May 24, 2005

MEMORIAL CUP GAME 4 – Ottawa vs Rimouski – Rimouski Wins 4-3

Subtitle: Battochio holds his own against Sid the Kid

Ottawa Rimouski
(A neighbourhood power outage really set me back blog-wise today. Let me tell ya, the panic sets in when a blogger can’t access their computer or the internet all day!!!) A disappointing outcome for Ottawa. The 67s didn’t capitalize on their opportunities and didn’t get the puck luck. Many players didn’t step up (Bonello, Alphonso, Ouellette, Hulit, and Battochio aside: these guys rocked). They were playing from the catch-up position all night, getting within reach of a tie then letting it slip away. The refereeing was less than stellar. A lot of slashes BOTH ways uncalled, some real questionable calls that led to goals . . . Disappointing to see them lose, but it’s good that they’ve shown they can play against all three league champions. See CHL Memorial Cup site for game summary here and game recap here. See OHL site for game summary here. See Ottawa 67s’ site for game summary here, and pictures of Game 4 here.

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, McKenzie did not diss 67's. Snippet:

Brian Kilrea didn't use his fourth line in the first OT Sunday, but did put them out there in the second. "It was their speed and freshness that got the penalty that gave us the winning goal," said Kilrea. Kelowna's Blake Comeau was sent off at the 14-minute mark for high-sticking Arron Alphonso and at 15:41, Brad Staubitz ended it.

That’s what we thought – Comeau was doing all he could to keep up with the speedy Alphonso, which included hooking and hauling. Unfortunately for Kelowna, the last hook hit Alphonso in the face – hence the penalty. So when giving props to Staubitz and Bonello, some big ones also go to Alphonso!

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, 67's looking to lay beating on Crosby. On playing Crosby:

"Once you start looking at the puck or curling away from the puck, he can make you look silly," said Bonello. "You have to play the body and match his speed with him. Try and stay as close as possible to him."

Since the 67's don't have a designated checking line, Kilrea said the priority tonight will be getting the right defencemen on the ice when Crosby is out there. As a group, the 67's blueliners had an awful night against Kelowna on Sunday, so they will have to upgrade their games.

Crosby has been playing right wing since returning from the world juniors, so the 67's left defencemen, starting with Will Colbert, will be on the spot.

"I can't wait. I've seen him on TV and heard about him for two years. I finally got to see him live on Saturday. To get a chance to match up against him (tonight), I'm going to enjoy it. It'll be fun," said Colbert.

"It's a tough task. I'm just going to try and do my best and hopefully I don't wind up minus-5."

"We'll roll four lines and they'll have the opportunity to use him at their leisure," said Kilrea. "You have to know where you can gamble and where you can't and give him the respect he deserves."

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Petruzalek might not be done.

From the London Free Press, Game day.

From the Ottawa Citizen Donna Spencer writes, Roussin scores twice for Rimouski in a 4-3 win over Ottawa at Memorial Cup.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 'We played a poor game'. Snippet:

"We played a poor game, and we had too many guys who didn't play well at all," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea.

From the London Free Press Jim Kernaghan writes, Oceanic aid Knights.

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Lack of passion costly for 67's. Oh no, please no:

"We've had trouble with consistency all year," said defenceman Brad Staubitz, who had a goal and an assist last night.

Don’t they realize that they’ve got a few games left in the year, for some their junior career. You’d think that they’d be over that ‘inconsistency’ problem by now.

From the Toronto Sun Terry Koshan writes, The Sid is all right.

From the Toronto Sun Ken Fidlin writes, Crosby gets no favours. Snippets:

"I see the game from my side and I trust the honesty of the referee," Labonte said, diplomatically. "It depends how they see the play and their judgment. I can yell but I'm not the one who's making the decision."

[. . .]

When it was over, with the 67's storming the Rimouski net to tie it in the last minute, if you listened very closely, you could hear a sigh of relief from the tournament organizers.

The dream final for this tournament involves the London Knights and Rimouski. They have the star power. From a marketing standpoint, Ottawa and the Kelowna Rockets are mere props.

Your dream, buddy.

