April 29, 2005


As expected London finished it off tonight at home, winning the Western Conference Trophy, aka the Wayne Gretzky Trophy. So Ottawa will be going to the Memorial Cup. Wow. That's so awesome. I'm so happy for them. They've worked very hard over the last few weeks, and it's obviously paid off. We all knew at the beginning of the season, that whichever team won the East would get to go to the big dance. Talk about an experience of a lifetime. The Memorial Cup. Wow.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there is another round and another important trophy to win. The OHL Championship. I think that we fans in Ottawa have been very spoiled, with the 67s winning all their home games and the overall respectfulness of each of the series in the Eastern Conference (that one incident aside). This last match between London and Kitchener was a pretty nasty affair, with suspensions and fines and crazy barbs back and forth. I think we in the East better get prepared to experience some of this. And the team better get ready to be absolutely frustrated out of their gourds. C. Perry has got to be the biggest whiner/diver in the league, and he's obviously taught his brother well if his performance tonight was any indication. They'll need to be extra disciplined, keeping emotions under tight control, funnelling anger and frustration into goal scoring.

The schedule is out and the OHL has posted it on their website here:

SportChek OHL Championship
J. Ross Robertson Cup

Game 1 Fri May 6 LON 7:30pm
Game 2 Sun May 8 LON 2:00pm
Game 3 Tue May 10 OTT 7:00pm
Game 4 Thu May 12 OTT 7:00pm
Game 5 Sat May 14 LON 7:00pm*
Game 6 Mon May 16 OTT 7:00pm*
Game 7 Tue May 17 LON 7:00pm*
* if necessary

‘While We Wait’ News And Notes

So, we wait now. We may find out tonight, as London is up 3-1 in the series. We’ll see what Kitchener can do. Rogers Television 22 will broadcast the the game tonight, as well as any remaining games.

I’m so torn . . . I really do want London to win, because our guys then go to the Memorial Cup. BUT I hate London and so really want to see the Rangers knock them down, and I’m cheering for Kitchener along with my family who lives there. Torn, I tell you!

In the meantime, some news and notes:

*From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Talbot soldiers on. A quote from Killer:

"He's our unknown soldier," said Kilrea. "I just think he's underrated.

"From our standpoint, and rightly so, Danny Battochio is the story of the series (against Peterborough), of all three series. We all know Mancari's got bunches of goals, Bonello's got the points along with him and Hulit's been dangerous.

"But the guy who sort of plays in the shadows is Talbot. He doesn't score a lot of goals, but he's been hot throughout. He's not a heavy goal scorer, but take a look at his team value ... the assists he gets. The killing of the penalties. The faceoffs. He's always out against the best line.

"Defensively, if I'm in the last minute, he's on the ice. He's just one of those guys who plays his own end so well. I know within the team we know his value, I just don't know if everybody else does."

I know we do. He’s the one guy who worked consistently all year long. He rarely had a bad shift, but on the other hand, he never did anything super-flashy or dramatic. He just went out there and did whatever was needed at the time, and that is worth a ton of flash. You knew that when everyone else on the team was falling apart, say emotional outbursts and resulting penalties, Talbot was the one who would be out there killing off the penalties, cleaning up the messes. He was the one player about which you felt confident, knowing that he was going to hold the fort for at least another few minutes or settle things down. And some of us pegged him a while ago as the most underrated player. Any team would benefit from having a Julian Talbot as a teammate.

Talbot [3.20.2005].
*From the Sault Star Bill Montague writes, Down and out after being traded by Hounds, Staubitz now on Cloud 9. Snippet:

Nearly four months after his emotional departure from Sault Ste. Marie, Brad Staubitz was chuckling over the telephone and talking about fate and destiny and being at the right place at the right time.

The former defenceman for the Soo Greyhounds is playing a substantial role in one of those rags-to-riches fairytales as his Ottawa 67’s appear destined for a berth in the Memorial Cup.

Love him.

*From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's have erased all doubts. He notes that Elgin Reid will be ready to return for the next round, which is great news.

*From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Petes overagers leave for the last time. Snippet:

Stewart said his team may have been too satisfied with simply reaching the third round.

“We have to compete every single game. We can’t just be satisfied with previous accomplishments. Taking that into consideration for next year, we have to know we can do better and when we play to our potential, we’ll win games,” said Stewart. “I think at the beginning we were kind of satisfied with what we’d accomplished already. Going into last season we weren’t really expected to do that well, so making it to the third round is pretty decent in the playoffs. I guess we, maybe, eased off the pedal a little bit during the final series which we shouldn’t have done. We showed how we can play in the fourth game but it was just a little too late.”

An unsure time in their lives. I wish them all the best with their careers as they go forward.

*From Peterborough This Week, After the disappointment, full marks.

*And the OHL has a pic up of Branch awarding the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy, the Bobby Orr Trophy, to Will Colbert [link].

April 28, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “He earned it.”

Summary of an interview with Killer this afternoon on the TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson. [paraphrasing]

(Congratulations on the sweep) It’s been a while since we won four in a row in a series. They were all close games, not a lot of difference in the teams. We just got the bounces and the momentum

(On holding practice today) Well, we’ve got a few guys who need treatment and if you don’t have practice they might not get the treatment they need. We’ll have a practice today, a short one and then we’ll decide what days they have off. There’ll be a lot of pain to come, but the biggest is treatment and getting the air out of their heads to prepare for the games to come. Danny’s the one fellow I don’t want to go on the ice today. He doesn’t need the practice. It’ll be good for Anthony and Spezza to get a little work.

(What was key in winning the series?) The first game, the OT goal by Jeremy Akeson. That set the tone, when we went there, that took away the myth. We took that game and it gave us a little more confidence and took a little away from them. I think that’s what happened and when we came back and played a real good game, 3-0, getting a good stranglehold. Then when we went there and won and it gave us the chance for a sweep.

(What were you thinking when they came back?) We took too many bad penalties in Peterborough. They gook advantage of it. Coming back here, a 2 goal lead is probably the most dangerous lead in hockey. They took advantage of it.

I thought the OT we were attacking most. I think that’s what happens when you play in front of almost 10,000 fans in your own rink and you realize that you’ll get a rest – today is not a rest but a light skate – and not have to worry about a game or a travel day. Work as hard as you can for as long as it takes, because it beats playing 60 minutes in Peterborough Friday night.

(On who impressed you) Danny Battochio of course, but I think our unknown soldier . . . we have too many of them. Colbert and Staubitz on the blue line. Hulit, Mancari, and Bonello got all those goals. But Talbot gave us all those miles and miles.

(On the turn-around) The fellows we got there, it took a little while for them to gel, to get known by their teammates. They’ve become good friends. When we had that stretch down the end where we won 6 to get into the playoffs and 6th position. We started to gel at that time and we started to play better on the road where we haven’t this season.

(On McGinn getting the GWG) He earned it. At the start of the year he didn’t play a lot, he was on the fourth line. Every day in practice he did everything, and he worked hard. We put McGinn up there mainly because of an injury and I wanted to see how they worked out. He had a great pair of hands, and he was getting the puck over to Talbot. The line stuck and we just left him.

(On comparisons to Gary Roberts) Comparison to Gary Roberts is fair because when scouts went to see him the likened him to Roberts. He goes out and bangs and hits and gives a lot of hits. He doesn’t slow down in the corners and he’s really good with the puck. He’s got some growing to do and some filling out to do. [Gord said he wears size 14 skates]. Let’s hope his feet stop and the rest of him grows.

(Did you ever hesitate putting a 16 year old in OT or in regular rotation?) No. He’s on that line. You have to take a look at the make up of the other wingers. He fit with them. They liked him and he fit and you don’t fool around with it.

(Surprised with what’s going on in the KIT/LON series) Well, they’re 2 good teams. I think when looking at the match ups, they picked Kitchener because they have a lot of experience and they’re physical. They’re playing to their strength. And London is a very skilled team. You’ve got the physical team trying to pound the other guys to make them not as accurate with their passes.

(On the coach’s comments in the papers) Yeah I don’t like that. You don’t air dirty laundry. If you have something to say think about it a little bit before you say it. And because there’s no national hockey they’re getting a lot more play than they would.

(On scheduling the next round) The elite team has to initiate it, and I’m sure that they don’t want to put the cart before the horse, superstition and whatever. And when they get a around to it they will be contacting me. The draft is on the 7th and they can’t have a game on that day. It’ll be worked out.

(How much time have you thought about the draft) I’ve been having a lot of phone messages with our scouts and talks, so that I’m kept abreast of what’s going on. It’s tough, but it’s there and we’ll get it done. [/paraphrasing]

CONFERENCE FINALS Game 4 – Peterborough at Ottawa (27-Apr) – OTTAWA WINS IN OT! SWEEPS SERIES 4-0!

67s win 3-2 over Petes. See OHL game summary here. See 67s’ site for playoff coverage here.

[As I have for all home games during the playoffs, I took a bunch of pics. I still need go through them to pick out the ones that are bloggable. Some – many – of them are blurry from jumping up and down and yelling and whatnot. I’ll salvage what I can.]

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's enjoy broom ball. Snippet:

Rookie Jamie McGinn scored the winner at 11:01 of the first overtime period.

Winger Julian Talbot worked his way around Petes defenceman Kyle Raftis on the right side to get a shot on goal, and the puck rolled out to a charging McGinn, who muscled through a check to poke in the rebound for a tap-in winner.

"It's a great honour to get that goal," said the 16-year-old McGinn.

"I just saw Julian Talbot cutting down the wing. He made a nice move around the D.

"Every practice, you go hard to the net and you get rewarded."

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, 'He's been phenomenal'. Talbot on his linemate:

"He's just been digging pucks out for me and Chris Hulit," said centreman Julian Talbot. "Tonight, it was his turn.

"Every [sic] since he came back from the Canadian team, the under-17 team, he's been phenomenal."

From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Petes season ends in OT. Snippet:

“It was a disappointing end,” said Petes head coach Dick Todd, “to what we felt was a pretty good year. We didn’t anticipate going down four games to nothing with the hockey club we had. Ottawa with the experience they had give them full marks and full credit. I think their experience showed even when we tied the game up 2-2. We had some chances but in general I thought they were able to keep their composure. They didn’t necessarily take it to us but we weren’t getting shots and weren’t getting as many chances as they were.”

[. . .]

“It’s not the best way to go out,” said Tardif, “but we gave it our all tonight and we have to keep our heads high. It was a lucky bounce in overtime that Ottawa got. They’re a tough team to play. We didn’t do too well in this building this year and we had a great record at home. We knew it was going to be a battle. Their goalie has been unbelievable but tonight and at the end of Game 3 we drove the net really well and got some goals. If we had done that at the beginning of the series who knows what would have happened?”

From the Ottawa Citizen Chris Yzerman writes, 67's sweep way to final.

From the Globe and Mail David Naylor writes, Ottawa sweeps way into OHL final. Snippet:

For many hockey fans in this part of the country, spring is a time associated with heartache brought on by the annual playoff woes of the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

But for the large number of fans who consider themselves 67's supporters first and foremost, hockey playoff time has meant something different altogether. Ottawa's "other" team has reached either the OHL final or the Memorial Cup five times in the past nine years.

But, more often than not, the 67's' success has been overshadowed either by the Senators shortcomings or the nightly flow of NHL playoff games on television in the spring.

Not so this season, as last night's game marked four consecutive playoff sellouts. The team has dominated local sports broadcasts and newspaper coverage in a way not seen since the Senators arrived.

At least part of the 67's' appeal in Ottawa stems from the fact they are everything the Senators are not. The Senators are well known for playing their best hockey when it matters the least, only to stumble when the heat is turned up. For the 67's, most times, including this season, it's been the opposite story.

