game 7 Saturday March 16 Casselman 7:30 pm

This series is expected to go down to the wire. Both teams are well coached and have a lot of talent, but just from looking at each roster, you can see that these teams are the not same as they were in the past. Both had dominate veterans that controlled the game every night, but this year, Casselman and Ottawa West are very balanced from top to bottom. The Casselman Vikings finished the season in the second seed, while the Ottawa West Golden Knights ended as the third seed. Just seven points separated them in the standings.

Casselman won the season series 3-1, outscoring Ottawa West 17-to-9. The last time these two teams met, it was on February 14th, and the Vikings beat the Golden Knights 6-3.

The Vikings Keys to Victory:

Vikings Assistant Coach Geoff Seguin simply said that they will need all of their veteran players to step it up and that they will need to stay discipline. It’s simple, but it works because Casselman has consistently relied on their veteran players in the playoffs over the years. Without Sebastien Plante leading the way for the first time in their five year run, Joel Hunt is going to have to be the main guy up front while Gabriel Rousselle and Brady Cloutier will need to step it up defensively. In net, Seguin said that they’re going to go with the hot hand, because they have a “1 A / 1 B” situation with two very good goaltenders.

Seguin added that this series will not disappoint the fans, as things will be hot once the puck drops in game one. The Vikings have had the Golden Knights number in the regular season and in the playoffs over the years. Casselman’s Head Coach Michel Ruest has always found a way to beat Ottawa West, especially in the post-season. They have lost just one game at home against Ottawa West since 2015-16 and are 9-5 against them during that time. No one except Casselman knows what the secret to that is. One thing that is certain is that they’ll need to play physical in their own barn.

The Golden Knights Keys to Victory:

The Golden Knights have been swept by the Vikings in the playoffs in two of the last three years and are now meeting in the post-season for the third time in four years and for the fourth time in six years. The only thing that has not changed is the coaches as Steve Sundin and gone at it with Michel Ruest for many years.

Ottawa West Head Coach Steve Sundin says the Golden Knights must stay out of the penalty box, play well on special teams (especially PK), have good goaltending and to play with urgency in order to win the series. Sundin also added that they cannot get intimidated by the Vikings and must keep their emotions in check throughout the series.

Their road games will be key, because if they can’t win on the road, they’re toast. In order to win a playoff series, you must win in the other teams barn. That’s going to be a big key in this series because the Jr. Brisson Sports Complex is a tough rink to play in. The Golden Knights must match their physicality and stay out of their mind games in order to win the series.

Sundin says that they must role all four lines and that the whole roster must step it up. Outside of that, the main key to the series is Miguel Daoust. He is a “money goalie” that can steal a playoff game away in a second. In 2016-17, he almost backstopped the Clarence Beavers to a series win over the Golden Knights, and this time around, Ottawa West is hoping he can do that against Casselman. Upfront, the Golden Knights veterans players – Lucas Brown, Andrew MacKinnon and Daniel Stratis muust lead the younger players.

The Verdict: 

The Vikings have the Golden Knights number over the last two years, but that’s not going to stop this series from being close. Both teams are well coached and have a lot of depth. This series will come down to the wire, and will need at least one or two heroes. Fans won’t be surprised if it goes to seven games.

All games will be broadcast on radio, here: