January 31, 2005
[paraphrasing] On the undefeated streak this past w/e: All I know is that it seems like a long time and it was a much happier bus ride home. It was something that we needed.
On yesterday’s game: The funny thing is, is that it was really Guadagnolo’s show yesterday. He was more responsible than anyone. They had different individuals on their side going out and working hard. But we settled down and played a better period from then on. You have to have good goal-tending to win, and he is a good goal-tending. He gave us a chance to win. I gave our guys credit for being able to hang on to win.
On the difference with the team this w/e: I don’t do a lot of analyzing. If things are good in the room, and they are good with each other, than the team improves. It takes time for new guys to adjust and the players to adjust to them. The w/e had an awful lot to do with confidence. Guys who hadn’t scored, scored, and guys who hadn’t played well, played well. I’m hoping in practice tomorrow they will have more life, energy. We went through a tough time. But we know our conditioning is good, for us to play strong in the third period. Conditioning and team confidence were big things. We’re in striking distance of anybody and everybody. Confidence is one thing, healing of our injuries another. Someday we’re going to have to sit some players. We haven’t had to do that really yet. We’re close to getting Akeson and Battochio back. That’s good – it pushes some of the other fellows. If you want to stay, you need to play well.
On the defence playing offensively: Lawrance has been playing left wing because of the absence of Akeson. Staubitz, a defenceman, got points this w/e on the PP. Same with Joslin and Reid. I like them to be offensive, only if they don’t leave the defence open – like if they join a rush, with no one back to protect the zone.
On Spezza: He played great. Give the kid credit they had some pretty good scoring chances. They were crowding him too. He went out and took care of business and got a penalty for it. I like his fire and the way he competes. He’s a good team man on the bench and in the dressing room. One thing though, he looks at goodies and they stay with him – donuts and bread – I think that he’s going to have to work on keeping the pounds off. I like him and the rest of the team does too. When he goes out on the ice, he competes and works hard. He’s a happy-go-lucky kid. But when he’s in the net, he’s all business. Just has to work on his weight. Guadagnolo is still the number one guy. Yesterday was his game. Battochio’s been practicing and looks good, but we’re not going to rush him. I think that Spezza’s really looking to play in Kingston this Sunday, to show them what they missed out on by trading him. I’m thinking of putting him net, not because it’s sentimental, but because he worked hard and earned it.
They did it. They worked as a team, with energy, didn't give up when down goals or let a tie game slip away. They won against a divisional rival at home, and then took on a very good team that regularly plays London and Owen Sound and didn't back down - on the road. They then went on to play a third game in three days, the second road game, wining the game and scoring 6 goals (6!) in the process. (In fact, they scored 12 goals with Guadagnolo in net! They usually have low scoring games when Guadagnolo plays.) Again, congrats to the 67s for a hard-working, winning w/e.
And more evidence of Killer’s “nice understanding” with the refs in the league:
“We battled back to tie it, and we had some good chances but couldn’t bury them,” said Battalion coach Stan Butler.
“It was one of those games where you can’t blame the guys for not generating opportunities. You have to give their goalie credit. He stepped up and played an outstanding game.”
(We weren’t able to catch this game on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) until the third period.)
Referee Scott Oakman, who seemed to wilt under the glare of veteran 67's coach Brian Kilrea, left some wondering whether his executive director's duties with the embattled Greater Toronto Hockey League have affected his officiating ...
IN THE NEWS
From SLAM! Sports, 67's outscore Battalion. And from the Ottawa Sun, Lawrance beats back troops. A snippet:
At Brampton, Robbie Lawrance scored the winner at 14:32 of the third period as the 67's blew a three-goal lead before recovering to beat the Battalion in OHL action yesterday. The 67's (23-19-6-1) led 4-1 heading into the final period, but the Battalion (25-16-7-2) rallied to tie it on goals by Brock McPherson, John de Gray and Luke Lynes in the first 4:45 of the third.
[. . .]
Kilrea praised Guadagnolo for hanging tough after Brampton tied the game in the third period.
"He kept us in the game," said Kilrea, whose club widened its second-place lead to three point over Belleville in the East Division.
1, Staubitz, (4) (Talbot, Hulit), 08:53 (PP)
1, Hulit, (24) (VanderVeeken), 13:21
2, VanderVeeken, (6) (Colbert, Hulit), 04:56 (PP)
2, Talbot, (22) (Petruzalek, Kaspar), 15:20 (PP)
3, Lawrance, (2) (Bonello, Staubitz), 14:32
3, Bickell, (17) (Hulit), 19:02
1, Wolski, (22) , 02:50
3, McPherson, (8) (Harrison, Duff), 01:23
3, de Gray, (2) (Sweeney, Lynes), 02:34
3, Lynes, (9) (Sonnenburg, Martin), 04:45
OHL three stars were: (1) Guadagnolo, (2) Lynes (BRA), and (3) Hulit.
TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Hulit (4 point game – 1G and 2A), (2) Guadagnolo (sensational in net), and (3) Lawrance (game-winning goal).
This Friday at home vs Brampton. Then away on Sunday at Kingston.
IN THE NEWS
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.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
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.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE RANGERS
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.
IN THE NEWS
Some pre-game news from the Ottawa Sun (1.28.2005). Don Brennan writes 67's eye split with Bulls.
And post-game news from SLAM! Sports, 67's run Bulls. From the Belleville Intelligencer, Bulls dumped. From the Ottawa Citizen, Chris Yzerman writes 67's offence catches fire. Some quotes:
From the Ottawa Sun, Don Brennan writes Physical 67's step up and take Bulls by the horns.
"We know that's the type of hockey we're capable of playing," 67's captain Will Colbert said. "We need to work on that every night.
[. . .]
"Killer has been talking to us all week and trying to get the guys motivated and get them into the game because we haven't been showing up early," Talbot said.
"The team hasn't been playing with that much emotion. (Last night), everybody came out hard and we finally got the win that we needed."
"We've been struggling lately, and (coach Brian Kilrea) reiterated to us, 'If you don't want to play, stay in the room' ... there's just been no emotion," said defenceman Elgin Reid, who contributed a solid game and a fight in a breakout second period.
"(Last night), everybody stepped up and played physical. There's definitely some bad blood with (the Bulls). They're probably one of our biggest rivals. They don't like to be hit, and we took it to them. Even the fights ... they are not a big part of the game, but they give the guys and the fans a boost. And Killer likes to see emotion."
The game was broadcast on TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec.
Pre-game interview with Killer: On the loss in Belleville: We gave the puck away a lot. Some of our reliable defencemen were not playing the puck well. We were forcing the goaltenders to make tremendous saves. We need to play better in our own end if we’re going to win games. On Spezza’s game in Belleville (stopping all 28 SOG he faced): It did a lot of good for his confidence and for the confidence of the team. It was a great game by Spezza. He gave us a chance to win. He played well, but we need some guys to start playing better. We talked about it on the bus home. The best players we decided were Talbot and Bickell. But the next two forwards, and it was a consensus, were McGinn and Alphonso, and they’re both 16. On Spezza getting the start in Kitchener: Spezza is going to get the start on Saturday. I haven’t made a decision for Sunday yet. On Akeson’s injury (is it more than just a day-to-day thing): Next w/e he’ll be fine, but right now he needs to rest it or it could damage it long-term. We’re playing it safe.
Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; Lawrance, Bonello, Mancari; VanderVeeken, Talbot, Hulit (started); Alphonso, McGinn.
Defensive pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Jarram, Beard
Staring in goal: Guadagnolo. Spezza on the bench.
Out: Ouellette (inj-mono), Battochio (inj-shoulder), Lahey (inj-concussion), and Akeson (inj-Achilles; won’t be ready until next w/e).
Note that this was the first night that we didn’t go to watch the game live, and we were still in Ottawa. We’re leaving real early tomorrow for A ROAD TRIP!, so we decided to for-go. The following notes were based on the radio play-by-play/colour.