From the London Free Press, Rookie's overtime goal lifts 67's to East sweep.

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).

(Thoughts on Game 3) It went right down to the wire. We played really well for the first 50 minutes and not for the last 10 minutes. I thought we played really well early. Danny was sharp and we cut down a lot of their chances until the end and then they got a lot of chances on us. You can’t just keep beating a path to the penalty box. Good teams will find a way to score.
(Was it a wake-up?) I’m hoping they realize the mistakes we made.
(On what to expect from Peterborough in Game 4) We know they’ll do what they always do. They’ll work hard and hopefully we’ll work a little bit harder.
(Do you say anything to calm down your team before an important game like this one) No I’ll leave them alone and hopefully they’ll get themselves ready.
(On thinking about the Memorial Cup) All I know is that you have to win 4 to get there. We have 3. I’ll wait ’til we have 4 before then.

(Thoughts on Game 3) It was a tough game for us. We came out a little slow, got behind and dug ourselves a little hole. But maybe we can score on this guy.
(On Staal playing so well and a rookie) To a man in the dressing room we have to have more production from guys who’ve been in the league. To be successful we all have to step up.
(On key to Game 4) We have to weather the storm. They always come out hard here. We need to take it minute by minute, and keep playing. As long as every guy gives it his all that’s all you can ask.
(On staying with the same line up) To make a change for making a change is not worth it. We’ll keep giving the guys the experience.

*Forwards: McGinn, Talbot, Hulit; Bickell, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Ouellette, Alphonso.
*Defensive pairings: Colbert, Joslin; Staubitz, Van Herpt; Lawrance, Beard.
*Starting in goal: Battochio. Guadagnolo on the bench.
*Scratches: Reid (inj-ankle), Lahey (inj-conc), Spezza, Kiriakous, Jarram (healthy)

A big group of fans travelled from Peterborough to cheer on their boys. Considering the ratio of Ottawa fans to Peterborough fans – they were very loud and definitely made their presence known.

With all those bodies, all that excitement, the air in the Civic Centre was pretty steamy – there was condensation rolling down the big windows. Maybe this is the reason for why some guys kept falling down – the ice was too soft?

First Period. Surely not what the Petes wanted – Chris Hulit scored just over one minute into the period, and on the first SOG. I expected the Petes to come out with more of a sense of urgency, but it seemed like they sat back (too much weathering the storm instead of forcing their style of play?). The 67s had their turn at a goal-non-goal. Talbot put the puck in with a high stick. (On replay later, I couldn’t really tell because the camera was behind Talbot and you couldn’t see his stick at all). And no video replay because it wasn’t working? But, the 67s came back to score a few minutes later. A PP goal by Bonello, and from a sweet through-the-legs pass by Mancari. Coach Todd was flipping out on the bench – the Petes took 4 straight penalties. The 67s spent a large chunk of the period in the Petes’ zone, a good thing to see. SOG at the end of the period were 16 for Ottawa and 5 (5!) for Peterborough. The score was 2-0 for Ottawa.

Second Period. The Petes had a much better effort in the second – some questioned whether it was stronger play by the Petes or poorer play by the 67s. Maybe a combination. It was Ottawa’s turn to take penalties. Tardif scored a big one for Peterborough, getting the Petes fans on their feet, screaming and honking. Ottawa couldn’t get the puck out of the zone, even with a number of chances. With all the penalties, Hulit and Talbot were working their butts off. And in a reversal of the first period, the SOG at the end of the period were 5 (5!) for Ottawa and 16 for Peterborough. The score was 2-1 for Ottawa.

