National Junior A Championship Team Preview: Ottawa Jr. A Senators (CCHL)

Senators return for secondstraight NJAC appearance after winning CCHL Bogart Cup and Fred Page Cup Eastern titles

CALGARY, Alta. The culmination of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s 2018-19 campaign will be completed in Brooks, Alta., as the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) host the Canadian National Junior A Championship, May 11-19, at Centennial Regional Arena.

Here’s a look at the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian title holders, the Ottawa Jr. A Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League.

HEAD COACH: Martin Dagenais

HOW THEY ARRIVED: It has been a back-to-back run for the Ottawa Jr. A Senators as they are set to make their second consecutive National Junior A Championship appearance.

Their most-recent run has seen them win two straight CCHL Bogart Cup titles as well as a pair of Fred Page Cups, emblematic of being Eastern Canadian Jr. A champions.

They started their latest run by finishing second overall in the 12-team CCHL standings with a 43-16-0-3 overall record.

Commencing the playoffs, Ottawa began with a first round match-up against the Kanata Stallions with the sides splitting the first two contests before the Senators skated to three straight decisions to win the set in five outings.

Next up were the Brockville Braves, but despite a couple of close contests, Ottawa would go on sweep and advance to the CCHL finals for a fourth consecutive year.

It was there they met their long-time rivals, the Carleton Place Canadians as the two teams tangled for a fourth straight year in the quest for the Bogart Cup.

In the end, it was Ottawa that prevailed, winning the title in five games and advance to another Fred Page Cup.

FRED PAGE CUP: Round robin play at the 2019 FPC in Amherst, N.S., saw the Jr. A Senators post wins over the host Amherst Ramblers and Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners of the Maritime Hockey League sandwiched around an overtime setback at the hands of the Titan de Princeville (LHJAAAQ).

Finishing second, they met Amherst in the semifinal and with the contest appeared to be headed to OT, Ottawa’s Noah Rowe scored at 19:59 of the third period, just before the horn sounded, to give the Senators a dramatic 4-3 victory.

Moving on to the final against Princeville, the club carried their momentum into the title contest and proceeded to bounce the Titan by a 9-2 count and win the Eastern Canadian championship and secure a trip to Brooks and another NJAC appearance.

FORWARDS: Darcy Walsh and Elie Boulerice were the leading point-getters for the Sens in the regular season.

Walsh, a Robert Morris University NCAA D-I commit, and Boulerice both had 64 points to finish tied for seventh in CCHL scoring on 33 and 24 goals respectively.

Owen Cole, who is off to UMass-Lowell on NCAA scholarship, was close by with 61 points on 23 tallies and 38 helpers.

Rookie forward Kyle Jackson paced the squad offensively in the playoffs picking up 13 points on seven goals and six assists. He then added six more at the Fred Page to lead the way there.

Owen Cole was right behind him with a dozen points, including notching six markers.

DEFENCE: Veteran defenceman Noah Rowe led Ottawa’s back end in points with 43 as he notched nine markers and helped set-up 34 others.

Adrien Brisson meanwhile produced 28 points, including seven goals.

Rowe’s eight playoff points topped the club in the postseason.

GOALTENDERS: Francis Boisvert saw the majority of work in net for the club during the year as he went 31-11-0 while making 45 appearances and posting three shutouts.

His 2.19 goals-against average was third-best in the CCHL and he tied for third overall in save percentage at .920.

Boisvert was stellar in the Bogart Cup playoffs going 12-2 while leading all CCHL netminders in both average and save percentage at 1.46 and .945 respectively. He also tacked on three shutouts in the run to the league title.

SPECIAL TEAMS: At 21.7%, Ottawa was second in the 12-team CCHL on the power play and were first on the penalty kill at 88.3%.

In the playoffs they were sixth overall on the P.P. at 16%, but led the way once again on the P.K., clicking at an 87.7% success rate.

SENATORS SNIPPETS: Ottawa is making their second straight appearance at the National Junior A Championship. … They also boast back-to-back CCHL and Fred Page Cup Eastern titles in doing so. … At last years NJAC in Chilliwack, B.C., the Senators needed extra time in each of their four round robin games, going 2-2 overall, before being edged 3-2 in semifinal play vs. the eventual champion Chilliwack Chiefs. … All five of their contests at the 2018 MJAC were decided by just one goal, including four in overtime that also featured one shootout. … There are eight returnees from last year’s squad, who are back at the national championship in 2019.

With files from: Sean Marcellus, Director of Hockey Operations (CCHL); Jason La Rose, Manager, Content Services (Hockey Canada); Spencer Sharkey, Coordinator, Communications (Hockey Canada)