First period. It sounds like the 67s are playing physical – forechecking and finishing checks, with lots of jump. Mancari had 2 short-handed chances on the PP. A wonky goal goes into the 67s net off of Staubitz. Bickell scored a PP goal! “A much different team,” says Schreibs. “Effort and intensity there,” says AJ.
Second Period. Hulit scores his second of the night. The 67s are getting odd-man rushes: 2-on-1, and 2-on-0. This is very encouraging! Joslin fights with Johnson (BEL): “No real damaging blows,” says Schreibs. Both were “enthusiastic.” Talbot, off of Hulit scores! Good for Talbot! “A commanding performance here at home,” says AJ. Another fight: Reid vs Welesky (BEL). “This one is all Elgin Reid, folks!” yells Schreibs. “This one’s turning a little bit ugly,” says Schreibs as Bobby Davey (BEL) wants to take on Jarram later in the period. The linesman pulls Davey away before anything starts.
Third Period. Mancari, with help from his linemates Lawrance and Bonello, makes it a 5-1 game! Then, Bonello scores right away! “ . . . top shelf, where mama keeps the homemade jam,” shrieks Schreibs. Johnson (BEL) scores after the 67s got caught up in their own end. And they finish the game, with a 6-2 win. “An all around good effort tonight; good to see them bounce back,” says AJ.
So the 67s beat the Bulls 6-2. Good for them. Scoring from multiple guys on multiple lines. They really needed this. Now let’s hope that they can get at least one win on the road.
1, Hulit, (22) (Talbot, VanderVeeken), 09:00
1, Bickell, (16) (Joslin, Bonello), 19:06 (PP)
2, Hulit, (23) (Kaspar, Talbot), 07:24 (PP)
2, Talbot, (20) (Hulit, Reid), 12:27
3, Mancari, (22) (Bonello, Lawrance), 04:57
3, Bonello, (16) (McGinn, Alphonso), 05:35
1, Rancourt, (21) , 14:21 (PP)
3, Johnson, (3) (Spade, Cameron), 08:47
OHL three stars were: (1) Hulit, (2) Talbot, and (3) Reid.
TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Hulit (he kind of struggled for a while trying to score goals, but he came back big tonight; an all around great effort for Chris Hulit, with 2 G and 1 A); (2) Talbot (he brings it every night; a huge night offensively; you never have a night where he has a night off; even in Belleville he was the best of a very bad lot); and (3) Mancari (he and Bonello really answered the bell after taking some heat from Kilrea and the media this week; both set the tone tonight with good physical play). Honourable mentions to Bonello and Reid.
Now this was a sell-out. 9862.
Tomorrow night in Kitchener (we’ll be there!), then Sunday afternoon in Brampton.
January 29, 2005
I've got my recap from last night - woo hoo, way to go boys, 6-2 win over Belleville - which I'll post when we get back.
January 27, 2005
Now this is what they should have posted in the dressing room.
Van Herpt spoke about the importance of working together.
"You have to help each other out," he said. "In hockey, if somebody isn't pulling their weight, the other team could have a chance to score. If somebody is not pulling their weight in a class project, you might not hit the mark you could hit ... you might fail."
Van Herpt also shared with the students a story that illustrated why it's important never to give up.
A road trip to Oshawa earlier this season took three hours longer than usual because of poor weather conditions, and by the time the 67's arrived, they were rushed into getting ready for game time. By the end of the first period they were down 3-0, but ultimately regrouped and wound up with a 6-6 tie.
"We could have easily quit, but we didn't," he said. "It's the same with you guys. If you don't have a good first term, don't give up."
AJ: (On Spezza) He was outstanding. Guadagnolo should have got the start, rightly, but Spezza coming in, he gives the 67s more depth in goal and now they have three pretty good options.
Garry: What is with their lack of offence?
AJ: They’ve got three lines that should be able to put the puck in the net. Look at their stats. The problem is that they’ve all been streaky. It never seems that all three lines are on at the same time. Last night, the best players on the ice were Talbot, McGinn, Alphonso, and Lawrance. Rookies and a defenceman.
Dave: What the hell is wrong with this team?
AJ: They’re just not consistent. Sometimes they’re not ready out of the gate. Sometimes they’re not ready after 20 minutes. They can’t play for 60 minutes. It’s pretty disturbing. Look at last year’s team, I think that this year’s team is more talented, but last year they came to play every night. Goaltending, from a consistency standpoint, is better than last year. But they can’t string wins together. They can’t string periods and even shifts together. I’m baffled, and I know that the coaching staff is baffled. Someone has to take a major leadership role here.
Dave: Last year they had Bauman and Mitsou.
AJ: Albiani was a leader in the back room.
Garry: Is it a problem with no one in the room?
AJ: Don’t know. Staubitz has helped out in that department. But, they haven’t gelled yet. There’s not that much time left though. Maybe this is the w/e – but we’ve been saying this for 2, 3 months now – but maybe this is when they’ll turn it around.
Garry: Leadership doesn’t come from one guy. If you’re looking around the room for someone to be a leader for you, that’s pretty sorry.
AJ: A lot of the no-show games have been the big ones. Example Peterborough. It’s baffling. Big games against divisional rivals, and you put forth that kind of effort.
If Belleville had a full team effort, did Ottawa have a full team collapse?
Spezza kept them in the game but they didn't appear to want the win. The score could have easily been 4-1[.]
This is the finest bunch of underachievers Kilrea has ever produced.................
Julian Talbot came to play, as always, and I thought Jamie McGinn had a nice game, but otherwise there wasn't a lot there. The Czechs had their families there, but they looked more disinterested and out of position than ever.
IN THE NEWS
From Paul Svoboda in the Belleville Intelligencer, Total team effort key for Bulls. I think that the 67s need to adopt this policy:
Cuz here’s what the 67s did:
Overage netminder Eric Tobia, who turned aside 27 shots for the victory, said a full, 60-minute effort by all of his 18 teammates in the lineup made his job easier.
“That was the one thing we said before the game, was that if everybody played a good game, we’re tough to beat,” said Tobia. “And, everybody did.”
From the Ottawa Sun, Spezza shines in debut, can't save loss to Bulls. Props to Spezza:
“Spezza gave us a great game and a chance to win,” said Kilrea. “Unfortunately, not enough other fellows fed off his enthusiasm.”
"(Spezza) was outstanding," said Kilrea, who added he'll go back to Guadagnolo for tomorrow night's rematch vs. the Bulls at the Civic Centre but will give Spezza the start on Saturday in Kitchener vs. the Rangers. "He made some good saves from in close.[”]
The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec).
Pre-game interview with Killer. On the past game/meltdown with London: It was no meltdown, we just didn’t play well. We showed everyone our mistakes. We lost battles one-on-one, leaving our man. It was a bad period of hockey. On tonight’s game: Well, we need to go out and play a little bit better than last Sunday, and Friday for that matter. If they get going I think we’ll be fine. Confidence is a big thing; some have it and some don’t and we need to get everyone playing with confidence. Akeson’s injury: He twisted his ankle the other day, and when he tried to skate on it he couldn’t. We’re not sure that he’ll be ready for this w/e. But, it’s not going to be a lingering injury though. Lawrance on forward line: He’s good defensively, and working well on that line. It’s not Robbie on that line, it’s Mancari and Bonello that need to pick it up.
Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; Lawrance, Bonello, Mancari; VanderVeeken, Talbot, Hulit (started); Alphonso, McGinn.
Defensive pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Jarram.
Staring in goal: Guadagnolo. Spezza on the bench.
Out: Beard (inj-shoulder), Ouellette (inj-mono), Battochio (inj-shoulder), Lahey (inj-concussion), and Akeson (inj-ankle).