Third Period. Ryder scored just over a minute (1:03) into the period to tie the game (2-2). Bonello got boarded by Staal – one of those very scary, very awful hits from behind a few feet from the boards. Hobor was standing right beside them, and there was no call. Mancari was furious, coming to his defence, and he ended up getting a penalty. Go figure. The Petes were pushing, getting some chances, and the 67s continued to take penalties. But after the 67s killed off Bonello’s penalty, they seemed to settle down. Battochio worked hard this period – with Peterborough getting some chances that were definitely cringe-worthy. Sitting at the other end of the rink, all you could do was watch the scramble in front of the net, with Danny flailing, and wait to see either the goal light to go on or the puck cleared. SOG at the end of the third were 14 for Ottawa and 8 for Peterborough. The score was (obviously) tied 2-2.

OT. An edge-of-your-seat period, oh boy. Now this is what I was talking about earlier when I said Game 4 should be the best game yet. And being on the giddy side (read: winning side) makes a difference in how it’s interpreted, I suppose. To see McGinn score the winner, the one that takes them most likely to the Memorial Cup was the best. The look on his face said it all: a look that said 'this is what utter happiness is.' Like, he was bursting with it (See 67s’ playoff site for his pic here). And seeing the joy on Battochio’s face as he waved that broom was priceless! SOG at the end were 39 for Ottawa and 32 for Peterborough. The 67s won 3-2 on OT.

1, Hulit, (10) (Talbot, McGinn), 01:07
1, Bonello, (7) (Mancari, Colbert), 13:23 (PP)
4, McGinn, (4) (Talbot, Hulit), 11:01

2, Tardif, (8) , 09:35
3, Ryder, (9) (Stewart, Hendrikx), 01:03

OHL three stars were: (1) McGinn, (2) Hulit, and (3) Ryder.

TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) McGinn, (2) Talbot, and (3) Battochio.



OHL FINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Schedule TBA.

April 27, 2005

Interview With Brad Bonello, “Guys like me and Staubitz have a lot of emotion.”

Summary of an interview with Brad Bonello on the TEAM 1200/Dave Gross and Garry Galley this morning. [paraphrasing]

(Went to the playoffs with Erie Otters – how important was the experience) It was great experience for me. I learned from some very good players like Boyse, Colaiacovo. I’ve only made it to the playoffs one time, and it was the greatest time of my life. I just try to keep telling the boys that. We’re one win away from the Memorial cup and the greatest time of our lives.

(On keeping his emotions controlled) For first game I would say I had it in the back of my head. I didn’t want to be the goat, the guy that cost the team the win. After the win I started to get back to my normal self. I just try to keep myself under control. Guys like me and Staubitz have a lot of emotion.

(“Team of Rejects”) Guys like me, Van Herpt, Jarram, Staubitz, we’re the team of has-beens and rejects. We have fun with it in the dressing room. We’ve come to Ottawa as a group and we’re having fun here. It’s brought a lot of fun back into the game for me, to be in the playoffs again. It was a bonus to come to Ottawa. We keep instilling in ourselves that nobody wanted us, teams didn’t want us, and we want to prove that we can do it.

(On Killer) He lets me be creative and that’s one thing that many teams don’t let you be. They have a really strict system. He just asks that you come to the rink every night and work hard for him. And I think that’s why Ottawa has done so well over the years. They let their skilled players and guys who want to be, be creative.

(On the improved defensive play by all) That’s one of the things we’ve really noticed. A lot of guys are giving 110% in their own end. Guys that on any other team would be their skilled players are going down to block shots. That sends a message to the rookies. These guys in their 3rd years are dropping down to blocks shots for us. We try to make the rookies feel comfortable, but we tell them they’re not rookies anymore. They’ve played a full season.

(On the last 10 minutes of third period in Game 3 and winning Game 4) We realize that we had a lack of discipline in that game. A lot of us sat back and they took it to us. It gave some of us a shock seeing how Peterborough can play, and that if we make a mistake they can capitalize on it. And that it could turn the series around. We respect Peterborough but we don’t want to respect them too much because we’re a good team as well. If we play with a sense of urgency tonight, and get our fans into it right away, we have a good chance to do it.

