By Central Canada Hockey League Tier 1 (CCHL1)
Kemptville – Kemptville 73’s head coach Rob Dopson did not mince words following his team’s 6-5 loss to Nepean on Friday night.
“It’s unacceptable, from everybody — coaches to the players,” said Dopson, whose team sits last in the CCHL with a 1-5 record. “Unless we start to get results, then there’s a lot of things that are going to change — it’s the nature of junior hockey.”
The 73’s have struggled at both ends of the rink, ranking 11th in both offence (15GF) and defence (26GA), and outside of a shock win against Carleton Place last weekend have looked listless.
“Until we learn how to play it the right way, compete for 60 minutes and players sacrifice to help us win, we’re not going to be successful,” said Dopson candidly. “We’re not playing the game the right way, we’re not competing hard, and we’re not doing what we need to to win hockey games.”
The first-year Kemptville bench boss voiced his frustration with a group that he believes should be in the playoff mix.
“I think we have a roster to compete for a playoff spot,” said the former Pittsburgh Penguin. “Do we have a roster that can win right now? Not the way we’re playing — the way we’re playing right now, we’re not even a playoff team.”
Despite Friday’s disappointing loss to Nepean, he believes Kemptville has the horses to pull itself out of its early-season slump.
“I believe in the kids we’ve got,” said Dopson. “I believe they’re good people and players, but until they decide to put the effort in and compete as a team…we’re not a team right now.”
Nepean’s A. Belisle got the Raiders on the boad first at 03:22 in the 1st period. Ther 73’s responded to tie the game in the first on a goal by A. Cote’ at 5:28 in that period. Kemptville would then take a 2-1 lead on a goal by A. Taillon at 16:58 in the first.
In the second period the 73’s would pad their lead 3-1 after a goal by J. Thousand at just 00:53 into the second period. Nepean would come back in the second and score 3 more goals to lead 4-3 (C. Tam (03:00 2nd) , O. Gauthier (03:18 2nd) , G. Dempster (08:21 2nd)).
The 73’s would tie it up again at 4-4 on a goal by J. Beaton at 08:30 and then take a 5-4 lead on a goal by T. Kirkby “C” at 12:26 in the second period. Nepean would tie it up again at 5-5 by the end of the second on a goal by B. Brant at 13:53.
Nepean would go on to win the game in the third period after a goal by O. Gauthier at 12:47.
The 73’s will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, when they’ll pay a visit to the Navan Grads (2-4). Puckdrop is slated for 3 p.m..