Slow start costs Pembroke Lumber Kings in 3-1 loss to Ottawa Jr. Sens
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A slow start cost the Pembroke Lumber Kings dearly as they lost 3-1 to the Ottawa Junior Senators in the final regular season home game on April 3 in front of 705 fans.
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First-half errors led the Kings 2-0 after the period as Julian Recine scored both goals, first with a powerplay wrist shot and then the eventual winner less than seven minutes into the game while the defender did not. come back and was beaten at the net.
Pembroke closed out the period with a few chances to get on the board, but Zachary Bowen held up well in net for Ottawa.
The Kings turned up the heat in the second period and had substitutions to score on the power play, but couldn’t beat Bowen. At the other end of the rink, the team played well in front of Reece Proulx, holding Ottawa on the outside and allowing the Jr. Sens to register only five shots on goal.
Pembroke kept the pressure on in the third and Jacob Zwirecki finally got the Kings on the board less than six minutes into the period when his point shot found its way into the top corner past Bowen. Nathan Duck and Joe Jordan assisted. The Kings had chances to tie the game, but didn’t get the rebound.
With Proulx on the bench, Anthony Provost put the game aside with an empty net in the last minute. Ottawa also only had five shots in the third period and in the game the Kings had a 40-26 advantage on the shot clock.
Additionally, Kings coach and general manager Alex Armstrong felt it was a very good home-and-away game and noted that it was one of the few times Ottawa had been eliminated on shooting. This year.
“It was the second time this year where we lost and deserved to win,” he said after the match. “We have to start the next game the same way we left it. We fought hard, but recognize their keeper because he played well.
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With the loss, Pembroke remains at 64 points, two points behind Kemptville, which beat Rockland 5-2 on Sunday in their final game of the regular season. There is one game left in Pembroke – Monday night in Smiths Falls at 7:30 p.m. If the Kings win, the Kings will finish in fifth place, but will have to wait until Friday to see who they face in the first round of the Central Canada Hockey playoffs League. , which are performing for the first time since 2019. Brockville and Renfrew are third and fourth, respectively, with the Braves just a point ahead. Both teams play on Friday and the Kings will face one of them based on the results of the last three games.
The playoffs are scheduled to start after April 12, so Armstrong is looking forward to some time off to make sure everyone is healthy heading into the postseason.
“For us, we want to be ready; it’s going to be tough no matter who we’re up against,” the coach said. “Obviously, we will be the outsiders with our young people and the hockey club; I think the older teams are licking their chops, but I think we’ve proven all year that when we play we can beat anybody. It’s going to be a long streak so we’ll rest and see what happens tomorrow night.
Armstrong acknowledged it’s been a long year and he’s proud of the players, especially the younger ones who have stepped in to fill the holes created by a number of long-term injuries this season.
“Right now we have three 16-year-olds in the lineup and five 17-year-olds and the kids defending, but we know that come playoff time it’s a different animal; it gets faster and heavier,” he said. It doesn’t matter if we finish fourth, fifth or sixth, we will face the same teams and if you want to win the league, you have to beat the best teams anyway. You can’t hide and go around the bend and avoid them. People say you would like to go to the final, but no one remembers second place. The reality is that we want to go through the front door and whoever we play earns the right to be there. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see what happens.
THREE-STAR SELECTION: The three stars were Julian Recine of Ottawa first, Pembroke Jacob Zwirecki second and Zachary Bowen of Ottawa third. The fourth star for hard work was Pembroke captain Bruce Coltart.
ON THE ROAD: On April 1, Pembroke defeated Rockland 4-1. Jesse Kirkby scored two goals and added an assist while Alex Urbisci and Joe Jordan each scored a goal and provided an assist. Jacob Zwirecki had two assists. Giovanni Morneau scored Rockland’s only goal. Reece Proulx took the win with a 34 save performance.