First Period. Schreibs: “Guadagnolo had to be sharp . . .” 17 seconds in. Yikes. Here we go again. It sounds like the 67s are having some trouble getting the puck out of their end. Thornton (BEL) laid a good hit on Joslin. They get it into the offensive zone! Kaspar and Petruzalek get the puck out on a rush to the Bulls net. Reid turns it over and Berard (BEL) scores. “Just left it there; A brain cramp,” says Schreibs. “Elgin Reid leaving the puck in behind his own goal,” says AJ. Bickell hits Maksym, who falls awkwardly into the boards and gets up favouring his shoulder. Rancourt, left all alone, scores. “The 67s were caught running around in their own zone,” says AJ.
It appears that they are giving the Bulls time and space . . . C’mon guys. And in comes Spezza. Guadagnolo is pulled after letting in 2 on 9 SOG. Schreibs says, “Jarram with a good defensive play on Maksym . . .” “VanderVeeken fails to get it out . . .” “67s having all kinds of problems here early on.” “A great left pad save by Spezza, off Rorabeck who fired at point blank range.” The Bulls are out-shooting 13-5 at this point. AJ says: “The Bulls have taken over the momentum . . .” Schreibs says: “Kaspar centres it and Bickell fans!” “Some scary defensive play by Ottawa, but Spezza bails them out.” Talbot scores! “A beautiful wrist shot . . .” says Schreibs. A huge goal for Ottawa “who have been badly out-played,” says AJ. “Not a very good first period at all,” says AJ. SOG at the end of the period: 20-9 for Belleville. Score 2-1 for Belleville. It sounds like Spezza is definitely holding his own in his initiation 67s-style (which means a crap load of SOG). Good for him.
Second Period. Hey! This sounds like the first period: “Elgin Reid turns it over again . . . right to the stick of Rancourt . . . Spezza made an unbelievable stop . . .” “Spezza makes another great save,” says Schreibs. “Ottawa just not playing very smart here,” says Schreibs after Bonello gives puck away. The first PP of the game to Belleville. A penalty to Ottawa – Van Herpt – for tripping Berard. The 67s get through it. “Nice pass by Robbie Lawrance to feed Bonello . . .” says AJ. Lawrance is so impressing me lately. “Petruzalek turns it over and Spezza robs him!” yells Schreibs. Wow Spezza . . . He’s definitely showing his stuff. Bonello gets called for a penalty – they guys are saying that he missed his check, but Hobor heard the sound . . . So, on to the PK. Not allowing any chances on the first PP, and now on the second . . . “Spezza continues to sparkle in the 67s’ net,” says Schreibs. AJ says, “The word on Spezza is that when he’s great he’s great, when he struggles he struggles mightily.” (Not another player with a confidence problem, please.) Schreibs: “A wicked slap shot by Bickell that was labelled . . .” “No scoring in the second period, but a much better period from an Ottawa standpoint AJ,” Schreibs says. “Yeah, it couldn’t get any worse . . .” AJ replies. Ha. Ottawa out-shot the Bulls 9-8 in the second.
Third Period. Sounds like the 67s are getting some SOG at the beginning of this period. Also, line changes have been made: Lawrance moved up with Petruzalek and Kaspar; McGinn moved with Bonello and Mancari; Bickell moved with Talbot and Hulit; VanderVeeken benched; Colbert and Reid paired. “Spezza made a save off Cameron,” says Schreibs. A penalty – a high stick on McGinn – by Spade (BEL). “McGinn bouncing between lines; Getting more ice time than anyone,” says AJ. Spezza makes another huge save. “Spezza has been absolutely outstanding,” says AJ. The Bulls hold on for the win, 2-1.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Sounds like Spezza had a hell of a game. Stopped all goals once he came in (28 SOG), and named a star of the game. Also, McGinn, and the usual suspect Talbot.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE BULLS
Hughes, Rancourt seemed to have a good night.
1, Talbot, (19) (McGinn), 17:35
1, Berard, (7) (Beleskey), 02:10
1, Rancourt, (20) (Hughes), 06:54
OHL three stars were: 1. Rancourt (BEL), 2. Tobia (BEL), and 3. Spezza.
TEAM 1200 three stars were: 1. Spezza, 2. Rancourt (BEL), and 3. Hughes (BEL).
Home game this Friday when Belleville visits Ottawa, then it’s on the road time. Saturday the 67s visit Kitchener, then it’s on to Brampton for Sunday. This will be the first meeting for both Kitchener and Brampton this season.
January 25, 2005
Too bad. StatsGuy and I didn’t think that the OHL would do anything about this.
Kingston Frontenacs have decided not to protest Friday’s loss to London and that team’s use of ineligible player Dan Fritsche.
Fritsche, who was not listed on Friday’s game sheet, tallied once and assisted on another goal in the opening period even though the omission was brought to the attention of referees Ryan O’Neill and Rob Palm.
The two officials permitted Fritsche to remain in the game but disqualified him after further consultation in the first intermission.
“It’s not going anywhere,” Hulton said of the would-be protest.
“We were more or less told it’s a referee’s call, and though they didn’t get it right initially, they did straighten things out eventually.”
Asked for his thoughts from the Top Prospects game: The kids are great, and they idolize Don [Cherry]. What he says, they do. He’s priceless. People who don’t know about him except when they see him on TV, don’t know that he’s so comical. How he maintains composure with so many interviews and television cameras, I don’t know how he does it. People from the east coast were calling for interviews at 6am because of the time difference [Vancouver]. Don said he did 26 interviews in one day.
Regarding the Sydney Crosby no-show, and the organizer’s upset: The organizer was asked by so many people about this, that he eventually just got weary of it. He started off diplomatically, but he was asked and asked and asked. You’re dealing with a superstar in the making. It was more disappointment from the fans. I was on his side, because even if Sydney was injured (and he has played pretty well since then), I thought that he should have travelled out there to go out and accept the adulation of the fans. The fans wanted to shower him with praise because he was a gold medal winner and he should have travelled out there. I think he missed a great opportunity.
Other notes: Brent Sutter came to speak to the team, and the kids’ eyes popped. They loved him. Sutter took the time to talk to the kids, it was unofficial good will. Don [Cherry] is the guy they really want – they know so much about Don. Both teams do, but unfortunately he can only coach the one. Even John Davidson [the other coach] came to me and said I’m really enjoying this. He said it’s just so much fun. He’s another icon on TV down there, grassroots, it was good.
Any player that stood out? Gilbert Brule went out there with a purpose. He went out and showed them he’s going to be a force and a high, high pick. He played both ends, killed penalties, was physical, and scored goals.
Importance of this game to the draft? There is no doubt that guys move up from playing in this game. Yes, you can do yourself an awful lot of good. If you can show what you can do against the class of the draft, you will move up. Not so much down, because it is just one game from that angle.
Do you spend much time talking to the guys about the draft? Joslin for instance? No. Let nature take its course.
How many come to you and ask you about it? They do talk, and I’ve talked with Joslin – who wanted to be there [Top Prospects] – and was disappointed when he wasn’t. But it’s not just central scouting; also NHL scout voting.
If no NHL season, what happens to this year’s draft? If they did come to a resolution, whether next December, they could still have a draft next February so they wouldn’t lose the year.
Other notes on the current lock-out: Don [Cherry] felt that when they took personal attacks – calling some of the owners stupid, lying, cheats, etc. – it went too far. Don said it’s a little more personal now, and this is wrong. The last few years everything has been taken out of the hands of the owners, from hotels (e.g., if not a 5-star hotel the union won’t allow players to stay) and meal money, to pay (arbitration). These decisions are being made, not by the players or the owners, but by the union.
Are you at all optimistic? Only if the players understand and accept that the cap doesn’t hurt 90% of the players. Jeff Hunt explains it like this: If you [players] had 100% the gate, advertisement, parking, souvenirs etc., would you accept this? If yes, well that’s the cap. Now we have to work out the expense part on the owners end.
Thoughts from yesterday’s game: The team played for two periods in the game, for the third we were outworked. We didn’t play a physical game – maybe this was coming from the idea that they were leery of taking penalties, because London has such a good PP. But we were not physical. We were not winning the battles one-on-one. They’re a sound team, they do everything well. They chase the puck down, utilize their speed and strength. I don’t think everyone realizes how big and good C. Perry is. Maybe now after making the line up at World Junior team they will.
