2023 centennial cup ottawa jrsenators

Road to the 2023 Centennial Cup: Ottawa Jr. Senators

The CCHL champions are making their fourth straight appearance at Canada’s National Junior A Championship after coming from behind to capture another Bogart Cup

Nicholas Pescod & Jonathan Yue
May 10, 2023

For the fourth time in as many National Junior A Championships, the Ottawa Jr. Senators will challenge for the Centennial Cup. From building on their culture of success to a rollercoaster victory in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) final, the Jr. Senators are using their experiences as a team to set themselves up for another shot at winning a first national title.

“Any time we have season where we come off a championship, there are a lot of lessons learned,” head coach Kyle Makaric says. “The journey along the way, the ins-and-outs of being a hockey team, it’s all about the smaller details, and taking advantage of the layers of lessons that helped us get here.”

Leaning on the leaders of the team – seven players are back from last season (Vincent Velocci, Xavier Guillemette, James Taylor, Braxton Ross, Massimo Gentile, Sam Grabner, and Wil Murphy) – the Jr. Senators have been able to pass down their winning ways year after year.

“For the guys that remain with us from the last year, they do such a great job of linking the past season and past success to the new team and future success,” Makaric says. “It’s not something put down by the coaches or the general managers, the players show the path of how things are done here, the previous captains are always available to help out our current captains, and we are very fortunate to have players continuing to want to give back to the organization.”

Ottawa was the class of the CCHL once again in the regular season, posting a league-best 42-8-5 record and finishing top-two in goals scored (2nd), goals allowed (1st), power play (1st) and penalty kill (2nd).

And they did it without a top-10scorer (Velocci was 11th with 59 points). In all, six players hit the 40-point mark, three had at least 50 and 11 recorded double-digits in goals.

But the back end was where the Jr. Senators excelled. Rorke Applebee (2.07, .934) and Connor Shibley (2.16, .926) finished one-two in goals-against average and save percentage, and helped Ottawa to the lowest goals-against total (126) since 2017-18.

With a successfulregular season and playoffs, capped off by erasing a 2-0 series deficit against the Smith Falls Bears in the Bogart Cup final, the Jr. Senators are feeling prepared heading into Portage la Prairie.

“In that series, we just stuck to the belief that if there is time on the clock, we have an opportunity to win,” Makaric says. “In a tournament like the Centennial Cup, you may lose the first game, but we’ll be still able to find a way to be successful. Our guys know as long as there’s time, it gives us an opportunity to compete, and we like our chances.”


Central Canada Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Cornwall 4-1 (3-0, 5-2, 3-4 OT, 5-0, 5-2)
Semifinal: defeated Brockville 4-1 (4-0, 0-3, 3-1, 4-3 OT, 3-2)
CCHL championship: defeated Smiths Falls 4-3 (2-5, 0-1 OT, 7-1, 7-4, 3-2 OT, 6-2)


Record (W-L-OTL-SOL): 42-8-3-2 (1st in CCHL)
Goals for: 218 (2nd in CCHL)
Goals against: 126 (1st in CCHL)
Power play: 56 of 221 (25.3% – 1st in CCHL)
Penalty killing: 207 of 238 (87.5% – 2nd in CCHL)
Longest winning streak: 13 (Nov. 9-Dec. 17)
Top 3 scorers:
• Vincent Velocci – 16G 43A 59P (11th in CCHL)
• Massimo Gentile – 30G 26A 56P (13th in CCHL)
• Anton Sorensen – 18G 36A 54P (15th in CCHL)


Record: 12-5
Goals for: 63
Goals against: 35
Power play: 13 for 70 (18.6%)
Penalty killing: 54 of 63 (87.5%)
Top 3 scorers:
• Chase Lammi – 10G 14A 24P
• Mickeal Hebert – 5G 17A 22P
• Massimo Gentile – 11G 8A 19P


2002 – Ottawa Jr. Senators | fourth place | 1-4 | 18GF 23GA
2018 – Ottawa Jr. Senators | fourth place | 2-3 | 14GF 15GA
2019 – Ottawa Jr. Senators | fourth place | 1-4 | 11GF 17GA
2022 – Ottawa Jr. Senators | seventh place | 1-4 | 10GF 9GA


Anton Sorensen – Adrian College (2023-24)

Vincent Velocci – Amherst College (2023-24)


Sept. 26 – Not ranked
Oct. 9 – 16th
Oct. 16 – 12th
Oct. 24 – 18th
Oct. 31 – 16th
Nov. 7 – 18th
Nov. 14 – 17th
Nov. 21 – 16th
Nov. 28 – 10th
Dec. 5 – 8th
Dec. 12 – 8th
Dec. 19 – 8th
Jan. 9 – 9th
Jan. 16 – 6th
Jan. 23 – 6th
Jan. 30 – 8th
Feb. 6 – 6th
Feb. 13 – 11th
Feb. 20 – 8th
Feb. 27 – 9th
March 6 – 7th

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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