May 11, 2005

OHL FINALS GAME 3 – London at Ottawa (5.10) – London Wins 5-4, Takes Series Lead 2-1

The 67s lose 5-4 to the Knights. See OHL’s game summary here and playoff tracker here. See 67s’ playoff page here and pics from Game 3 here.

From SLAM! Sports Knights edge 67's. From the Ottawa Citizen Chris Yzerman writes, Knights end 67's perfection. Snippet:

"They just simply played better than us, and we need more guys showing up to play next game," 67's captain Will Colbert said.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's home iced by London.

Also from the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Playing mind games.

From the London Free Press Jim Cressman writes, Coach on edge over skate blades. Coach Dick Todd (or Cressman) insinuating that the 67s beat Peterborough by cheating. Cressman also writes, Syvret puts Knights ahead.

From the London Free Press Morris Dalla Costa writes, Knights respond to challenge.

From the Globe and Mail David Naylor writes, London outlasts upstart Ottawa.

The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) and television (Rogers Television 22/Scott MacArthur, Ed Hand, and Lee Versage).

(On series so far) We started off in game one pretty solid. We showed in the first game that we could play with them. In game two, in the second we were a little flat, better in the third. We were frustrating them in their building. The best team in the league and maybe the country. That’s big for us.

(On tonight) We have to come out hard, not sleep. They’ll come out hard because they’re not used to losing.

(On McGinn out of line up) The doctor indicated he could play but we don’t want to take any chances with him. VanderVeeken will play on his line. He’s a big kid. He’s just going to go out there and work hard.

(On Battochio’s equipment change) He was playing without them yesterday and he was fine. They’re just trying to get under his skin. He’s handled worse things.

(On having a split in the series) We knew it would be a tough series. They beat out some tough opponents along the way. They got some timely goals, some SH goals. We’ve got to be able to bounce back.

(On tonight) I think that we were maybe a little overzealous and hyped up last game. I think you’ll see us play a more controlled, composed game.

(On Dennis getting start) We’ve got 2 very good ones. Adam’s been there before and we’re going to ride him. That’s not to say we won’t see Coleman.

(On having Rodney and Beaulieu back) Rodney: He’s a huge part of our back end. He logs a lot of minutes. Beaulieu: Josh provides us with a little more grit. He balances our top 3 lines.

_VanderVeeken, Talbot, Hulit (started)
_Bickell, Bonello, Mancari
_Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar
_Lawrance, Ouellette, Alphonso

Defensive Pairings:
_Colbert, Joslin
_Staubitz, Reid
_Van Herpt, Beard

Starting in goal:
_Guadagnolo back-up

_McGinn (inj-shoulder)
_Lahey (inj-conc)
_Spezza (healthy)
_Jarram (healthy)
_Kiriakou (healthy)

Well, it was a disappointing outcome, but very exciting for the majority. Ottawa was in it until the last half of the third period. Once London got the 5-4 lead, they shut it right down with a very effective trap. They lulled everyone in the building into a catatonic state. As much as I absolutely hate the trap, London played it perfectly. And, I have to admit that if it were Ottawa shutting down the game with the lead, putting the opposition and their fans to sleep, I might be okay with it. (I’d take game-ending shoot outs if it meant no more trap hockey ever.)

Battochio played . . . okay. He made some amazing saves like usual. But both goaltenders seemed to be off, as the score/SOG for both teams indicated. And Dennis was pulled – whether as a shake-up to his teammates or not. This was not the first time we’ve seen the revolving goaltenders in Ottawa, but never expected to see it with London. (And it’s set the Knights’ fans off again on NOOF – Dennis v Coleman.)

I think that Talbot and Hulit played very strong – consistently forechecking, skating hard. VanderVeeken contributed on the line, and Lawrance had the odd shift up there with them too. Mancari had a great night, Bickell, Bonello, and Akeson too. I was a little disappointed with Petruzalek and Kaspar. They didn’t seem to be working as hard as I’ve seen in previous games.

I think the defence was a little shaky, they seemed hesitant to take the body at first (whether this was because they didn’t want to take penalties?). They had some real defensive breakdowns, and they kept blindly passing the puck which would be intercepted by a London player. (I’ve never seen another team intercept the puck like London – collectively, they have an amazing ability to intercept and gather the puck away from the opposition. And this hurts Ottawa because they so often employ the long cross ice pass to get out of their zone.) It looked like the 67s ran out of energy towards the end of the game. And combined with London’s trap, they just couldn’t muster any offensive attack.

All-in-all it was one of the most exciting games I’ve seen this year. This was the type of hockey I was hoping London would play. Fast skating, up and down the ice, awesome saves by both goalies, beautiful passes and goals, an unbelievable PP by the Knights, and strong PKing by the 67s with their SH chances. It’s been a great series so far.

