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Braves tame Bears in shootout

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Make that five straight.

The Brockville Braves picked up their fifth consecutive win on Sunday with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Smiths Falls Bears.

It was their third consecutive extra-time win, having beaten the Kanata Stallions 4-3 in overtime Friday night and the Ottawa Jr. Senators 2-1 in a shootout last Wednesday night.

Sunday's was a fast-paced and energetic affair. The Braves twice held a two-goal lead, but fell victim to three Bears goals in a span of 3:57 of the second period and entered the third trailing 5-4.

Brockville tied the game early in the third period on a powerplay goal by Griffen Molino. It was the 11th goal of the season for Molino, who has found a comfort zone playing on the second line with Anthony Pino and recently acquired Joey House.

The new second line was dangerous throughout the game and Pino scored the shootout winner.

“We just seemed to click right from the beginning,” said Pino.

But Pino also credited the entire team for its play in a key win over the first-place team in the Robinson Division.

“We all put in a good effort together,” he said.

The win moves the Braves within seven points of the Bears for the division's top spot, with a game in hand.

“It was a huge two points,” said Pino. “It just gets us closer to where we want to be at the end of the season.”

A shootout may never have materialized were it not for the three fast second-period goals by the Bears.

Braves head coach and general manager Jason Hawkins said the team suffered “some miscommunication” on its penalty kills and watched video in the second intermission to address it.

Hawkins said the fact the Braves came out in the third period and quickly tied the game was testament to their character.

“It shows the resiliency of this group,” he said.

He was also pleased with the play of the Pino, House, Molino line, noting its strength won't allow teams to simply key on shutting down the top line of Ben Blasko, Chris Roll and David Ferreira.

“Teams can't just shuffle down,” he said. “There's another line bringing offence.”

Blasko added to his league-leading point total in Sunday's win, picking up a goal and two assists. He now has 78 points on the season on 27 goals and 51 assists.

Ferreira had two goals, giving him 30 on the season.

The Braves travel to Kemptville on Tuesday to take on the 73's at 7:30 p.m.

Brockville's next home game is Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Nepean Raiders.

brock.sports@sunmedia.ca

 

FACTBOX:

BRAVES 6

BEARS 5

GOALS: Brockville – Ben Blasko (David Ferreira, Chris Roll), David Ferreira (Chris Roll, Ben Blasko), David Ferreira (powerplay) (Zach Todd, Chris Roll), Shane Riddell (Ben Blasko, Anthony Pino), Griffen Molino (powerplay) (Cory Wilson, Anthony Pino)

Smiths Falls – Daniele Disipio (Yannick Crete, Blaine Byron), Jeffrey Carroll (powerplay) (Jesse Lussier, Yannick Crete), Yannick Crete (powerplay) (Jeffrey Carroll, Jesse Lussier), Jake Butler (Karson McCartney, Tyler Akeson), Patrick Sexton (Tyler Akeson, Blaine Byron)

SHOTS: Brockville – 37

Smiths Falls – 34

GOALIES: Brockville – Andrew Pikul

Smiths Falls – Patrick Martin

POWERPLAYS: Brockville – 2 for 6

Smiths Falls – 2 for 3

ATTENDANCE (at Brockville): 762

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