Ottawa, Ontario – The Winchester Hawks will host the Ottawa Jr. Canadians in game one of the best of three Martin Division Wild Card series on Friday March 18th 2022 inside the Winchester Community Centre.
Schedule: Winchester (26-13-3) vs Ottawa (16-26-0)
Game 1: Friday March 18th @ 8:15pm – Winchester Community Centre
Game 2: Saturday March 19th @ 7:20pm – Earl Armstrong Arena
Game 3: Tuesday March 22nd @ 8:45pm – Winchester Community Arena
Winchester won the season series over Ottawa 4-2. Winchester is the third seed and Ottawa is the sixth seed.
October 12th: Winchester 3, Ottawa 1
October 29th: Ottawa 4, Winchester 3
November 9th: Ottawa 3, Winchester 2 (SO)
November 12th: Winchester 3, Ottawa 1
November 30th: Winchester 4, Ottawa 1
March 2nd: Winchester 5, Ottawa 0
Winchester’s Keys to Victory:
The Winchester Hawks were one of the hottest teams during the second half of the season by winning 12 games in the last 14 games to end off the regular season. Head Coach of the Winchester Hawks Bob Gould is very proud of the team on what they have done all season.
“Two nice wins to finish the season in a home & home vs Char-Lan, but more proud finishing the regular season by going on a seven game winning streak, then at a high level going 12-1-1 in our last 14 games was great. We had a slow start to the year with a lot of new faces, then no ice at home for a month too plus other things. I’m very happy how we progressed and the boys all came together.”
Winchester had a lot of depth on this team. Gould mentioned that no players on this team finished in the top 20 in the points category.
“I believe we are very deep, considering no scorers in the top 20 so we do it by committee & team of course which gives me a chance to roll four lines most nights & still compete. Roles are very important, which all of our guy bought into and seem to understand which is vital in building a winning team and culture within our program and organization. This is big for me and have been working on it for a few years now,” said Gould.
Ric Shin and Kyle Filion were traded in the off season that dealt them both from Ottawa West to Winchester for Marco Haw. It turns out, the deal was a huge piece to the puzzle for Winchester. Both of the them finished the season with 33 points. Noel de Kemp was also acquired in a deal from OJC before the trade deadline in January and ended the season with 26 points. He had 16 points in 19 games while with Winchester.
Colby Scroeder was the captain for Winchester this season and ended up with 28 points during his final season in junior hockey. Nate Supryka played terrific hockey during his first season with Winchester picking up 28 points. The most important key for Winchester was defense and goaltending.
“Our young defense were all given a chance early to show what they could do in all situations. The profession has been just great as the trust & confidence is their now as they know what it takes to play junior hockey now. A big part of that goes to our associate coach Grahame Hughes who works very closely with the defense and goalies,” said Gould.
Daniel Beauchemin had 24 points and Shane Moodie had 19 points during their first season with Winchester. Luberto, Woods Craig, Kostrzewa and Tapp were also terrific on defense when they needed to be during the regular season.
Justin Lee is in his final season of junior hockey and was terrific in between the pipes. He played in 26 games, went 17-7, with three shutouts, had a 2.45 GAA / .940 SV%. On the other hand, Xavier Duablon went 9-6 in 18 games, recorded a 2.56 GAA / .936 SV. Both goalies for Winchester were big as they needed to be.
“I think that if we use our speed and physicality against OJC, we should be fine. We now need to match their hard work with their younger group now. I also believe that our depth, defense and goaltending should be a big factor as well. It will be a great experience for us as only three guys on our roster have played in the league playoffs previously but we feel were well prepared.” said Gould on keys to victory.
Ottawa Keys to Victory:
The Ottawa Jr. Canadians made it into the playoffs for the fourth straight season and had to do it on the last day of the regular season against Embrun. Ottawa had 16 wins and 15 of them were regulation wins.
Look at the season that the Ottawa Jr. Canadians had, it was an up and down season for the first time since 2016-17. The last three seasons, Ottawa had above .500 records. This time OJC decided to build a younger team. Nicholas Papineau had 15 goals and 25 points, Kelleher had 23 points and Carr had 22 points. The only players that returned on Ottawa this season were Connor Dobson, George Daher, Isaac Kelly, Justin Cox, and Jayden Baptiste.
Dobson only played in 22 games and Daher played in only 19 games. Giuseppe Marino had an impressive season on defense with 15 assists and 19 points. Connor Baillie was solid during his first full season with the team by going 12-14 in 29 games, to go along with a 3.67 GAA / .898 SV% and one shutout. Ian Lee only played in 17 games and had a 4.05 GAA / .895 SV% and one shutout.
If Ottawa wants to win this series, they will need a full lineup, stay out of the penalty box and play very solid defense with great goaltending.
This series is going to come down to speed, physicality and disciplined. Winchester only has a few players that have playoff experience, so a lot of players for Winchester will get to see what it takes to be successful in the playoffs. Ottawa has been playing a lot with short lineups towards the end of the season because of other commitments and injures. OJC needs to stay healthy and compete at a whole different level to win the series.