(Is it hard to not think about the Memorial Cup?) That’s one thing that we 3rd and 4th year guys say in the dressing room. We’re one win away from the Memorial Cup. It’s hard to look past it, but I’m sure a lot of guys in the room want to finish this series. We have a lot of leaders saying it’s not over ’til it’s over. Look at what happened with the Sault Ste. Marie series when Windsor came back. I know that I personally, and Akeson and Staubitz personally, want to extend our junior careers as far as we can go.

Some rapid fire questions – and responses:
The best shot in the league – Corey Perry
The best skater in the league – Jakub Petruzalek
The one player you despise, biggest annoyance – I don’t despise anyone. I’d have to say myself.
The character on the team, who cracks you up – Lawrance
Favourite music – everything, [clarification] a little bit of everything, except opera
Best movie on the bus – We don’t watch movies; Killer watches golf
Best golf on the bus – The Masters
Favourite food – chicken something, [sounded like parmesan]
Jessica Simpson or Lindsay Lohan – Jessica Simpson
Brad Staubitz or Zach Stortini – Brad Staubitz


Bonello [4.11.2005].
Bonello [4.23.2005].

Interview With Brad Staubtiz, “Discipline is a big key.”

Notes from an interview with Brad Staubitz on the TEAM 1200/Dave Gross and Garry Galley this morning. Dave said that they’ve had Brad on prior to games, and that he’s 5-0 in pre-game chats. “It’s part of the routine now.” Some quick thoughts from Brad:

He said that the guys are itching to get going [along with everyone else in Ottawa!] “All the guys yesterday, we had a practice, and everyone just wanted to get going to the next game. It’s an unbelievable time of the year.”

“It’s the little things that we’ve been doing in the games.”

“We have to look back and realize what we’re doing.”

He talked a little about the problems in the last half of the third period of Game 3. He said, “Discipline is a big key. We gave them too many PP. That four minute, and then I took one.”

He went on to say that, “It’s the little things. You just need to bear down and do your job. Don’t be caught dreaming or not focusing.”

Conference Finals Pre-Game 4 News And Notes

One win. One win and they move on to the OHL Championships, and possibly, likely, the Memorial Cup. Will we finally get to see what Peterborough can do? They have nothing left to lose, so I expect them to lay it all on the ice tonight. This has the makings of being the best game of the series. I can’t wait . . .

*A wonderful piece on Chris Hulit in the Ottawa Citizen by Wayne Scanlan today (67's honest shooter). Snippets:

This would complete a lovely rags-to-riches story for Hulit, an undrafted, unheralded former Oshawa General who has been lights out -- and lights on -- since arriving in Ottawa on Dec. 2 in a trade for centre Peter Tsimikalis.

We’re so happy to have him!

*From the Ottawa Sun Don Brennan writes, London calling. A captainly comment from Captain Colbert:

"We knew they had firepower to begin with," said captain Wil Colbert. "We took some unnecessary penalties and they took advantage. But I'm not sure they gained a lot of momentum from that (rally).

"To score three late goals and still lose, I think would be even more frustrating."

Take that, Peterborough.

*From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Winning four not impossible. Snippets:

Dawson says the club has to start with the desperation they had at the end of Game 3.

“We have to go into the game with a little bit of an attitude and play a little more desperate,” said Dawson. “I think we showed in the third period we can get to the goalie and it’s just a matter of getting a little traffic. We have to look at it like any other game but knowing it’s a must-win. We have to play like there is no tomorrow which, if we don’t play well, there won’t be a tomorrow. It’s a harsh reality we have to face.”

Petes’ head coach Dick Todd said his club has to be better prepared.

“We have to be prepared that the crowd is going to be into it,” Todd said, “and they’re going to be hungry to put us away. We have to be ready for that right from the start.”

Todd is also concerned about officiating. A quick whistle in Game 3 cost the Petes a goal which might have led to a different outcome.

“It will be critical we get fair refereeing in the ensuing games in Ottawa,” he said. “With the crowd behind their hockey team, that’s not going to be easy. Having said that, if we can keep our composure and keep our discipline, it can be done.”

