|Attendance: 20081. 67's set new CHL attendance record|
Ottawa falls to Kingston, 6-5. OHL game summary here. And there is a whole lot of 'in the news' for the 67s. So, here we go.
From the Ottawa Citizen, Chris Yzerman writes Father's death shakes 67's Hunt. And from the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes Tribute honours 'big fan'.
From the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes Corel Centre set to 'easily' smash jr. attendance mark. From SLAM! Sports, Frontenacs edge 67's.
The 67's honoured the late father of team owner Jeff Hunt during last night's game. The players decided to wear stickers on their helmets bearing the initials S and H in memory of Alexander "Sandy" Hunt, who unexpectedly passed away in Florida on Tuesday.
From the Kingston Whig-Standard, Claude Scilley writes A hockey crowd for the record book . I have to post some snippets from this article, because it gives players' views:
We obviously wanted to come out with two points, but to play in front of a crowd of 20,000-plus, it's a bonus for all of us," said Bonello. "A lot of guys might not play in front of 20,000 people ever again."
From the Ottawa Citizen, Chris Yzerman writes 67's rack up attendance mark.
For Todd Griffith, it was a night to remember.
[. . .]
"This is great," Griffith said after last night’s game.
"I’ve never played in anything like this. Twenty-thousand people show up to watch our team play hockey … it’s a great feeling."
[. . .]
"To get in the record book as a team is more important than as an individual," Griffith said. "I thank Killer [67’s coach Brian Kilrea] and the Ottawa organization for doing this. It’s not every day you get to play in front of an NHL crowd."
Griffith said players tried not to look into the stands, but it was a difficult temptation to resist.
"If you get a penalty, and you’re looking up, and especially when they do something like the wave you can’t believe what’s going on.
"You [hope] it wouldn’t affect your play but to some degree it does. You get a little bit more nervous."
[. . .]
Frontenacs assistant coach Tony Cimellaro said he tried to make light of the situation to relieve the tension.
"We joked about it," he said. "We thought we were Hickory from Hoosiers, coming in from our little barn with 2,000 people into this big stadium.
"There were a couple of them who were a little fidgety but for the most part our older guys kept everyone in key and we had a pretty good warmup, got all the jitters out. To get up 2-0 was a great help for us, too."
Frontenacs forward Tony Rizzi said the experience of last night gives a player an idea of what it’s like to play in the NHL.
"You look up and see [that crowd] and you think, ‘Wow, it’s amazing to play in front of something like this.’
"If having 20,000 people watching you doesn’t motivate you, then hockey must not be your thing. You sit on the bench and look around and think, ‘Wow, it would just be great to do this for a living.’"
From the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes Kingston spoils party.
"Whether it's us, the Senators, junior B, Tier 2 junior A.... The fact is, people in this community love hockey and that's why we've been able to have the number of people here for this game that we have," said Shawn Williams, the 67's director of business and community development.
The 67's, playing their third game in as many nights and the second straight against the Fronts, hoped for a better ending to a historic night.
But the mood was downcast following the game in the Ottawa dressing room, normally occupied by the NHL's Senators.
"The crowd gave us that extra energy," said forward Brad Bonello, who scored once and added three assists. "It's just frustrating to come one goal short."
Kingston goalie Dayne Davis was the star, making 59 saves for a win that vaulted the Frontenacs past Ottawa into third place in the East Division standings of the Ontario Hockey League.
"We have to give him a lot of credit because he did play well," said Bonello of Davis.
"We'd get a lot of shots but we just never went to the net. There were rebounds that we didn't get to, a couple of times where guys were just one step too slow getting that puck in front of the net."
The Corel Centre was definitely packed right up to the upper, upper bowl. With that number of people, the traffic was extremely heavy – it normally takes about 15 minutes to get to the Corel Centre on a non-game day – last night it took 1 hour to get there and parked. But we left early, expecting it.