From the London Free Press Morris Dalla Costa writes, No underdogs playing in this tournament. Snippet:

The Oceanic hung on for their tournament life against the no-longer-an-underdog 67's for a 4-3 win last night at the John Labatt Centre. Both teams are now 1-1 in the tournament.

[. . .]

"If anyone thinks we're the underdogs still, I don't know what they are watching," said Mancari. "We won the first game and lost this game by a goal. If they want to think of us as the underdogs, that's fine, but I think we have proved ourselves."

From the Ottawa Citizen Allen Panzeri writes, Oceanic hold off 67's.

And saving the best for last, from the Globe and Mail Tim Wharnsby writes, Comeback kids finally meet.

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

Congratulations to Sidney Crosby, named CHL player of the year.

(Thoughts on game vs Kelowna) [Battochio’s saves kept us in the game.] The turning point happened early in the game. That they didn’t pull away from us, that was the turning point.

(On tonight’s game) I’d like to see a few of the fellows who didn’t have a great game, whether nerves or not. I thought that Brad Bonello did not get the exposure he deserved. He was our best forward.

(On playing against Sidney Crosby) We had to play C. Perry and they’re alike in a lot of ways. We need to be aware when he’s on the ice.

(On Petruzalek) I don’t think he’ll play tonight. We’ll have to make an adjustment, I’m just not sure what it is.

(Thoughts on game vs London) I thought we came in prepared but it’s a big show, with big hype. Half the team was nervous. I don’t feel that we put our normal team on the ice. We feel we didn’t put our game on the ice and London played well. We’re looking forward to the next game, rather than looking back.

(On Crosby’s linemates) A lot of our players are being overlooked because of Sidney. A lot of the other players helped us win the playoffs and no one is talking about them. Cedrick – our goalie held us in the game with London, Pouliot, our second line Stewart, Tobin, Hrdell have done a tremendous job. Our top 4 defencemen have done really well.

(On tonight’s game) We knew of them before because at this level you get tapes to study. They’re not a skilled team, but a physical, grinding team. Their goalie got them through the playoffs. We’re expecting a tight team against a grinding team.

(On the importance of this win) Well that was the focus in the first game: trying to get one game. We’re still trying to do that. We’re not thinking of Kelowna, just Ottawa. Things we didn’t do well, we’ll work on. A lot of the stress is gone, the guys are more relaxed this time. We know that Ottawa was in the final in the OHL, they beat London, and they beat Kelowna the other night.

(via CHL Memorial Cup site)

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

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

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

Roussin, Crosby, Pouliot
Tobin, Stewart, Hrdell
Cote, Charette, Neilson(?)
Aspirot, Arsenault, Bachand

*Defensive Pairings:
Coulombe, Scalzo
J-M Bolduc, Sersen
Tremblay, F Bolduc

*Starting In Goal:
Desjardins. (?) as back up.

First Period. The penalties started early, with Reid getting the first call for hauling down Tobin. Bonello did his best rendition of C. Perry, and was called for diving. He does embellish, and that was particularly embarrassing to watch. Reid was called again, this one questionable, leading to a goal by Crosby to give Rimouski the lead (1-0). The Oceanic didn’t let up after the penalty, skating fast, creating a 3-on-1. The 67s looked like they were standing still, like they didn’t know which way to turn and what their assignment was. Sersen was called next, to make up for the bad call on Reid earlier. Ottawa had a number of good scoring chances but weren’t able to capitalize. And then Roussin scored to put Rimouski up by 2 (2-0). Again, the 67s were scrambling around in front of their net. Scalzo and Hulit collided, banging knees. Scalzo took the worst of the hit, going down, grabbing his leg. The Rimouski trainer came out, and Scalzo was assisted off the ice by his teammates. Roussin was called for knocking Staubitz into the goalpost, taking Battochio out in the process. Kaspar scored on the ensuing PP to get the 67s in the scoresheet (2-1). It was a great goal: Bolduc shot the puck high, attempting to get it out of the zone, with Crosby waiting to breakaway with it up ice. Kaspar jumped and gloved it down, then fired a hard shot that went it. SOG at the end of the game were 14 for Ottawa and 14 for Rimouski. Rimouski was up 2-1.

