Volume 12 Week 5

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CJHL Hockey
Grads in trouble after suffering pair of losses to Jr. Sens
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Cumberland Grads are at risk of being handed an early exit from the playoffs after suffering a pair of losses to the Jr. Sens in which they were totally outplayed by the lower seeded team.

The Grads got off to a slow start in Game 3 Thursday night, allowing two goals in the first period that could have easily been prevented. The first was on a seemingly harmless shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Adam Laderoute low to the glove side. The second goal came on a two on one break that was created off a turnover in the Jr. Sens offensive zone.

For the most part, the Grads looked lethargic and disinterested despite the fact they were coming off 3-1 loss to the Jr. Sens in Game 2 that tied the series at a game apiece.

The Grads lack of intensity in the first peiord carried over into the second. As the Jr. Sens continued to press the action, they were rewarded with a goal when Laderoute tried to clear the puck behind the net to Klassen only to have it intercepted by Alex Poitras who then snapped a quick pass out to Andrew Hampton who easily scored on the play.

The Grads finally got on the scoreboard at the 5:13 mark of the third period when Mathieu Ouellette won the puck along the boards behind the Ottawa net and threw it out front to David Pacan who scored into the far side.

The Grads very nearly made it 3-2 moments later, but Ouellette's shot deflected off a Jr. Sens player high over the net. The missed opportunity would loom large after the Jr. Sens re-established their three goal lead 23 seconds later on a goal by Jesse Barbier.

The Grads pulled back to within two goals at the 13:36 mark of the third period when Pacan jumped on a loose puck behind the goal line and passed it out to Gallant who fired a shot into the open net before the Ottawa goalie Niels Erik Ravn knew what what was going on.

Just as it looked as if the Grads might be able to pull a rabbit out of their helmets, the Jr. Sens scored with 2:21 left in the game to regain their three goal advantage and wipe out any hope the Grads may have had about staging a comeback.

The Grads will have 48 hours to get their act together before the series resumes at the Jim Durrell Centre on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Depending on how the game goes the Grads will return to Navan for Game 5 on Sunday with series either tied or down three games to one.

(Posted 12:30 p.m., March 13)

 

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