What’s up this week? A tough game coming up in Belleville. They beat London, but lost to Saginaw and Toronto. You never know, and you have to be ready for every game.
Will Spezza get a shot in the net? Probably this w/e. We’ve got three games coming up. Battochio is starting to get ready, but we’re not rushing him.
January 24, 2005
I think, for those in the second camp, they are missing the point of the first group. The main cause of upset, and I happen to agree with this myself – disclosure here – is not that they lost to London, a better team. No, it’s that they gave up. They packed it in. The game was far from over, but they decided they couldn’t win and so stopped trying.
Those in the second group say, ‘This was just one game, and it was London, and they were discouraged. So what that they gave up.’ Unfortunately, this discouragement leading to poor play/ bad attitude/ poor work ethic has been an ongoing and consistent problem with this group since the beginning of the season!
There is nothing that upsets fans more, then when the team (who has talent, nobody in the first group was saying they didn’t) doesn’t try. We are not expecting them to win every game, win the OHL championship every year, but we are expecting them to work hard every shift.
This lack of effort has been very glaring to those of us who have watched this team over the last few years. You can argue that past 67s have or have not been more skilled than this present team or others in the league. But past teams managed to win the big games, at big moments. They worked hard, and they had enthusiasm, and they tried. Zenon Konopka is legendary for this. Lance Galbraith too. The 67s have always been a gritty, grind-it-out team. I’m proposing that fans that follow the team closely can readily tell that this current group is very much lacking players of this ilk.
And so fans have every right to make note of it. And no, it is not being ‘spoiled’ or ‘turning your back on your team.’ It is clearly because they have been such fans over a period of time that they can see that something is not right. They’re still going to games, they’re still talking about the team, they’re still supporting them by trying to figure out what is wrong. IMO, a fan isn’t someone who only gushes about their team, only saying positive things that won’t hurt their feelings. As long as what they’re saying is intelligent criticism I see nothing wrong with airing concerns. Hopefully someone is reading them, and listening.
Of course, they could all be suffering from mono . . . (And I'm not being flippant.)
Good one, eh? (Thanks StatsGuy.)
"We have a motto in our room and that's 'Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work' and that's something we have.
** Update by Sid 1.24.2005 1430h **
Okay . . . This post does sound a little harsh (right, you know who?), but I'm not maligning Mancari (I love him!), rather the idea that this team's motto is 'hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work.' I've blogged about this before - how they stop working or trying and it's very obvious to fans and very disappointing. To learn that this is what they have hanging in the dressing room, for inspiration? It's jarring. Especially jarring, on the heels of this past w/e's debacle.
[paraphrasing] What did you think of the Knights? We lost focus on the little things that we had talked about before the game to do against them. I don’t think that we got more than 2 or 3 good shots on them. As soon as we passed the red line, they shut us down. The puck seemed to land in front of one there wingers streaking down the ice. We haven’t seen this before.
We have to put this behind us. We’ve got two big division games with Belleville coming up, then Kitchener and Brampton which will be a big test for us.
What does London do that other teams don’t? They move the puck well. Their passes are bang on. Guys seem to be able to find open ice. They take advantage of every little mistake you make in your own end.
Best player on their team? Perry is the guy they look too, to score most of their goals in key situations. Fritsche and Schremp too. Plus they have 6 solid defenceman, and good goaltending.
Were the 67s intimidated by London? I’m not sure. We weren’t letting them run a round for the first two periods. Maybe we were kind of in awe of the way they were playing, and some of the players. [/paraphrasing]
‘bitzy’ (Gross called Staubitz) had a couple of fights this past w/e with Prust (LON) and Gimblett (SAG). Heard that the Prust fight was something else.
AJ said that Killer’s not too pleased. They have yet to put together a full 60 minutes. They played 25 minutes against Saginaw, and 40 against London. The defensive breakdowns were very obvious. It’s a little disturbing that they can’t get on a roll to win 3, 4, 5 in a row. Especially at this point in the season. They can’t afford to have a week off now. If they go anything less than 2/4 this w/e, AJ thinks that they’ll have problems winning the division.
(Note that Dave G. did not watch or listen to the game. So his information is all second-hand.)
See OHL game summary here.
IN THE NEWS
From SLAM! Sports, Knights blank 67's. From the LFP, Jim Cressman writes Coleman starts a shutout streak. And from the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes Knight-mare on Bank St. A quote:
"For two periods it looked like we had some interest, but in the third we lost interest," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "We wanted to see why they were so good, and we stood around and watched them. Now we know."
The game was broadcast on radio only (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec).
Some notes from the pre-game interview with Killer. On the game vs Saginaw: He thinks that the boys were looking too far ahead (for London game). He says that you need to have respect for every team you play. On today’s game vs London: They’re the best team in the league. This year is their opportunity to go for it all, so he can understand why they felt the need to make trades. They’re good on the PP, and also 5-on-5. On injured players: McGinn will be back for the game, and is hoping that Battochio is on the road to recovery.
Forwards: Akeson, Talbot, Hulit (started); Lawrance, Bonello, Mancari; Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, McGinn, Alphonso.
Defensive pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Jarram.
Starting in goal: Guadagnolo. Spezza on the bench.
Out: Beard (inj-shoulder), Ouellette (inj-mono), Battochio (inj-shoulder), and Lahey (inj-concussion).
This was the worst game I’ve seen in a long time. And no, it’s not because the 67s decided not to show up to the rink, but because IT WAS A BORING, TRAP, DUMP AND CHASE game. Here’s what happened of note:
The first period: No ref, so linesman Dagenais steps in to do both roles. It was 13:30 before the first penalty was called. 67s came out with energy (surprise!), forechecking and being physical, but the Knights keep the 67s out of their zone very effectively. London players dove a couple times, trying to draw a penalty. Talbot had some good chances, but no puck luck. Petruzalek took a penalty, and the Knights capitalized, scoring the first goal. Killer stopped putting out the Bickell/ Petruzalek/ Kaspar line. The VanderVeeken/ McGinn/ Alphonso line had one shift. A lot of the seats were empty for the first period, probably because there was no parking. (A sunny day means skaters on the canal, combined with a home renovation show at Lansdowne, combined with a hockey game = parking spots at a premium and a bitch to get into the parking lot from any entrance.)
The second period: The ref, Pearce, showed up for the beginning of the second period with all his equipment. Petruzalek was in the penalty box to start the period (his second penalty); they killed it off. Ottawa did get some, okay 2 or 3, chances, but not quality ones. Coleman was very good at rebound control. Schremp scored coming out of the penalty box; Guadagnolo was possibly screened by his defenceman. The Knights came away with another goal.
The third period: Once London scored the third, it was all over for the 67s – you could actually see them deflate. Poor Guadagnolo was left alone to handle the shot onslaught when the 67s gave up. It actually looked like he was being swarmed by the black sweaters. The 67s could not get past the line of Knights players standing just off centre; they could not get into the Knight’s offensive zone; they had poor puck control, etc. The Knights scored two more to make it 5-0.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Well, considering they only had half of their forwards on the ice tonight – despite what the scorer’s sheet said – it could have been much worse. The Lawrance/ Bonello/ Mancari and Akeson/ Talbot/ Hulit lines were the only lines working. Bickell also worked hard, but he was pretty much on his own for most of the game. The two Czech players were mostly invisible. Talbot was definitely the best player for the 67s, playing with his characteristic steadiness.
Boneheads and/or invisibles - Petruzalek. Taking not one, but two stupid penalties when you know that London has a rocking PP = bonehead! Kaspar, I think was out there, though I couldn’t really tell. I mean, his name was listed on the scorer’s sheet anyways.
