May 23, 2005

MEMORIAL CUP GAME 2 – Ottawa vs Kelowna – Ottawa Wins in 2OT (3-2)!!!

Subtitle: We Love Brad Staubitz! We Love Danny Battochio!

Ottawa Kelowna
In the longest game in Memorial Cup history, Ottawa pulls off a huge victory. Battochio stands on his head – stopping 62/64 SOG! And Brad Staubitz, with big props to Brad Bonello, gives the 67s a tie with London for lead in points in the Memorial Cup. See CHL Memorial Cup site for game summary here and game recap here. See OHL site for game recap here.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's in shadows. He also writes, McGinn a go for 67's vs. Rockets. From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Rescued in the Nick of time.

From the Ottawa Citizen Donna Spencer writes, Ottawa 67's beat Kelowna Rockets 3-2 in double overtime at Memorial Cup. Snippet:

"A lot of people didn't believe in us coming in," said 67's goaltender Danny Battochio. "We've been playing underdogs all playoffs. We've been eliminating all these top teams. I hope this proved people wrong and they'll think twice."

[. . .]

"Tonight's win was exactly what we needed to kick off the tournament," said Staubitz.

From the Sportsnet site, Marathon matchup takes toll on 67's, Rockets

LONDON, Ont. (CP) - After battling the Kelowna Rockets for 95 minutes and 41 seconds of intense, pressure-packed hockey, the Ottawa 67's were as hungry as they were tired. Ottawa's last meal prior to the double overtime marathon - the longest game in Memorial Cup history - came at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

[. . .]

"You never really train yourself to play five periods of hockey," said Ottawa forward Brad Bonello. "You want to play three periods of hockey and get it over with. If it goes to overtime, or double overtime, you've got to be ready for those kinds of things."

Battochio was simply unbelievable, making save after acrobatic save. The 62 stops was also a Memorial Cup record. His best came in regulation when Kelowna forward Blake Comeau appeared to have an empty net toshoot in but Battochio, sprawled out on the ice, stayed with it and extended his glove hand as far as he could to keep the puck out.

"Obviously, I just didn't give up," said Battachio. "You talk to any good goaltender and they'll tell you on plays like that, never ever give up. He had me down. I went down first and I didn't give up. I stuck a glove out to see what I could get out of it and to my luck, it got in there."

Such heroics have been the norm for Battachio since he joined the 67's two seasons ago.

"I don't know where to start," Colbert said when asked about his goaltender. "I've been telling everybody, he's been like that for us every game all year. He wasn't even drafted, which was unbelievable."

(More news arts added 5.23.2005 1445h)

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Staubitz makes history. Snippet:

"I kicked the puck out front, and the speed (the shot) was going, nine times out of 10, it's going in the net or through the net with Staubie," said Bonello. "When he gets into that position, we were just getting ready to raise our hands."

[. . .]

"I saw it come through Westy, and I tried to kick it off the back of my skate out of the crease," said Kelowna captain Brett Palin. "I'm not too sure what happened. I guess with the replay, I was told that it went off my skate."

Campbell also writes, Czech's Cup likely over. Snippet:

Ottawa coach Brian Kilrea said later that he feared Petruzalek's role for the remainder of the tournament would be as a spectator.

"We'll double some guys and we'll insert somebody else," said Kilrea. "We'll sit over a Molson Ex and see if someone can guess a better line than I put together."

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Batman and robbin'. Snippet:

HEAR AND THERE: Staubitz' winner doesn't happen without 67's F Brad Bonello creating a turnover behind the Rockets net and kicking the puck out front. Just plain old hard work ... The 67's took some satisfaction from yet again proving their naysayers wrong. "After hearing (TSN's) Bob McKenzie say we wouldn't win a game at the Memorial Cup, we wanted to stick it to him a bit," said Bonello ... 67's owner Jeff Hunt entertained the club's draft picks in a suite at the game yesterday. Gee, you think they liked what they saw?

[. . .]

JUST WONDERING: [. . .] A question that has no answer: Who was the 67's best defenceman yesterday?

Duh – Battochio. Seriously, I’d give Van Herpt props for some great defensive plays.

[. . .] After the game, the exhausted players came to the media tent to be interviewed. How tired were they? 67's captain Will Colbert was in the middle of answering a question when he stopped. "I can't remember what I was going to say. I'm too tired."

