January 14, 2005

The 67s' Goalies

From Don Brennan in the Ottawa Sun today,Will masked marvel save day? A snippet:

ANTHONY Guadagnolo was proud to show off his newly designed goalie mask when it arrived yesterday. "The Incredible Hulk," he said, chuckling as he referred to the character adorning the side of his face equipment. "That's me."

The 67's hope Guadagnolo can come up just as big when he plays tonight at the Civic Centre against the East Division-leading Peterborough Petes. It will be his first test in his most recent stint as Ottawa's No. 1 goalie.

And what about Battochio? Well, it seems that they called it right on the amount of time he'll be out.

67's coach Brian Kilrea confirmed yesterday that starter Danny Battochio will miss "at least 2-3 weeks" after re-injuring his shoulder in Wednesday's 3-1 win in Belleville. Battochio missed about three weeks earlier this season with a similar problem on the same shoulder.

"Whether or not it's just stretched muscles ... we'll have to wait and see," said Kilrea, who now looks pretty smart for acquiring netminder Matt Spezza before last week's OHL trade deadline. "It looks like (Spezza) became quick insurance."

Guadagnolo has played in 19 games this season and has been especially sharp of late, earning first star honours in relief against the Bulls and also in a win over St. Mikes.

"His confidence level is good," said Kilrea. "So is the team's."

And now there's Spezza (no pic yet).

Kilrea says he has yet to decide when he'll give Spezza his first start, although Sunday's home game against the Frontenacs would be fitting.

At the same time, the 67's may want to ride Guadagnolo if he continues to play as well as he did in Belleville.

"This is a big stretch for me, for the team," he said. "The next two games are really big for us."

I think that the team is still gelling - the new players, positions, systems - so I hope that having Battochio out won't cause too many probs. I mean, Guadagnolo has done some fantastic work in the net; unfortunately the team hasn't always played that well in front of him.

Well, the next few games should be interesting, and I'm especially interested in how they look tonight against the Petes.

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