Second Period. Pouliot scored early into the period to make it 3-1. That line had tremendous puck movement, and the 67s continued to scramble about. Bona was called for checking Alphonso (another questionable call), to give the 67s their 3rd PP opportunity. Battochio made a big save when Arsenault got a SH chance. Once the 67s got set up, they did get a number of chances. Battochio made another huge save when Rimouski got a 3-on-0 breakaway, led by Crosby. Desjardins knocked his net off (like Game 1) and was called for it (unlike Game 1). Bonello was doing a great job winning faceoffs during the PP. Some more lost opportunities with Alphonso missing a wide open net, and Hulit getting a SH chance but couldn’t get the shot off. Battochio was called for interference, and Staubitz did a good job body blocking shots. Hulit had another SH chance, but no goal. SOG at the end of the period were 36 for Ottawa and 29 for Rimouski. The score was 3-1 for Rimouski.

Third Period. 50 seconds into the period the Staubitz scored, to bring the 67s within 1 (3-2). They fired a volley of shots at Desjardins, and had a lot of energy. Crosby was high-sticked by Colbert (unintentionally, Colbert doesn’t play ‘that’ style), and the trainer came out to assist him. No penalties were called. Hulit had another breakway opportunity, but Desjardins stopped him. Roussin scored to make it 4-2, banging in a rebound which Battochio is usually good at controlling. Then Hulit went down, writhing (Terry Koshan/Toronto Sun said on the TEAM 1200/Garry Galley and Dave Gross this morning that he could hear Hulit’s scream up in the pressbox). Patafie came out, and off they went. On replay, Hulit was slashed on the wrist. On a PP (Bonello highsticked by Bolduc), Staubitz shot a hard one that was redirected into the net by McGinn to get within 1 again (4-3). McGinn was taking a lot of abuse in front of the net, but it paid off. Ottawa pulled Battochio at the end of the period, but the 67s couldn’t tie it up. Rimouski won an important game, to remain in the running, with a final score of 4-3. Final SOG were 51 for Ottawa and 39 for Rimouski.

Net cam view: Desjardins stopped the 67s all night
[Via CHL, Photo: Dave Sanford]
1, Kaspar, (1) , 18:24 (PP)
3, Staubitz, (2) (Mancari, Colbert), 00:50
3, McGinn, (1) (Staubitz, Kaspar), 12:28 (PP)

1, Crosby, (2) (Pouliot, Coulombe), 11:18 (PP)
1, Roussin, (2) (Coulombe, Scalzo), 15:19
2, Pouliot, (2) (Coulombe, Crosby), 01:00
3, Roussin, (3) (Pouliot, Scalzo), 07:00

Ottawa – 2/8 on PP
Rimouski – 1/5 on PP

1 - Reid, 0:49 - Interference, 2min (PP)
1 - Bonello, 3:56 - Unsportsmanlike Cnd., 2min
1 - Reid, 11:00 - Roughing, 2min (PP)
2 - Ouellette, 15:08 - Roughing, 2min (PP)
2 - Battochio, 17:05 - Interference, 2min (PP)
3 - VanderVeeken, 13:59 - Hooking, 2min (PP

1 - Neilson, 3:56 - Cross Checking, 2min
1 - Sersen, 12:17 - Interference, 2min (PP)
1 - Roussin, 17:43 - Interference, 2min (PP)
2 - Bona, 2:46 - Interference, 2min (PP)
2 - Desjardins, 6:01 - Delay of Game, 2min (PP)
2 - Tremblay, 9:03 - High Sticking, 2min (PP)
3 - Bolduc, 11:59 - High Sticking, 2min (PP)
3 - Coulombe, 19:25 - Interference, 2min (PP)
3 - Coulombe, 19:25 - Interference, 2min (PP)

Memorial Cup three stars were: (1) Pouliot-RIM, (2) Coulombe-RIM, and (3) Kaspar-OTT. TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Pouliot-RIM, (2) Staubitz-OTT, and (3) Coulombe-RIM.

Richard Forest, QMJHL.


Game 5 – 5.25.2005 1900h – Rimouski vs Kelowna

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