January 31, 2005

Game Recap at Kitchener (29-Jan)

67s and Rangers tie, 3-3 in OT. Woo hoo, way to go! See OHL game summary here. And Kitchener has a game summary posted here.

From NHL.com, Clarkson's third-period power-play goal earns Rangers 3-3 tie with 67's. And from the Ottawa Citizen, Tie keeps 67's second in East [Subscription Required].

Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Talbot, Hulit; Lawrance, Bonello, Mancari; Alphonso, McGinn.
Defensive pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Beard; Jarram.
Starting in goal: Spezza. Guadagnolo on the bench.

Prior to the start of the game, the Rangers recognized Dwight Foster – the highest scoring Rangers player – by raising a banner.

The 67s came out in the first period with lots of energy. Spezza made some absolutely beautiful saves (that even drew Ranger fans’ compliments!). They had a number of PP (4), but were not really able to get chances. The Rangers, on the other hand, did score on their PP (Clarkson). SOG went to the Rangers, 12-9. I should also point out how physical Spezza was playing – he came out behind his net to stop the puck at one point, and when the Ranger player came skating by, Spezza checked him into the boards! After that, it was on. The crowd was heckling him, saying things like “Okay Spezza, you asked for it!” I think that all this crap with other teams taking liberties with Ottawa goaltenders had Spezza on the defensive. He was not going to take any slights, and not only did he make some amazing saves, but he got right up in their faces, yapped to the refs, etc.

In the second period, the 67s had a better effort – got more chances. Bickell and Clarkson were having ‘words’ throughout the period, but nothing developed. It was actually quite a physical game by both sides – checking hard, trying to get to the puck first. It’s also important to note, that when some of the guys took a shift off, Killer would sit them the next shift. This happened to both VanderVeeken and Kaspar! In fact, the line during the goal by Petruzalek, had VanderVeeken and Alphonso! I noticed that after being sat, the next time Kaspar came out he actually checked his player, then stripped the puck off of him and proceeded to skate with it out and down the ice. So, Killer is not just picking on Mancari – and the benching seems to be working. Both VanderVeeken and Kaspar picked it up. At the end of the second, the SOG were even at 20-20.

In the third period, Spezza continued to make awesome saves. (StatsGuy said he was impressed with how fast Spezza was with his glove – instinctive blocking and catching. I think he was also great at getting his pad or toe out to divert shots.) And then he got really physical: Clarkson came rushing to the net, then ‘fell’ on top of Spezza who was laid out flat on his back. Clarkson was laying with his groin area covering Spezza’s mask (and I can imagine what kind of conversation was going on at the time) for what seemed like a long time . . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . Then as Clarkson started to get up, Spezza EXPLODED! He jumped up, ripping off his mask and started TO GO AFTER CLARKSON! He had to be held back. He was livid, screaming at Clarkson, and struggling to get at him, while Clarkson stood taunting and egging him on. The Ranger fans were going nuts, yelling “Spez-za, Spez-za . . .” Clarkson got a penalty, which sent the fans into fits again. Cooler heads prevailed, and the 67s were able to hold on to the tie.

In OT, both sides had some chances, but again, good goal-tending kept the game at a tie.

Spezza. An awesome game by Spezza. He really does have skill, and instinctive ability to block and catch. Plus, he’s also physical and (as learned today) doesn’t take crap. Battochio is back training, so this might be his last game. He played extremely well in both games with the 67s, and that’s all he can do I suppose. He got the chance, and proved that he was definitely worthy.

Talbot. Customary play just doesn’t do justice, but what else can you say. He plays great every game, every shift. He is the most reliable guy on the team; the one that you don’t worry about. Another great game by Talbot.

Alphonso. He worked extremely hard on his shifts – and was rewarded by being put out there on top lines, where he assisted in a goal. Great game with his limited ice time.

VanderVeeken and Kaspar both stepped it up. They’ve been having trouble lately, and it seems that Killer has taken to benching them. They both worked hard, and the difference was noticeable. Bickell also worked hard this game.

Clarkson. One of those guys that you love on your team, but absolutely hate when you play against. He was physical - in-your-face physical, trash talking, scoring . . . He was doing it all. Was first star of the game.

Others, let’s see. Fraser made some good defensive plays. McGrath had some chances. Henderson, a rookie, was playing well. Benoit had a great game, with 2A. Applebaum was speedy, wiley, getting chances, scored a great goal. The goalie, Turple made some great saves himself, especially late in the game to preserve the point.

2, Petruzalek, (18) (Alphonso), 16:03
2, Talbot, (21) (Kaspar, Hulit), 19:43 (PP)
3, Joslin, (5) (Kaspar, Bickell), 07:27

1, Clarkson, (22) (McGrath, Benoit), 15:20
2, Applebaum, (2) (McGrath), 14:17
3, Clarkson, (23) (Voakes, Benoit), 13:05 (PP)

OHL three stars were: (1) Clarkson (KIT), (2) Joslin, and (3) Donally (Kit).

Park. Fans were very upset with his skills as a ref. Also, they had a particular vehemence for the linesmen and their off-side calls.


Sunday afternoon in Brampton.

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