Staubitz had an okay night. He wasn’t perfect, but at least he made an impact by having energy, working hard on his shifts, and beating the crap out of Prust. Reid had a few good moments. Colbert - bah.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE KNIGHTS
A bunch of falling-on-the-ice cry-babies. No wonder C. Perry has the rep. Here’s London’s game strategy: Trap. Trap. Trap. Dump and Chase. Trap. Fall on the ice to draw a penalty. Go on the PP, explode offensively, and score. (Back to even strength) Trap. Trap. Trap. Dump and Chase. Play with it for awhile. Take some shots on the net. Trap. Trap. Dump and line change. Ad infinitum. BORING!!! I thought this team was skilled. Even though I expected Ottawa to lose (c’mon its OTTAWA vs LONDON), at least I was expecting to see some talented London plays. This is the team everyone has been ga-ga over all year. Nope. Utter crap. I want my 3 hours back. I mean, why would they need to trap OTTAWA? Ottawa has enough trouble getting out of their own/ into the offensive zone on the best of days . . . I don’t understand.
Some individual recognition:
Drummond. Speedy – zooming up the wing.
Coleman. Second straight shut-out. Great rebound control. (Understandable, when London traps all the time.)
Prust. Took quite the beating and still scored!
Girardi. Billy goat beard. Very steady in defence. Really enjoyed watching him control the puck, and get it out of his zone.
Rodney. It’s good to see him having such a great season. Great in his role, and scored too.
C. Perry. Wiley like a rat bastard. Falling-on-the-ice whiner. But, he’s good with the puck. And was able to skate right to the net, dodging around opposition players like they were standing still . . . Oh wait, THEY WERE STANDING STILL!!!
1, Hunter, (23) (Perry, Bolland), 14:29 (PP)
2, Schremp, (30) (Syvret), 18:40
3, Prust, (9) (Hunter, Perry), 05:35
3, Larman, (6) (Kell, Schremp), 07:02
3, Rodney, (13) (Beaulieu, Fritsche), 16:06
OHL three stars were, predictably, all from London: 1. D. Hunter, 2. Schremp, and 3. Coleman.
TEAM 1200 three stars were also all from London: 1. C. Perry, 2. Coleman, and 3. Fritsche.
Pearce/Dagenais. Terrible reffing and linesmaning – and it’s not surprising since Dagenais had to do both jobs for the first period.
9522. Not a sell-out, no matter how many times CJOH says it was.
1.26.2005 - Ottawa visits Belleville
1.28.2005 - Belleville visits Ottawa
1.29.2005 - Ottawa visits Kitchener (first match-up this season)
1.30.2005 - Ottawa visits Brampton (first match-up this season)
StatsGuy’s calling it right now: 0/4. I'm thinking, 1/4. I think that they'll win the Friday home game vs Belleville, maybe have a chance on the away game vs Belleville, but definitely tank on the two Western games.
January 22, 2005
IN THE NEWS
From SLAM! Sports, 67's break Spirit.
From Saginaw’s site, 67's 5, Spirit 3, Kvapil Extends Points Streak to 14 Games. And from the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes, 67's survive hardy Spirit. A snippet:
"It didn't seem like we played 60 minutes like we should have," Akeson said. "When we came out for the first 20, we came out flat and they were all over us.
They [Ottawa] struggled against the cellar-dwelling Saginaw Spirit last night -- even had to endure a bit of booing from the 7,949 fans at the Civic Centre -- but managed to escape with a 5-3 victory.
"For a better part of the game, they outworked us," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea, who has complained about his team's focus throughout the season. "So it was one of those situations where we were fortunate we got the two points."
The fans started getting on the 67's when they struggled on a second-period power play. They finished the night with one goal in six man-advantage opportunities.
"I heard them at one point start to chant that it was boring," said 67's winger Jeremy Akeson. "They pay to come watch us play and they want to see some excitement. When our power play isn't going, it's not only disappointing to them, but it's disappointing to us."
The game was broadcast on both radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec), as well as television (Rogers/Scott MacArthur, Lee Versage, and Ed Hand).
Schreibs said that Battochio’s shoulder is definitely better. He will be practicing tomorrow without a harness, but the team is not going to rush him. He said that at this point surgery doesn’t appear to be needed.
Some notes from the pre-game interview with Killer.
On playing Saginaw: They’re not in a position to overlook anyone; they’re not that secure themselves. You always have to respect the opposition. On the last showing by the 67s v Kingston: They did not play well. He said that if you don’t come ready for the game, you wind up on the wrong end of the score sheet. On Battochio’s shoulder: He feels good; has good ROM. But they’re not rushing him. They’ll err on the caution side.
Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Bonello, Mancari (started); Akeson, Talbot, Hulit; and Lawrance, Alphonso with rotating centre.
Defence pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Jarram.
Starting in net: Guadagnolo. Spezza was on the bench.
Out: Ouellette (inj-mono), Beard (inj-shoulder), Lahey (inj-concussion), McGinn (inj-chest infection), and Battochio (inj-shoulder).
Ottawa came out with energy, but Saginaw forechecked hard and were able to contain the forwards. While Ottawa did get some chances early on, Saginaw scored first (Kvapil). The 67s began to play really sloppy hockey, including bad passes, puck control, no physicality, defensive breakdowns, etc. They had two PPs, but their play resembled that of the side on the PK. They had 0 SOG during the second PP! But then Petruzalek caught a break-away, and scored a beautiful goal to tie the game up.
In the second, the Spirit came out fighting – they had a 2-on-1 rush off an early face-off requiring Guadagnolo to make a great save. The first 10 minutes of the second were just dreadful, including the PP. The 67s had trouble with puck control, and the couldn’t get the puck into the offensive zone, let alone shots on the net. It was at this point that the crowd began booing. Bickell saved the period though, when he scored a beautiful goal. After that, Colbert stood Kvapil (SAG) up at the blue line, and then the 67s were filled with energy. The second part of the period was much better, including SOGs and chances right up to the buzzer. They scored 2, while the Spirit got 1. Should also note that VanderVeeken was pulled off the Mancari-Bonello line and replaced by Lawrance. Lawrance had an awesome night!
In the third, the 67s came out fighting. They played a much better period, (maybe realizing that they would not be able to sleep walk through this match). Anyway, they scored 2 more goals, and hung on to win. Not a cake-walk by any stretch. Oy.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Lawrance had an excellent showing tonight. He was moved up to play with Mancari and Bonello at the end of the second period. He worked his butt off. He was skating hard, forechecking, assisting in goals, getting chances (one big chance was off the cross bar in the first period). He was responsible defensively, and also drew penalties. Overall – best game I’ve seen him play so far this season.
Petruzalek was the best player for the 67s. He played consistently over his shifts. Scored, had and made chances for others, was physical. A nice job. Kaspar and Bickell both had good nights, though not the best.
Mancari. I really like this guy. Actually, Mancari and Bonello are so fun to watch. Mancari seemed to get energized during the second, and was out there scoring, getting chances, finishing checks. Bonello was doing his thing – working hard, working well with Mancari, drawing penalties.
Bonello was interviewed during the second intermission on the Rogers broadcast. He said that the team came out thinking that they just had to show up and they would win this game. But Saginaw was working hard, playing for their pride. Killer told them that Saginaw came to win, not just for the bus ride. He said that a lot of guys were talking about the London game – not focusing on tonight's game.
Talbot and Hulit continue to work hard, but have not had the explosive, showy plays of a few weeks ago.
Akeson. Another strong game for Akeson.
Reid had a strong night – he did make some defensive errors, but overall was one of the stronger defensemen on the ice for the 67s.
Colbert still seams a little unsteady – for instance, hesitating on whether to take the man or the puck, and sloppy passes out of his zone.
Staubitz fought with Gimblett (SAG), after a scuffle ensued when he pushed Pyatt (SAG), who then fell onto Guadagnolo. Standing up for the goalie is always a good thing (even when you caused it!). Still has ripped pants.
Guadagnolo. Not a bad showing. Made some spectacular saves as per usual.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE SPIRIT
Saginaw was very good on the PK – they were able to keep Ottawa’s PP disorganized and ineffective. They were physical all night, rushing to the net, forechecking hard, etc. A nice job by this team, who have not been getting much respect d/t their stats. (Isn’t it amazing what playing against Ottawa can do for a team’s performance?)