First Period. The Civic Centre erupted when Ottawa scored first – a goal by Hulit (1-0). They had been pressing hard around the net. VanderVeeken, replacing McGinn on the Talbot/Hulit line, got an assist. Bonello got the first penalty of the game, but the 67s were able to kill it off. Foreman tied it up (1-1). It was a beautiful goal, with Prust passing from the left to Bolland who was skating down the centre. Bolland passed to Foreman, who was standing to Battochio’s right, and he just tapped it in. Really showed Ottawa’s defensive weakness. Perry scored London’s second, taking the lead (2-1). Bolland scored London’s third goal (3-1), capitalizing on a penalty to Petruzalek. Ottawa then converted on their PP, a goal by Talbot (3-2). At the end of the period Talbot sidestepped a hit from C. Perry, who fell into his own bench. SOG at the end of the period were 11 for Ottawa and 10 for London. The score was 3-2 for London.

Second Period. At the beginning of the period, Battochio made the best save I’ve ever seen of him. Fritsche, to his left, shoots the puck and Battochio sticks out his glove lightning quick snatching the puck from the air, falling to the ice sprawling and spinning. The crowd surged to their feet in applause. Bolland scored a couple minutes later to put London up 4-2. The 67s had some great shifts during the last half of the second. They were holding the puck in London’s zone for long stretches of time. It was a big period for Mancari, who scored twice. With Mancari’s first goal (4-3) and the offensive pressure of the 67s, Dennis was pulled and in came Coleman. Mancari got his second goal of the period on Coleman (4-4). You could see London getting more frustrated – they started falling and diving (which they did not do in the first or third). SOG at the end of the period were 24 for Ottawa and 20 for London. The score was tied at 4-4.

Third Period. Syvret scored on Battochio to put the Knights up 5-4. It was a save that Danny would have normally made. As mentioned above, once London had the lead they really slowed things down, controlling the pace of the game and the puck. Being on the other side – the one that needs to score – it was really hard to watch. The 67s could not get past the green line, and if the puck did squirt through, there was another green line ready for it. SOG at the end of the game were 31 for Ottawa and 24 for London. The 67s were 2/3 on the PP, and the Knights were 1/2. The Knights won 5-4.

1, Hulit, (11) (VanderVeeken, Talbot), 05:07
1, Talbot, (8) (Staubitz, Bickell), 18:08 (PP)
2, Mancari, (12) (Bickell), 04:42
2, Mancari, (13) (Staubitz, Petruzalek), 14:09 (PP)

1, Foreman, (3) (Bolland, Prust), 11:17
1, Perry, (11) (Beaulieu, Hunter), 12:10
1, Bolland, (8) (Perry, Syvret), 15:59 (PP)
2, Bolland, (9) (Prust, Foreman), 04:21
3, Syvret, (5) , 02:56

1 - Bonello, 8:47 - Roughing, ,2min (PP)
1 - Petruzalek, 15:13 - Holding, ,2min (PP)
2 - Colbert, 19:54 - Charging, ,2min

1 - Foreman, 17:15 - Slashing, ,2min (PP)
2 - Larman, 13:05 - Hooking, ,2min (PP)
2 - Prust, 19:54 - Roughing, ,2min
3 - Rodney, 7:27 - High Sticking, ,2min (PP)

OHL thee stars were: (1) Bolland, (2) Mancari, and (3) Syvret.
TEAM 1200 thee stars were: (1) Bolland, (2) Mancari, and (3) Syvret.



Game 4 – LON at OTT – 5.12 (Thu) @ 7pm
Game 5 – OTT at LON – 5.14 (Sat) @ 7pm
Game 6 – LON at OTT – 5.16 (Mon) @ 7pm (if necessary)
Game 7 – OTT at LON – 5.17 (Tue) @ 7pm (if necessary)


StatsGuy said...

I think it would be fitting to go on and on a little more about how London is a bunch of falling down whiney cry babies, and the trap is boring, boring, boring.

I think the guy on the 67s discussion board said it best when he said that the Knights have no heart. They have a ton of skill, and they've been riding that. But they're not a likeable team.

When Kitchener won in 2001, you felt happy for them. If/when London wins, it just makes you despise them a little more and you wish they'd all just shut up and go away.

The team personifies the exact opposite of a Zenon Konopka, for example. For me, I'd rather see more Zenon Konopkas and less 2004-05 London Knights.

Just my opinion.

Sid said...

Okay. I agree with your 'opinion' totally. Love Kaptain Konopka, and I'd rather watch him play than a million C. Perrys.

I'm trying to be positive here. All positive from here on out. I'm just happy that we're still watching hockey (in May!) and if that means we have to put up with London . . . well, we just hold our noses and enjoy what we can.