I was hoping that the 67s would be really pumped to play . . . but then I saw Guadagnolo in net and came to my senses. Okay, okay – the boys did score more than one goal for him, but whatever – a loss is a loss . . .
The 67s looked very uncoordinated – bumbly. Of course they had moments. The offence looked better than the defence (what defence?). The defence fell apart again. At one point, Guadagnolo faced a three on one! And Kingston scored, of course. The defence was pitiful, really. If you look at each of them individually, they have talent . . . it’s when they play together that they look like they’ve just started playing the position. I thought that Killer said they needed defence, but the new guy, Jarram, only played a couple of shifts last night – not enough to get a good overview of him. Is Kilrea asking the defence to do things that are unnatural for them, and this is what is making them look awkward? Wharton said that he was told not to play offensively – that Killer wanted him to be a defensive defenceman. Well, last night the defence were the ones rushing to the net – leaving their positions open, allowing break-aways, short-handeds, etc. How come they were playing offensive? Like I said, something is really wrong. Killer once said that he would continue coaching as long as the guys still listened. Is this the team that convinces him to pack it in? I hope not.
Impressions of the 67s:
Bonello continued to play his style of game.
Colbert, I have started to believe, is too timid/polite/nice/ to be a d-man, our leading d-man, and the Captain. I think he has an introverted nature (and there is nothing wrong with that - I’m one!), but an extrovert is what is needed. Somebody feisty like Bonello, with Colbert’s size, and ?’s skill. I think back fondly of Russ Moyer and Brendan Bell. They could stop a rushing forward at the blue line, and score too! Some on the BB’s are saying they think that Colbert should be traded. I don’t know if he should be traded. He’s just not the guy to lead the team. I can’t really see him working them up before a game – but I’m not back there so who knows what he does.
Impressions of the Fronts:
Griffith and Kotsopoulos had a great game. They got the SH goal in the third period. Sitting behind the bench (which is were we where), you could see how excited they both were, and eager to get back on the ice each time they came off. Griffith was definitely one of the better (if not best) players on the ice. Also noticed Pronk and Rizzi.
Davis faced 64 SOG! He made 59 saves! And he played in the game before as well. A great job. He made a couple of really good saves in the third to keep them ahead of the 67s.
1, Joslin, (Mancari, Bonello), 16:14
1, Bonello, (Joslin, Bickell), 16:32
2, Akeson, (Bonello, Talbot), 02:21 (PP)
3, Talbot, (Bickell), 04:04
3, Bickell, (Bonello, Joslin), 17:30
1, Kotsopoulos, (Smolenak, Griffith), 03:45
1, Pronk, (Rizzi, Kolarz), 05:56
2, Griffith, (Kotsopoulos, Smolenak), 07:06
2, Hughes, (Stewart, Nemeth), 15:12
3, Pronk, (Mangan), 04:27
3, Griffith, (Kotsopoulos), 06:20 (SH)
OHL three stars were: 1. Pronk KIN, 2. Bickell, and 3. Griffith KIN.
Reffing: Beer. It was oke-dokee. At one point, the Kingston coaches went nuts yelling, swearing, and generally losing it. Beer skated right over to the bench, finger pointed at the coach and yelled right back, "You shut the f*** up!"
And I must comment on what an interesting perspective one gets when sitting directly behind the bench. Ah the sights, the smells, the sounds! One guy lost a tooth, which was placed upon the black shelf behind the bench, unfortunately right in front of me – I could have passed on that realistic display. And the smell – good lord these boys smell. The Corel Centre usher said the NHL guys don’t stink like that because their equipment is washed after every game. (It’s part of the game, I know, but I’d rather have a less real experience and avoid the smell.) The cursing, the standing up when their guys rush down the ice, the trainer shoving his hands down or up player’s equipment right in your line of view – I can’t imagine spending NHL $$$ on those seats – you never see the game.
That’s it for 2004. Let’s hope that 2005 brings better things (ahem, players, ahem) for the 67s.
Oh, and one more thing: