OTTAWA JR. SENATORS – CCHL
This is the second appearance at the RBC Cup for the Ottawa Jr. Senators, the first came back in 2002. The club knocked off the Carleton Place Canadians (ranked #2 in final CJHL rankings) in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) final, and won all 4 of their games in the Fred Page Cup including a 10-1 win in the championship game over the Lonugueil College Francais to be the East region representatives.
This team was started in 1979 as a junior A franchise, and it was originally called the ‘Ottawa Senators’. But when the NHL’s Ottawa Senators were instituted back in 1992, the junior A Senators changed their name to Ottawa Jr. Senators.
The team has one player on its roster that Pistons fans should know, and that is ’98 forward Danny Pion. Pion played 46 games with Steinbach over parts of two seasons (2016-2017), and quickly became popular amongst Pistons fans due to his hard work, sense of humor, and his tireless work in the community. Pion also spent time with the Dauphin Kings this year before being dealt at the trade deadline to the Senators, close to his hometown of Gatineau, QC.
At first glance the Senators are a veteran team led by Pierre-Luc Veillette, Chiwetin Blacksmith, and Gabriel Morin. Veillette will be one of the best goal scorers at this year’s RBC Cup. All four of his points were goals at the Fred Page Cup, and he also scored 33 goals during the regular season.
Owen Guy and Nick Lalonde were the leading scorers for Ottawa in the CCHL playoffs, with Lalonde scoring 23 points, and Guy with 22 points. Young ’99-born forwards Finn Evans and Darcy Walsh stepped up during the Fred Page Cup, as they had 7 and 6 points respectively to lead the team. 2000-born forward Ethan Manderville, son of former NHLer Kent Manderville, is ranked #165 amongst North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting list.
On defense, NCAA Division I commits Zach Solloum and Devon Daniels are a solid presence on the back-end, while Michael Thomas led Ottawa in scoring in the Fred Page Cup. In goal, Connor Hicks has been hot heading into the RBC Cup. Hicks had a 2.02 GAA, a .920 SV%, and 2 SO in the CCHL playoffs, and was even better in the Fred Page Cup with a 1.44 GAA and a .933 SV%.
The Ottawa Jr. Senators will be a tough out in this year’s RBC Cup, as they will be looking to win their first national title in franchise history.
LEADING PLAYOFF SCORERS (CCHL)
F Nick Lalonde (’98) – 18 GP – 23 PTS (5 G, 18 A)
F Owen Guy (’98) – 18 GP – 22 PTS (8 G, 14 A)
F Gabriel Morin (’97) – 16 GP – 14 PTS (6 G, 8 A)
F Pierre-Luc Veillete (’98) – 18 GP – 14 PTS (5 G, 9 A)
Connor Hicks – 2.02 GAA, .920 SV%, 2 SO