From the Ottawa Citizen Wayne Scanlan writes, Battochio leads 67's never-say-die effort. Snippet:

What a lesson for a national TV audience. Don't give up. Even against long odds, even while lying flat on your back, hopelessly out of position.

[. . .]

Winger Mark Mancari, the London native who received a fabulous welcome when he was introduced, and generated another roar with a short-handed goal, said players could hardly walk afterward, they were so drained of fluid and energy.

"You can feel the lactic acid building right now," Mancari said.

From the Ottawa Citizen Allen Panzeri writes, 67's win Memorial marathon.

From the London Free Press Ryan Pyette writes, Little Battochio stands tall for 67's. Snippet:

"We don't play a defensive style of hockey," Kilrea said. "We let Battochio go out there and take care of defence and we go skate-and-shoot."

Pyette also writes, 67's double the fun. Snippet:

Staubitz's power-play point blast ended the longest game since the Memorial Cup switched to a tournament format in 1972. The contest took 95 minutes and 41 seconds -- topping the 85:34 played by Barrie and Kootenay in 2000 in Halifax -- and ended four hours and one minute after the opening faceoff.

[. . .]

"I'm not the most offensively talented guy in the world. I'd still be described as a stay-at-home defenceman but we had a lot of chances and the game felt like it was going on forever. We knew it was a matter of time and someone had to score."

[. . .]

"Hopefully, we earned a little bit more respect," Staubitz said. "It was tough reading the papers and watching TV and seeing a lot of people counting us out. We used it as motivation. We had come in here in the OHL final against London and showed people we could play."

From the London Free Press Morris Dalla Costa writes, Ottawa alters Cup landscape. Snippet:

he 67's threw this tournament into a spin with their win. Remember the 67's? They were the team that wasn't supposed to be here.

Guess what? They are here and they will be reckoned with.

"That doesn't bother us. We've heard that all throughout the playoffs," Londoner Mark Mancari said. "Ottawa was along for the ride. We weren't going to go very far in the playoffs. There's a lot less pressure on us being underdogs. We're the type of team that plays with our hearts in our sleeves. Every guy on the bench wants to win."

From the Toronto Sun Terry Koshan writes, Battochio puts on a clinic.

And this is interesting – media critiquing media (although I agree with the writer in this case) from the London Free Press Noel Gallagher writes, Sportsnet coverage bland, overstated. Snippet:

Later, a London player's foul on the Oceanic goalie was spotted by the referee yet somehow escaped the notice of the entire TV crew and their battery of on-ice cameras.

This is what I thought – they had the behind-the-net cam to show when Desjardins pushed his own net off. More:

Though the games are available in high definition TV, the on-air conversation often seems unfocused and indefinite: "That was some kind of shot and some kind of save."

Sorry Sportsnet, but I just cannot listen to Peter ‘ske-yorrrrrrrres’ Loubardias, so the tv goes on mute and the radio is propped up. Even with the delay between sound and view it’s more tolerable. And why can’t they show the post-game press conferences. I’d rather watch unedited, hard-to-hear press conferences then the edited pieces shown on Sportsnet, sprinkled throughout the evening sports newscast.

From the Globe And Main Tim Wharnsby writes, 67's stun defending champions.

The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) and television (Sportsnet/Daren Millard, Peter Loubardias, and John Druce).

(On Game 1 – London vs Rimouski) I thought it was a great game and you saw the stardom of Crosby and the great play of London. We got a great bonus going into OT and overall, with London getting the extra chances they were the better team.

(On Rimouski’s goalie) Their goaltender played extremely well. You can see why they’re here. He played well. When you get this far you have to realize that goaltending is a major part of it.

(On Ottawa’s game today) The same as everyone else: starting off the tournament on the right side of the ledger. Every game is sudden death. All I know is that we’re not looking forward to anyone else besides today’s game.

(What you know about Kelowna) From what I’ve been told, and friends giving me little bits of tips, they’re a hard working team that finishes their checks. What you’d expect from a team playing at the this calibre.

(On McGinn playing) I asked him this morning and he let me know that he’s fine to play. I told him that with one hit he could be out and he said he knew that and said yes so I said yes.

(On taking on the head coaching duties) Not an awful lot of changes from an assistant to head coach. I had a good teacher in Mark Habschied that let me be hands on. Nothings been overwhelming or scary. Doing the same things I’ve done over the last year. Give the team the opportunities to do everything right.

(On winning the Memorial Cup last year) We’re fortunate with the talent that we’ve got. Junior hockey is cyclical and we’re in a good cycle. Even next year we’ll only lose a few guys.

(On flying under the radar as returning champions) It’s helped us an awful lot. We’re not in the spotlight and deservedly so. London and Rimouski have had great seasons with high profile guys. That’s fine. We don’t mind that at all. We’ll keep doing our business

(On their style of game) We play a good defensive style of game. We take care of our zone. We thing of ourselves as a two way team because we put the puck in the net as well. We’re doing the right things.

(What you know about the 67s) On the 67s, not an awful lot. We know a little bit. We know that Brian Kilrea’s troops at the least have good work ethic. They’re a proud organization with hard working forwards up front that put the puck in the net. They’ve got a good goaltender. I think we match up pretty well with depth. A little bit of the fear of the unknown.

(via CHL Memorial Cup site)
Kelowna (CHL has the first names as last names!)

McGinn, Talbot, Hulit
Bickell, Bonello, Mancari
Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar
Lawrance, Ouellette, Alphonso

*Defensive Pairings:
Colbert, Joslin
Staubitz, Reid
Van Herpt, Beard

*Starting In Goal:
Battochio. Guadagnolo as back up.

Mosienko, Ofukany, Comeau
Keller, Spurgeon, Bodie
Darzins, Ray, Howarth

*Defensive Pairings:
Palin, Card
Cumiskey, Weber
Deschamps, Couture

*Starting In Goal:
Westblom. Wall as back up.

During the pre-game team introductions, a lot of the 67s looked like they were going to throw up/nervous (notably Bonello!). Some of them looked composed (Mancari). Some of them had fun, waving and winking (Petruzalek, Alphonso, and Lahey). And as seen during the OHL intros, Mancari got a nice applause from the home-town London crowd.

First Period. The 67s looked jittery and unsettled, and this continued for most of the period. It was good to see McGinn back in the line up with Talbot and Hulit, who got the start. Reid took the first penalty, and it cost the team as Bodie scored to give Kelowna the lead (1-0). Petruzalek took a weird hit, and Patafie had to come out to assist him off the ice. Announcers suggested a knee injury. Ouellette took his place on the line up. He didn’t return to the game. Ottawa had another PP opportunity but weren’t able to convert. They had a good chance, but it hit the cross bar. Kelowna had two breakaways, but one shot went over the net, the other wide. Bonello was working hard – good forechecking and positioning to block the puck. At the end of the period (with 12 seconds left), Staubitz was called for crosschecking. SOG at the end of the period were 11 for Ottawa and 12 for Kelowna. The score was 1-0 for Kelowna.

Second Period. The period started with Staubitz in the box. The 67s were able to kill off the penalty and then they went on the PP. Comeau stripped the puck from Staubitz, requiring Battochio to make a big save to prevent a SH goal. Ottawa was having a lot of trouble maintaining puck control. Kelowna was very strong in forechecking and taking the puck away from Ottawa. Some of the 67s weren’t hustling after the puck, and having trouble with passes. Alphonso wasn’t one of them though. He was working so hard on his shifts. That line, with Lawrance and Ouellette impressed me greatly. They always work hard – sometimes making the more experienced lines look bad. Staubitz took another penalty, and Mancari scored a SH goal with an assist to Bonello to tie the game (1-1). It looked like they weren’t going to make it – like they were running out of steam, but they pulled it out. Mancari’s shot squeaked through Westblom’s legs. Comeau got the lead back for the Rockets when he waltzed right into the 67s zone unobstructed, popping the puck in the net (2-1). Joslin was having a hard time containing Comeau who seemed to be able to get around him with ease. Beard was called for continuing to play when his helmet came off, but the Kelowna PP was negated when Comeau was called for goaltender interference. No goals were scored by either team. SOG at the end of the period were 8 (19) for Ottawa and 9 (21) for Kelowna. The score was 2-1 for Kelowna.