*From Peterborough This Week Mike Lacey writes, It's gut check time. Snippet:

"Our inability to score even strength goals is critical," Todd says, adding credit should go to the 67s' lineup for playing stellar defensive hockey.

In fact, the Petes have only managed one goal while playing five-on-five hockey. The remainder of their scoring punch has come on the power-play.

"To have one even strength goal in three games, you're not going to win too many games," he says.

He admits the lack of scoring has frustrated his go-to guys and that, in turn, breeds a further lack of production.

[. . .]

"We have to try and stay positive and making sure that if 20 guys come and are prepared to put it all on the line, to work hard and play to the best of their abilities, we can win a hockey game," he says.

After all, he adds, the 67s have won three in a row, so why can't the Petes?

What a great coach!

*From the Ottawa Sun Nelly Elayoubi writes, Stick it to 'em!.

*From the Ottawa Citizen, 67's try to focus on the positive [Sub req].

*Another sell-out. Everyone’s getting the playoff fever.

*Peter Loubardias on TEAM 1200/Dave Gross and Garry Galley talked about what a job Killer has done. He said this could be Killer’s best accomplishment – what he’s done with this team and where they are right now.

*And this is reassuring. I was a little concerned that they might move over to the Corel Centre for the OHL finals – not a good move for a lot of reasons. Via 67s’ BB, poster theognete:

Also, I heard Jeff Hunt on Y101 this morning and he was asked directly if he was wishing he had booked the Corel for the playoffs and he replied with an emphatic NO. He said that the 67sn fans like the Civic Center and the players know it, feel comfortable there and play their best hockey there and he wanted to do all he could to enhance their chances of on-ice success. [Sic]

April 26, 2005

CONFERENCE FINALS Game 3 – Ottawa at Peterborough (25-Apr) – Ottawa Hangs On To Win 4-3, Now Leads Series 3-0!

67s win 4-3 over the Petes. See OHL game summary here. See the 67s’ playoff page here.

From SLAM! Sports, 67's edge Petes. From the Ottawa Citizen, 67's do it the hard way [Sub req].

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Petes petering out. From Killer (who, I’m sure, was not very happy with the way the game ended):

"We had the game pretty much under control, but then we started to take a stream of trips to the penalty box and gave them a life," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "If it wasn't for some great saves, we'd still be out there playing right now."

And from Bickell, a decided fan-nonfavourite:

Petes fans not only had to suck up another loss last night. They also had to watch 67's winger Bryan Bickell, who took shots at the city of Peterborough before the series, score the first two goals of the game.

"The fans here don't like me very much," said Bickell. "But when the fans are yelling at me, it pumps me up in a way. It gets me going."

From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Petes late rally falls just short. From Staal, one of the few Petes working last night:

“We didn’t play our best at the beginning of the game,” Staal said. “We know that. We just tried to pick it up and get the momentum again. Hopefully we can take it one game at a time and try to take the series.”

And from Coach Todd:

“We can’t belittle the fact they played well and have taken advantage of their opportunities,” Todd said. “We made critical mistakes at the end of periods pinching and getting trapped on odd-man rushes. It’s a little bit of over anxiousness and perhaps inexperience. In order to be successful, you have to eliminate those errors. We have to learn from the mistakes we’ve made.”

After reading about all the crap going on in the London/Kitchener series, especially between Coaches DeBoer and Hunter, it makes me appreciate Killer and Coach Todd all the more.

From Peterborough This Week Mike Lacey writes, Petes in a huge playoff series hole.

And I had to re-post this bit from the 67s’ BB. Talk about some loyal fans! About 20 people met the team at the airport after the game last night. From poster Go 67’s 2005:

Thanks to all that came out last night. Brad Bonello was welcomed by the screams of two young girls and a big poster. He stopped to read and sign it as well as pose for pictures with them - they were in heaven!.
Somebody was seen giving a puck to Danny - what a nice gesture. [Sic]

More as it’s published . . .

