December 04, 2005

Friday Night’s Alright in the National Capital Region!

Long time no hear! Sorry about that. Technical details – I have way too many userids and passwords to remember.

Friday was a hat trick for Ottawa teams:

Sens reigned the Kings: 5 – 1
67s stung Sarnia: 7 – 4
Olympiques sailed past the Drakkars: 6 – 1

A really quick recap for Friday ‘cause my memory is lousy, my notes are incomprehensible and I’ve already lost all my clever writings once this evening.

Sarnia might have come to town thinking that they are going waltz through the eastern part of the league having just beaten Peterborough in their own barn. Wrong!

It didn’t take long for the record to be set straight. The line my seat neighbor Jess calls the Crazy 8’s (8 – Lahey, 85 – Reid, 88 – McGinn, 89 – Couture and 19 - Ryan) scored just over 4 minutes into the game. McGinn scored with an assist from Logan Couture. At about the midway mark, Mackie got his first goal with the 67s with assists from Brody Beard and Pat Daley. On just their third shot on goal at about the halfway mark Bryan Bickell extended his point streak to 8 games with a goal, assisted by Chris Hulit and Derek Joslin. Later in the period, just what you don’t want to see – happened. Sarnia got one past Battman with 1:28 to go. The period ended 3 – 1 Ottawa. Shots on goal: 8 – 15 Sarnia.

The second period was notable for Ottawa’s penalty killing. Chris Hulit got himself into penalty trouble with a hooking penalty, a roughing penalty and, when he tried to discuss the last one with the ref, he earned himself a 10 minute misconduct to boot! Seems the ref was not much of a conversationalist and reinforced that point with authority. Ottawa killed all 4 penalties assessed. Sarnia scored one at about 8 minutes into the period and it ended 3 – 2 Ottawa. Shots on goal after 2: 18 – 24 Sarnia.

The third period wass more exciting. The Crazy 8’s started the period with a quick goal in the first minute of play. Pat Daley scored with assists from Couture and McGinn. Then I got to see a diving penalty called for the first time (ahoogha! ahooga! dive! dive! dive!). Chad Painchaud from Sarnia was called and, not having taken note of the ref’s earlier disdain for social discourse on the ice, got another 10 minutes for pressing the point. Our Crazy 8’s were only too happy to take advantage with a goal at 3:42 of the period when Lahey scored his second goal of the night with assists from Reid and, who else, Couture (the kid is everywhere!). The next goal was the most fun to cheer about: Shea Kewin was in the penalty box for holding. Couture was pressing in the Sarnia zone and intercepted a pass almost right in front of the net and popped it in for the shorthanded goal. Beauty! But Sarnia was not down for the count just yet. A couple of minutes later, they came back to score their first of two unanswered goals – one on a power play. After their goal at 16:53 of the third period, Sarnia was ready to pull the goalie for the 6th attacker, which they did at about 2 minutes left if memory serves me correctly. Ottawa defended well and got a couple of good chances to hit the open net. Bickell finally got it done with 17 second left to play.

Final score: 7 – 4 Ottawa
Final SoG: 32 – 24 Ottawa

First Star: Logan Couture (goal, 3 assists and generally a busy guy)
Second Star: Pat Lahey (2 goals)
Third Star: Chad Painchaud (Sarnia)

Thoughts: The last few games have been exciting to watch. They are fast (even with the penalties), with end-to-end rushes and great chances. It’s great to see Chris Hulit playing more like he did last year – lots of second effort. I just wish the guys could do a better job of clearing the puck out of their own zone. The last goal by Sarnia was the result of not getting the puck past their blue line. The young lads are great to watch. I hope we keep them and they stay healthy; we’re going to have some great hockey for the rest of this year and for a couple of years to come!

As always, your thoughts are welcome. Cheers!

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