Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, July 25


 

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CJHL Hockey
Grads fail to matriculate to second round of CJHL playoffs
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

For the sixth time in their last six trips to the playoffs, the Cumberland Grads have failed to make it past the first round.

The Grads were swept from the playoffs by the Brockville Braves Wednesday night after given up a two-goal third period lead for the second time in the series.

Playing for the second time in two nights, the Grads managed to build up a 4-1 advantage with 5:54 left in the second period, before the Braves started their comeback with a power play goal from Eric Faith just 82 seconds later.

A second power play goal 2:39 into the third period would draw the Braves to within one.

The game-tying goal was an even strength effort by Neil Robinson that was set up by Jack Billings who assisted on all five Brockville goals.

The outcome appeared destined to be decided in overtime when Michael Murray scored the game-winner with 2:43 left on the clock.

In four games, the Grads were outscored 8-1 in the third period, although two of those goals were scored into an empty net.

In Game 2, the Grads were leading 4-2 with 4:22 left in the second period when the Braves answered back with four unanswered goals including an empty-netter.

Game 1 was decided in double overtime on a goal by Liam Folkes, and Game 3 was all Brockville as the Braves built up a 3-0 third period lead before the Grads scored their lone goal midway through the final stanza.

Vincenzo Renda opened the scoring for the Braves Wednesday night, but it only took the Grads a little over a minute to respond with a goal by Grant Hebert on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that beat Braves' goalie Henry Johnson low glove side just inside the post.

Raphael Larose gave Cumberland the lead with 3:52 left in the first on a bullet of a shot that rattled in off the post.

Benoit Villeneuve gave the Grads a two goal lead midway through the second period on shot from just inside the blueline that deflected off Johnson's right pad and into the net behind him.

The Grads' fourth goal was scored by Marc-Olivier Bouchard on a perfect set up by Shawn Cameron.

Less than two minutes later Faith would start the Braves' series-winning comeback.

The loss overshadowed a solid performance by Grads' netminder Thierry Messervier who made several difficult saves to keep the score close.

One of the key factors for the Grad's demise was in the special teams department. They went 0-for-5 on the power play in Wednesday night's loss and 1-for-20 in the series. By comparison the Braves were 6-for-17.

The Braves also did a better than average job in shutting down the Grads top line of Shawn Cameron, Martin Frechette and Marc-Olivier Bouchard who only scored two goals between them, one of which was on the power play.

Cameron, who lead the league in scoring during the regular season, had three assists, and Frechette, who placed third among the league leaders, had one goal and one assist.

The last time the Grads made it past the first round was in 2003 when they bowed out in the semi-finals after placing first in the overall standings..

(Posted 4:30 p.m., March 17)

 

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