Kvapil. The best player on the ice for the Spirit. He is such a good player – dangerous. You can’t leave this guy unchecked. Not only did he score, but he had some great passes to teammates, one of which resulted in a very nice PP goal by Birner.
Gimblett. A big, strong player. One of their few oldies. He played physical, got up in Guadagnolo’s face (and landed on his head) a few times. Fought with Staubitz.
Corrente had a good night. He made some nice body blocks. At times had good positioning, allowing him to rush in to play the puck for SOG etc.
Whitely is one tall, tall, bloke. I think they said 6’5”. He is not very thick, though, so he has a ‘willowy’ appearance.
Harrison seemed to be a physical player, and a hard worker. Also noticed Borges, Caughell, Pyatt, and Birner.
1, Petruzalek, (17) (Bickell, Kaspar), 10:17
2, Bickell, (15) (Petruzalek, Kaspar), 14:53
2, Mancari, (21) (Bonello, Lawrance), 16:33
3, Akeson, (10) (Joslin, Colbert), 05:18 (PP)
3, Kaspar, (15) (Petruzalek, Colbert), 12:27
1, Kvapil, (17) (Birner, Corrente), 05:47
2, Birner, (8) (Kvapil, McNeill), 00:36
3, Caughell, (4) (Harrison, Borges), 01:40
OHL three stars were: 1. Guadagnolo, 2. Kaspar, and 3. Akeson.
TEAM 1200 three stars were: 1. Petruzalek, 2. Kvapil (SAG), and 3. Kaspar. An honourable mention to Akeson.
It was a two man job tonight, with Cox and Reid. I really had no probs with the reffing or linesmaning tonight.
7949, and no parking difficulties – however, I expect Sunday to be a different story.
This Sunday afternoon (1.23.3005) vs London. (They were reporting today on The TEAM 1200 that there are 600 tickets remaining.)
January 21, 2005
And by all reports [LFP][PE], it sounds like they had one wild ride last night in Peterborough – Coach Todd’s 500th, mass penalties, line brawls, goalie fight, 'manhandling' linesman, fan/London player/police scuffle . . . whew. Biz-zay!
Congratulations to Coach Todd for his 500th career win. [OHL]
The NOOF thread is 20 pages long, for Pete's sake (yeah - bad pun) Petes vs London !! Someone was kind enough to post vid clips of the fights in question, including the fan/player scuffle, although it’s hard to make anything out of them without the context of the whole game.
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but c’mon Kingston! Let’s keep this Eastern smackdown going! (Which may be entirely possible, with the suspensions some London players - Foreman, Thomson, Dennis - are likely to receive.)
** UPDATE by Sid 1.22.2005, 0200h **
The Knights avenged their poor record to date, beating the Fronts 5-0!!! And, there were only 3 penalties a side - interesting - and of the roughing variety. [OHL]
** UPDATE #2 by Sid 1.22.2005, 1520h **
Does controversy follows this London team, or what? Kingston plans on protesting the game last night, after they discovered early on in the first period that an ineligible London player was on the ice, who was then allowed to remain for the first period (assisting with, and scoring goals) before being ejected for the remainder of the game. (Run-on anyone?) An article in the LFP by Jim Cressman (Knights snap back into winning mode), states:
Kingston general manager Larry Mavety said he will likely protest that Knights centre Dan Fritsche was allowed to play the first period, even though 1:25 into the game Frontenacs coach Jim Hulton drew the attention of the two referees, Ryan O'Neill and Rob Palm, to the fact Fritsche's name was not on the lineup sheet submitted by the Knights.
The referees let Fritsche continue and he assisted on the Knights' first goal by Adam Perry at 2:55, then scored a goal himself at 18:42.
It was during the first intermission that the officials notified the Knights that Fritsche could no longer play.
OHL rules only allow teams to protest player eligibility and Fritsche's situation may qualify under the criteria.
The Knights coaching staff said it was a "clerical error."
Chill, people. Chill.
TORONTO -- Bradley Stephen Desrocher covered his face and raced like a bat out of hell to a waiting vehicle after being released on bail yesterday on charges he choked the coach of his son's hockey team. "A man attended his son's Minor Atom AAA hockey game at Chesswood Arena. When his son was benched for missing team practices the man became angry and started voicing his displeasure loudly to the coach of the team," Toronto Police Const. Wendy Drummond said in a news release.
"He approached the player's bench, continuing to yell at the coach, then reached over the plexiglas and grabbed the coach around the throat," the statement said. "Several attempts were made by witnesses to stop the attack but were unable to before the victim collapsed to the floor."
You know who suffers the worst here? The child, the son. Can you imagine having to go back to the team – to your coaches, your teammates, the other players’ parents - after your DAD choked your coach UNCONSCIOUS?
A hockey dad charged with assaulting his son's minor hockey coach last Sunday has been slapped with an unprecedented five-year ban from the Greater Toronto Hockey League's arenas.
[. . .]
J.J. Lyon, an assistant coach on the team, thought the ban should have been longer.
"The kids have been good and the parents better," said Lyon, who himself has a son on the team. "My son has adjusted and understands what has happened. The kids on the team are all okay."
Lyon, who was on the bench at the time, said the incident remains vivid.
"If you saw the rage in his eyes ... it's so unfathomable," Lyon said.
That, my friends, is what you call a life changing moment in a child’s most impressionable young life. I hope that he gets through it. I hope the team does not hold him accountable for his father’s actions.
January 18, 2005
January 17, 2005
03.21.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “I hope that it’s a battle because that’s what playoffs are all about.”
03.15.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We have a lot of confidence and this a good time of year to have that.”
03.08.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We wanted to wipe last weekend from our minds.”
02.28.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “The story of our year has been inconsistency.”
02.21.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “It was probably our best w/e of the year so far.”
02.07.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We came out ready to play.”
01.31.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We finally went undefeated on the road.”
01.24.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We lost focus on the little things”
01.10.2005 - Interview With The Captain, “We had a tough time”
12.20.2004 - Interview With The Captain
12.13.2004 - Interview With The Captain, "No excuses"
10.18.2004 - Interview With Will Colbert
09.24.2004 - First Interview With Colbert
05.16.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “. . . they should be proud of it.”
05.09.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “We went there hoping to get a split and we got it and we earned it.”
04.28.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “He earned it.”
04.18.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “. . . hopefully Danny Battochio is enjoying this day off more than anyone.”
04.12.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “We have some gifted goal scorers and when they get the puck on their stick good things happen.”
03.21.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “. . . in the playoffs every play is important.”
03.15.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “They worked hard and they went to the end.”
03.08.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “That was play-off style hockey.”
02.28.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “It is an evaluation time.”
02.15.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “We’re close enough to be first and close enough to be out.”
02.07.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “The most consistent guy on our team this year is one guy, and that is Julian Talbot.”
01.31.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “. . . it was a much happier bus ride home.”
01.10.2005 - Interview With The Coach, “Tickled pink”
01.03.2005 - Interview With The Coach
12.28.2004 - Interview With The Coach
12.20.2004 - Interview With The Coach
12.13.2004 - Interview With The Coach
12.06.2004 - Interview With The Coach
11.29.2004 - Interview With The Coach
11.25.2004 - Update On Tsimikalis #4 - Interview With The Coach
11.22.2004 - Interview With The Coach
11.15.2004 - Interview With The Coach
11.01.2004 - Post-Road Trip Interview With The Coach
10.26.2004 - Interview With Brian Kilrea
10.14.2004 - Post-game Interview With The Coach
THE 67's will be without their No. 1 goalie for at least a month -- if not for the rest of the OHL season. The 67's have learned that Danny Battochio -- who suffered his second injury of the season to the same shoulder Wednesday in Belleville -- will need favourable results from rest and strengthening exercises in order to return to action by mid-to-late February, at best.
[. . .]
