Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA, Ontario – First year forward Chiwetin Blacksmith (Waswanipi, QC) was given time on the Ravens top line and made the most of his opportunity registering 3 points to propel the team to 6-4 victory over the visiting Nipissing Lakers.
“We are looking for players that can make plays with those guys,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen said about putting Blacksmith on the top line with Ravens leading scorers Jake Smith (Oshawa, ON) and Alex Boivin (Ottawa, ON). “He made those plays tonight.”
“I think I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be,” Blacksmith said about being moved around in the lineup. “Every time I go down is because I’m not playing well and when I get moved up it’s an opportunity. Hopefully I can stay up in the lineup.”
The Ravens started the game quickly jumping on the Lakers defence. The fourth line of Hayden Hulton (Kingston, ON), Ryker Cole (Moosomin, SK) and Dakota Odgers applied heavy pressure in the Lakers zone. They scored when Hulton made a pass in front of the net to Odgers, who fired a quick shot under the pads of Lakers goalie Domenic Graham for an early one goal lead.
The Lakers tied the game up five minutes later, when forward Danny Desrocher gained the zone and fired a quick shot on goal that rebounded off Ravens goalie Justin Nichols. The puck sat in the crease behind Nichols for a second before forward Gael Lubwele tapped it into the empty Ravens net.
Three minutes later, the Ravens stole the lead back on a play where defenceman Darian Skeoch (New Liskeard, ON) fired a shot on goal that Blacksmith redirected past Graham.
The Ravens added another goal in the period when they gained the zone and Blacksmith spotted defenceman C.J Garcia (Pickering, ON) wide open and the second-year defenceman wired a slapshot past Graham for his second goal of the season.
The Ravens jumped out to a 4-1 lead when fourth year forward scored his 12th goal of the year.
But the Lakers jumped back into the game with a quick power play goal, when they won a faceoff back and defenceman Matt Donnelly ripped a shot up over the blocker of Nichols.
In the third, the Lakers continued to chip away at the Carleton lead. Forward Brock Morrison made a nifty move around Carleton defenceman Andrew Jarvis (Morrisburg, ON) and found himself one on one with Nichols. Nichols made the initial save, but was left sprawling in an awkward position and Lakers forward Lucas Clark chipped the puck over the Ravens netminder to make the game 4-3.
The Lakers tied the game up, while on the power play, when forward Erik Robichaud fired a shot on net that Nichols made a big save on, but the rebound was left in front of the Ravens net and forward Colin Campbell shovelled it in to tie the game at four.
Two minutes later with the top line out the Ravens responded when Blacksmith made a nifty toe drag move around a Laker defender before sending a pass to Smith who fired a shot over the glove of Graham to take back the lead.
“The puck was at the blueline and their defence picked it up,” Blacksmith said. “I picked the puck up and saw their defence was looking up the ice and saw a two on one. I noticed the defenceman was sliding and just tried pulling it back as far as I could. Then I saw Smith back door for a tap in.”
The Ravens sealed the game when Smith outwaited Graham on a play in front of the Lakers net and beat him with a shot that hit the post. Carleton forward Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, BC) tapped it in the net after it rebounded off the metal.
“We are going to have to do a lot better if we want to move up the standings,” Van Allen said post game. “All advantages should have been in our favour. They played last night at UOIT, we didn’t play. They have to travel three and a half hours. We got off to a real good start and they didn’t quit.”
The Ravens continue with the third game of a four game homestand when the Concordia Stingers visit the Ice House on Friday, Jan 25 at 7 pm.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#17 Chiwetin Blacksmith–Forward–1st year – Waswanipi, QC
UP NEXT: Carleton vs. Concordia Stingers
Friday, January 25th-7 p.m.
Ice House–Ottawa ON