Volume 12 Week 5

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CJHL Hockey
Grads on brink of elimination following
2-1 loss in Game 5

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Cumberland Grads are on the brink of elimination in their quarterfinal series against the Jr. Sens after they lost Game 5 on Sunday to give Ottawa a 3-2 series lead.

The Grads evened the series at two games apiece with a decisive 8-1 win at the Jim Durrell Complex on Saturday. They were hoping to put a stranglehold on the series at home on Sunday, but the Jr. Sens had other plans.

After a scoreless first period in which the Grads had to kill off three five on three power play situations, the Jr. Sens managed to get on the scoreboard first when Jeff Carroll was the benefactor of a fat rebound delivered up by Grads goalie Adam Laderoute off a shot from Mitch Bird.

The Grads responded less than two minutes later with a goal from Matthieu Ouellette whose high riser from the top of the left faceoff circle beat Jr. Sens goalie Niels Erik-Ravn.

The score remained tied until the 9:27 mark of the third period when Alex Poitras scored on his own rebound. After taking the initial shot from a sharp angle, Poitras circled around the back of the net and picked up the loose puck on the other side before banging it behind Laderoute.

The Jr. Sens came close to going up 3-2 late in the period but they ran out of real eastate on both occasions. On the first, Maxime Pilon's shot from a sharp angle with Laderoute lying prone on the ice, sailed past the open goal, and on the second, Laderoute easily poked the puck off the stick of Matt White who was set set up down low.

The Grads best chance to send the game into overtime came with a minute left in regulation when Ravn had to make his best save of the contest on a blistering shot from Ouellette. Moments earling Mitch Gallant fired a shot off the corner of the net where the crossbar meets the post.

Cumberland must now win at the Jim Durrell Complex on Wednesday night to force a Game 7 back home at the Navan Arena.

"We just have to do it the hard way now," Grads coach Mark Grady said after the game."We still have lots of confidence in the dressin room. We just have to go out, win Game 6 and bring it back here."

If the Grads want to make their job a little easier they need to stop tying to be perfect around the net. A number of their shots either hit Ravn square in his chest protector or missed the net entirely.

"We need to stop taking shots to try and score and start taking shots to create chances. If we do that the goals will come," says Grady.

Game 6 of the quarterfinal series between the Cumberland Grads and the Ottawa Jr. Senators will take place Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Durrell Complex. The Grads will be hoping to force Game 7 back at the Navan Memorial Arena on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

(Posted 8:30 a.m., March 16)

 

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