Third Period. Ottawa scored a controversial goal in the third. The ref had to go to review, as it appeared that the puck was kicked in the net. On replay it was clear (at least to me) that the puck was put in the net by the Kelowna player (Palin). The goal counted, and Reid was given credit. This tied the game at 2-2. Things opened up a bit in the second half of the period, with chances at both ends and the goalies making big saves. The period ended with a tie, sending Game 2 (like Game 1 the night before) to OT. SOG at the end of the period were 10 (29) for Ottawa and 14 (35) for Kelowna.

1OT. Around 12 minutes into the period, Howarth was called for highsticking Joslin. The ref had no choice to call as it happened right in front of him. Staubitz scored from the point, but it was quickly called off as Ottawa was offside. Talbot, Hulit, and McGinn had a number of chances at this point – and all night for that matter – but just could not get it in the net. Kelowna killed off the penalty. Then Battochio made a game-saving stop off a hard shot by Keller (I think), and the London fans reacted by giving him a standing O. Van Herpt was defending well, at one point making a great defensive play to break up 2 Kelowna players and shoot the puck out of the 67s net area. And because Kelowna was called you knew that Ottawa would have to be extra careful – but Kaspar was called for interfering at the tail end of the period. The period ended with the score still tied at 2-2, and Kaspar in the box with 12 seconds remaining in his penalty. SOG were 8 (37) for Ottawa and 20 (55) for Kelowna.

During the 1OT intermission, the Sportsnet crew reported that Petruzalek had been taken to the hospital for x-rays, but had no further news. The linesmen and ref were experiencing cramping d/t the length of play and heat (they don’t get the same breaks as the players). The ref was seen sitting in the penalty box, drinking.

2OT. The Rockets took another penalty in the 2nd OT period, when Cumiskey hauled down Bickell who was trying to get to their net. Then Kelowna was given another penalty – Weber crosschecked Bonello. But Staubitz was called for hauling down Cumiskey, creating a 4-on-4. The Rockets were called one more time, Comeau for high sticking Alphonso. Comeau was hooking, hooking, and then it caught him in the face. Bonello worked hard on the PP, forechecking, staying with the puck behind the Rocket’s net with 2 guys on him. The puck came out in front of the net, there was a scramble by a bunch of players, the puck squirted out and Staubitz one-timed it hard. It went in. The 67s won it in 2 OT periods. A goal by Staubitz, who made up for all the penalties and turnovers with one rocking shot on net. The announcers (I think it was AJ or Schreibs) said that half the team jumped Staubitz, the other half jumped Battochio at the other end of the rink. Very fitting, as they were the stars of the game. Final SOG were 47 for Ottawa and 64 for Kelowna. The 67s won 3-2.

Everyone piles on to celebrate 2OT win over Kelowna
[Via CHL, Photo: Dave Sanford]
2, Mancari, (1) (Bonello), 06:56 (SH)
3, Reid, (1) , 02:55
5, Staubitz, (1) (Bonello, Bickell), 15:41 (PP)

1, Bodie, (1) (Spurgeon, Weber), 04:34 (PP)
2, Comeau, (1) (Keller), 11:34

Ottawa – 1/8
Kelowna – 1/7

1 - Reid, 4:11 - Ob-Hooking, 2min (PP)
1 - Staubitz, 19:47 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
2 - Staubitz, 5:33 - Interference, 2min (PP)
2 - Beard, 15:25 - Illegal Equipment, 2min (PP)
3 - Bonello, 3:43 - Roughing, 2min (PP)
4 - Kaspar, 18:13 - Interference, 2min (PP)
5 - Staubitz, 10:51 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)

1 - Keller, 7:35 - Roughing, 2min (PP)
1 - Weber, 16:28 - Roughing, 2min (PP)
2 - Keller, 2:00 - Hooking, 2min (PP)
2 - Comeau, 15:51 - Inter. on Goaltender, 2min (PP)
4 - Howarth, 7:31 - High Sticking, 2min (PP)
5 - Cumiskey, 8:36 - Hooking, 2min (PP)
5 - Weber, 10:06 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
5 - Comeau, 14:00 - High Sticking, 2min (PP)

Memorial Cup three stars were: (1) Battochio-OTT, (2) Spurgeon-KEL, and (3) Staubitz-OTT. TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Battochio-OTT, (2) Comeau-KEL, and (3) Staubitz-OTT.

Richard Forest, QMJHL.


Game 3 – 5.23.2005 1900h – London vs Kelowna

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