Battochio will likely need surgery on the shoulder in the offseason.
See OHL game summary here.
IN THE NEWS
From the Ottawa Sun, Don Brennan writes, 67's struggle Fronts to back.
This is why I believe this team isn’t going anywhere this year . . . I’ve decided to face reality. A team with less skill, conditioning, etc., can train harder. But you can’t train desire. You can’t train attitude. You either have it or you don’t have it, and clearly this group is in the ‘don’t have it’ column. It doesn’t matter who Killer brings in. They don’t want it more than the other guys.
“I don't think our guys matched their desire level,” added Kilrea. “Kingston outworked us.”
Well, that’s always a great winning tactic. Moving on. From the Kingston-Whig Standard, Claude Scilley writes, There's no place like … the road?
“Maybe our guys thought (the Fronts) were going to be tired,” said Kilrea.
And a game summary from OurSports Central, Fronts squeeze by 67's on Smolenak's tally.
“We showed good resolve every time Ottawa scored,” [Coach] Hulton said. “It looked like we were in a bit of danger when they tied it early in the third but we scored almost right away, which kept the crowd out of it and stole the momentum from Ottawa.
“Then we did a great job of protecting the lead. We planted four guys in the neutral zone and tried to stuff everything, cut their speed down. We did a good job. We frustrated them and forced them to ice the puck a few times. They were stuck on the same shot total for a while. We did a great job of bottling up the neutral zone.”
The game was broadcast on both radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec), as well as television (Rogers/Andy Hannan, Lee Versage, and Ed Hand).
Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Talbot, Hulit; McGinn, Alphonso. (The starting line up was VanderVeeken, McGinn, and Alponso.)
Defence pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Joslin, Reid; Lawrance, Van Herpt
Starting in net: Guadagnolo. Spezza was on the bench.
Out: Battochio, Ouellette, Beard, Jarram, and Lahey.
The game began with poor defensive coverage – what is new, why do I bother saying it anymore – letting guys stand in front of the net. And penalty after penalty . . . It really drags the game down. The penalties continued into the second period. In the third, the 67s had long periods where they couldn’t get the puck out of their zone – but Burchell put the whistle away, so at least it didn’t drag on and on and on.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Akeson. Worked hard, scored 2 goals!, had chances for the hat trick, was physical. Great game by Jeremy.
Bickell. Another good effort by Bickell. Had a physical game, forechecked.
Staubitz. Did a good job on the PK, clearing pucks. Has a nice hard point shot.
Kaspar. Another game of consistent effort. He looked really good this w/e. Petruzalek as well.
Guadagnolo. He was playing the puck more – clearing himself, etc. Out of position a few times, weak puck control/rebound coverage.
Bonello. Continues to draw penalties.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE FRONTS
Hughes. THE. BEST. PLAYER. ON. THE. ICE. The fastest skater I’ve seen in a long time. Dangerous. And his linemate, C. Stewart was not too bad himself. He was dominant on the ice. A very dangerous line.
Smolenak and A. Stewart also worked hard.
Davis stopped a helluva lot of SOGs (39/42).
I also really like Kotsopoulos and Griffith.
1, Akeson, (Talbot, Hulit), 05:52 (PP)
2, Akeson, (Staubitz, Talbot), 04:53 (PP)
3, Bickell, (Petruzalek, Lawrance), 05:14
1, A. Stewart, (Smolenak, Emmerton), 04:06
1, Hughes, (C. Stewart), 15:08
2, C. Stewart, (Hughes, Petrow), 13:24
3, Smolenak, (Kotsopoulos, A. Stewart), 07:00
OHL three stars were: 1. C. Stewart (KIN), 2. Akeson, and 3. Hughes (KIN).
TEAM 1200 three stars were: 1. Hughes (KIN), 2. Akeson, and 3. C. Stewart (KIN).
This Friday night (1.21.2005) vs Saginaw Spirit and then on Sunday afternoon (1.23.3005) vs London. (They were reporting today on The TEAM 1200 that the game vs London is already sold-out.)
January 15, 2005
IN THE NEWS
From SLAM! Sports, Petruzalek lifts 67's past Petes. From the Ottawa Sun, Don Brennan writes Petruzalek picks up pace vs. Petes. A few snippets:
On Petruzalek’s nice break-away, but non-goal,
"We knew that if we are going to challenge for first, we had to win this game," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "Now we still have a chance."
And on Spezza’s situation,
Petruzalek joked about shooting the puck in Kilpelainen's glove on purpose, just to let the drama build a little longer. He also said he's going to work on not tipping off goalies as to which way he's going with the puck.
"It's a bad habit," he said.
And from the Peterborough Examiner, Mike Davies writes Petes fail to give coach 500th win. A snippet:
The 67's will finalize G Matthew Spezza's release from Lindsay (Jr. B) and start him in goal tomorrow afternoon, when Kingston is in town for a 2 p.m. start.
Aaron Dawson said the Petes had hoped to get Todd his 500th career victory against Ottawa’s legendary coach Brian Kilrea.
“It would have been nice to get 500 against The Killer,” Dawson said, “but we’ll have to do it (tonight) against Sudbury and their coaching legacy which includes (the late) Bert Templeton.”
[. . .]
“It was just like a playoff game,” Kilrea said. “You play Peterborough and you have to play your best. They started off working extremely hard and we didn’t know what hit us at the very start. If it hadn’t been for our goalie, we could have been down two or three goals. Luckily a couple of power plays gave us the little bit of an early edge. We’ve been looking for more guys to contribute and the Petruzalek line opened up which was really good for us.”
The game was broadcast on both radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec), as well as television (Rogers/Andy Hannan, Lee Versage, and Ed Hand). Schreibs said that Spezza will not be in the line up for the game tonight, but he will be in on Sunday.
Forwards: Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Talbot, Hulit; McGinn, Alphonso
Defence pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Joslin, Reid; Lawrance, Van Herpt
Starting in net: Guadagnolo. Steven Lecelle is sitting as back up. He’s from the Ottawa West Golden Knights Junior B team. He’s attending the University of Ottawa, in his first year of the Human Kinetics program.
Out: Battochio (inj-shoulder), Ouellette (inj-mono), Beard and Jarram were both away d/t deaths in the family, Lahey, and Spezza.
The 67s had quite a few problems at the beginning of the first period – the defence let the Petes get right to the net, and take multiple shots on goal. They had a hard time getting the puck out of their zone. Eventually the 67s scored on the PP, and this seemed to settle them down; get them into the game. They had some really good SOG, requiring the Pete’s goalie to make some great saves. In the second, once again the 67s had some defensive break-downs, allowing Petes players to stand unmolested in front of the net. It started getting more chippy, and a number of penalties ensued. Hulit was high-sticked, and had to leave the ice (he returned in the third). They continued to battle in the third, scoring goals . They come away with a win. A very important win for them – both in confidence and points.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Petruzalek had a really good game. He was all over the ice tonight. A hard working game. Scored the first goal on the PP. He and Hendrikx (PET) traded verbal and physical hits for a lot of the night. Chippy-type stuff.
Kaspar had a really strong night. He was active on his shifts, chasing down pucks, creating chances, scoring. He was looking really good on the point during the PP – used to make me cringe, but he seems to be a lot more confident.
Guadagnolo. He had a great start to the game; looked like he was in his zone. Peterborough had the first 8 SOG, and he looked strong. Guadagnolo saved the first period – I imagine that if he had not stopped some of those early shots from the first period, it would have been a very different outcome for the 67s. He did let in a couple of squeakers later on, but overall an excellent game by Guadagnolo. Guadagnolo wore the hard hat for the post-game television interview, selected as hardest worker by his teammates. Stopped 37 on 40 SOG.
Talbot. He was on the ice a lot. Regular shift, face-offs, PPs. Although, the 67s didn’t seem to be that dominant on face offs tonight.
Bickell had a good game tonight. He was physical, created some chances, and scored a really nifty goal, top right corner.
