Warnholtz scores hat trick in five minutes
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Noah Maika (left) battles Tyson Kirby for puck possession at the Brockville net. The Lumber Kings defeated the Brockville Braves 6-3 Sunday at the Pembroke Memorial Centre.
The Pembroke Lumber Kings may have knocked off the Brockville Braves 6-2 edging closer to clinching a playoff berth and a coveted sixth spot in the standings.
But what everyone is talking about coming out of Sunday afternoon's game at the Pembroke Memorial Centre is that hat trick. Forward Connor Warnholtz exploded for three successive goals – all scored in the first five minutes of the opening period. It's a feat that Kings fans haven't seen in a long time.
Warnholtz was humble about the natural hat trick afterward praising his linemates for generating the plays that allowed him to find the back of the net. He also added an assist for a four-point game, which gives him 22 goals, 25 assists placing him 19th in the Central Canada Hockey League.
“The guys did a great job setting me up so I didn't have to do much when I got the puck,” said Warnholtz, who had scored a hat trick in two years. “It's definitely nice to get three goals in the first five minutes no matter if it is just one person or if it's three different people.”
During the power play, Warnholtz got on the board at the 3:31 mark when Malcolm Arseneau dumped the puck into the Brockville zone and Jake Brien successfully tied up the defence. Warnholtz charged the net surprising Braves goalie Nick Wiencek with a one-time shot. Then 96 seconds later, Warnholtz scored through the five hole, assisted by Arseneau and captain Andrew Meininger. The winger then completed the hat trick 26 seconds later, aided by Michael Douglas and Jared Weber.
Brockville quickly reorganized after the shelling they took from the Kings and scored their first goal at the 15:08 when Arseneau was in the penalty box for boarding. Philippe Gilmour fired the puck through traffic beating Kings netminder Jake Smith, who stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced. Assists went to Andrew Jarvis and Tyson Kirkby.
In the second period, momentum swung back to the Braves with Nicolas Vlahos netting a goal with the helpers coming from Michael Locatelli and Jarvis. However, Jacob Kamps quickly reclaimed a two-goal lead when he rang the puck off the post. Assists went to Peter Falivena and Matthew Barnaby, who had another outstanding game contributing three points.
In the third period, Falivena extended the lead, aided by Kamps and Barnaby. Things only got worse for Brockville when Jarvis was assessed a game misconduct and a slashing major handing Pembroke a five-minute power play. This was exploited by Barnaby, who dropped in his team-leading 32nd goal of the season. Warnholtz and Brien picked up the assists.
The win gives seventh place Pembroke (28-23-3-1) 60 points, putting them two back of the Cornwall Colts with two games in hand. Kamps said he and his teammates need to play more games like Sunday if they are to secure a ticket to the playoffs and be in a good position to good deep in the post-season.
“It's got to be giving a 60-minute effort every night,” said Kamps. “Our biggest problem has been consistency so if we can keep putting out performances like this we are going to be really fine and in a good spot for the playoffs.”
Three Star Selection: Connor Warnholtz, Pembroke (Star #1), Matthew Barnaby, Pembroke (Star #2), Philippe Gilmour, Brockville (Star #3).
Out-of-Town Scoreboard: Nepean shutout Navan 6-0; Carleton Place edged out the Ottawa Junior Senators 2-1; The Rockland Nationals defeated the Smith Falls Bears 3-2.