Staubitz. Looked steady in defence. He seems to be very mechanical – doesn’t show too much emotion (which is not a bad thing). He’s very good at clearing his zone. Good on the PK. I really like him. One other thing . . . can someone please get this guy some new pants? They’re so ripped up the inseam, that you could see his leg! Nothing like coming to a new team, and given crappy leftover equipment – you now, unless he did it himself because he was too lazy to take his skates off . . . and then, it’s his own fault ;o).
IMPRESSIONS OF THE PETES
Overall, the Petes are a very physical team. They have a lot of big guys, who are skilled as well. Definitely the best team in our division.
Ryder. An energetic, hard working player. He got checked into his bench (by Kaspar), and unfortunately the door opened, catching him on his upper thigh/groin. He went down, but was back on the ice after a few shifts, looking no worse for wear.
Kilpelainen. Made some really great saves, especially during the first period, when the 67s were on the PP.
Tardif. A very physical player. Tried to crack Bonello’s head open like an egg during the first period. Nasty. He went after Bonello later on, too. Actually, he was in the box for both of the 67s’ PP goals.
Reddox. A feisty, hard working player. Flood too.
Beljo. Skilled. Had a number of scoring chances.
1, Petruzalek, (Mancari, Joslin), 07:19 (PP)
1, Talbot, (Kaspar, Colbert), 17:48 (PP)
3, Kaspar, (Petruzalek), 12:08
3, Bickell, (Petruzalek), 12:50
3, Hulit, (Talbot), 19:34 (EN)
2, Reddox, (Flood, Ryder), 02:20
3, Beljo, 06:30
3, Reddox, (Ryder, Flood), 13:41
OHL three stars were: 1. Bickell ,2. Guadagnolo, and 3. Talbot.
TEAM 1200 three stars were: 1. Petruzalek (in fine form, especially offensive; his speed was evident; great passes; 1G, 2A), 2. Ryder (PET) (2A; had a physical game; good offensive, defensive, and on face-offs; hard working), and 3. Kaspar (1G, 1A; a physical game; looking more comfortable on the point). An honourable mention goes to Bickell.
Smith. Apparently his equipment didn’t make it to the rink on time, so he had to borrow everything – skates, pants, sweater. Smith didn’t exactly endear himself to the fans, which was unfortunate for the linesman he borrowed the shirt from, Dagenais. It was an older sweater – one with the full name on the back – and I’m sure that Dagenais did not appreciate 9000 fans booing the ref with his name on the back. Of course, the linesmen had some crappy calls tonight as well, so if people were yelling, “You suck Dagenais” – it could have applied to either one.
9598. We arrived later than normal (~7:15pm), and were told that there were no parking spots left. They let us in for free to see if we could find a spot . . . we did.
The 67s host Kingston this Sunday (1.16.2005).
January 14, 2005
And what about Battochio? Well, it seems that they called it right on the amount of time he'll be out.
ANTHONY Guadagnolo was proud to show off his newly designed goalie mask when it arrived yesterday. "The Incredible Hulk," he said, chuckling as he referred to the character adorning the side of his face equipment. "That's me."
The 67's hope Guadagnolo can come up just as big when he plays tonight at the Civic Centre against the East Division-leading Peterborough Petes. It will be his first test in his most recent stint as Ottawa's No. 1 goalie.
And now there's Spezza (no pic yet).
67's coach Brian Kilrea confirmed yesterday that starter Danny Battochio will miss "at least 2-3 weeks" after re-injuring his shoulder in Wednesday's 3-1 win in Belleville. Battochio missed about three weeks earlier this season with a similar problem on the same shoulder.
"Whether or not it's just stretched muscles ... we'll have to wait and see," said Kilrea, who now looks pretty smart for acquiring netminder Matt Spezza before last week's OHL trade deadline. "It looks like (Spezza) became quick insurance."
Guadagnolo has played in 19 games this season and has been especially sharp of late, earning first star honours in relief against the Bulls and also in a win over St. Mikes.
"His confidence level is good," said Kilrea. "So is the team's."
I think that the team is still gelling - the new players, positions, systems - so I hope that having Battochio out won't cause too many probs. I mean, Guadagnolo has done some fantastic work in the net; unfortunately the team hasn't always played that well in front of him.
Kilrea says he has yet to decide when he'll give Spezza his first start, although Sunday's home game against the Frontenacs would be fitting.
At the same time, the 67's may want to ride Guadagnolo if he continues to play as well as he did in Belleville.
"This is a big stretch for me, for the team," he said. "The next two games are really big for us."
Well, the next few games should be interesting, and I'm especially interested in how they look tonight against the Petes.
Seeks $600Gs over horseplay gone wrong
The Ottawa 67's 2003-2004 defenceman of the year Pierre Mitsou is suing his former club and a teammate for $600,000 over a freak eye injury received in a moment of locker room horseplay.
Mitsou, who as assistant captain helped get the team to the OHL final last season, was injured the previous season on Jan. 25, 2002 when teammate Adam Chapman allegedly used a hockey stick to shoot an ice cube across a locker room before an away game with the St. Michaels Majors.
"The ice shard caused a traumatic cataract, ruptured the lens and damaged his iris sphincter," the claim says. The document says Mitsou had to have his lens replaced with a prosthetic and now the eye is sensitive to light because its iris can't close.
The statement of claim alleges the 67's hockey club should have better supervised players -- a claim Pierre Mitsou's father George, who is also a plaintiff and claiming $100,000 in damages, agrees with.
"These are little boys on the team. They're big like men, but they have an exuberance for the game," he said, adding that horseplay before a game is common. "What happened was an accident, but unfortunately the team has to be responsible."
He said his son, known as a hard hitter, suffered excruciating pain and was out of hockey for about two months. He said his son also had to quit school because he couldn't see to read. The statement of claim alleges Pierre Mitsou has permanently lost income and earning capacity.
George Mitsou said the suit was filed as part of an insurance claim and said he and Pierre hold no ill feelings toward the team or Chapman.
Team owner Jeff Hunt was equally collegial last night saying, "There's no hard feelings from our organization toward Pierre and his family. He was a great player when we had him on our team."
Hunt said he knew of the claim but hadn't been aware it had "escalated to this."
"This may be a procedural thing when you're negotiating with an insurance company with a claim," Hunt said. "Obviously, it's come to that and they haven't received a satisfactory claim through their insurance."
George Mitsou said he expects a settlement will be reached soon. His son is studying at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. and playing on the university's hockey team.
I'm looking forward to seeing Spezza play. From the news updates we've been hearing about Battochio, it is likely that Spezza will be up here for some time.
He'll be on the bench for tomorrow's 'revenge' game against Peterborough.
January 13, 2005
They’re reporting on The TEAM 1200(20/20) updates, that Battochio has re-injured his shoulder, and will likely be out for the rest of the season! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Say it isn't so. The poor kid can’t catch a break. Guadagnolo will become the number one, and Spezza will come up to Ottawa.
Other less depressing news concerns two press releases from the 67s’ site. First, 67's launch "Hardest Working Player" program. A snippet:
And second, Kilrea & O'Brien to coach at Top Prospects game. A snippet:
This season the Ottawa 67’s are launching a new program designed to recognize the hard work and dedication of minor hockey players throughout the region.
Each week throughout the season, minor hockey coaches will designate a player as the “Hardest Worker” that week and reward him/her with what will be a prestigious team honour, the team Hard Hat.
It will be a symbol to all players that you don’t have to be the best player, fastest skater or top goal scorer. It will highlight that hard work is just as important, and even more important than skill.
(No Ottawa players on the team.)
The CHL also announced today that Don Cherry and John Davidson will be the head coaches in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. It will be Cherry's ninth appearance in the Home Hardware Top Prospects Game and Davidson's first.
Hall of Famer Brian Kilrea and Bert O'Brien of the Ottawa 67's and Don Hay of the Vancouver Giants will be the assistant coaches.
The game will showcase 40 of the CHL's top players that are eligible for selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The players were selected by the National Hockey League's 30 teams.