The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) and television (Rogers Television 22/Lee Versage and Scott MacArthur; Cogeco/Bob Akins and Terry Doyle). Some notes:

*Coach Todd has mixed up the line matches. He’s putting Reddox/Ryder/Kaleta against Akeson/Petruzalek/Kaspar.

*Forwards: McGinn, Talbot, Hulit; Bickell, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Ouellette, Alphonso.
*Defensive pairings: Colbert, Joslin; Staubitz, Van Herpt; Lawrance, Beard.
*Starting in goal: Battochio, Guadagnolo on the bench.
*Scratches: Reid (inj-ankle), Lahey (inj-conc), Spezza, Kiriakou, and Jarram (all healthy).

Wow. I didn’t think that the 67s were going to hang on to the win. They did a 180 after Petruzalek’s 4 minute penalty, allowing the Petes to roar back with 3 unanswered goals in the second half of the third period. While they weren’t able to get the SO for Battochio, they come away with the win, and more importantly: a very impressive series lead. Wow.

First Period. The Petes came out stronger than they have previously – got a few shots on net. But after an extended break to fix a broken pane of glass, Ottawa got their act together.

For the 3rd straight game Ottawa got on the scorer’s sheet first with a penalty. (Van Herpt for high sticking.) Hulit got a great SH chance when he stole the puck off a Peterborough player who was attempting to bring the puck out from behind his net. The Petes were having some trouble with the PP, and iced the puck a couple of times eliciting a few groans from the crowd.

Battochio was in fine form tonight – making his customary awe-inspiring saves. But, MacDougald was doing his thing too down at the other end. He did a pretty good job stopping a few shots by Mancari and Bickell.

And what a way to end the period – Bickell scored with 19 seconds left. The 67s had just killed off a penalty to boot. It was a long shot from the point, it hit the cross bar, and went into the net.

SOG at the end of the period were 19 for Ottawa and 11 for Peterborough. The 67s were up 1-0.

Second Period. The Petes started playing with more urgency in the second, getting more SOG and keeping the puck in the 67s end.

Alphonso was given a 4 minute penalty, and right away the Petes thought they scored but it was waved off by Cox. Coach Todd requested Cox contact ‘headquarters,’ which he did, but it was still a no goal. This led to chants of ‘we want a ref’ by the fans. Hulit and Talbot both worked hard during the PK, and the 67s were able to get through it unscathed.

Bickell scored his second of the game on a PP, a great pass by Mancari after he corralled the rebound. This put the 67s up 2-0.

And with just under a minute left in the period, Talbot scored to make it 3-0. A nice pass by Hulit to McGinn, followed by a great pass by McGinn to Talbot.

SOG at the end of the period were 9 for Ottawa and 10 for Peterborough. The 67s were up 3-0.

Third Period. The Petes were given a good chance early in the third with a PP, but were not able to capitalize. Battochio continued making some incredible saves – sprawling on his belly.

Kaspar scored a wrap-around goal to make it 4-0 for the 67s. It was a terrible goal for the Petes, with 3 defencemen just standing around, nobody forechecking Kaspar. He was left alone to skate behind the Petes’ net to MacDougald’s left and slip it in on his right.

And then Petruzalek took a really bad penalty, truly deserved, for hitting Kaleta from behind. He was given 4 minutes.

After a Petes rush to the net and save by Battochio, a scuffle ensued resulting in more penalties. Staubitz was called for cross checking Tardiff, but Morrison was called, negating a potential 5-on-3. The 67s were starting to unravel, doing some really dumb stuff.

The Petes finally capitalized – a PP goal by Hendrikx, who shot from the point (4-1).

More roughing penalties were given to Mancari, Talbot, and Bickell for Ottawa, and Hunter and Kaleta for Peterborough. The Petes (Staal) scored quickly to make it 4-2. The Petes really turned it on at this point.

Staal scored one more, their first 5-on-5 goal of the series. He was able to get his own rebound. The score was 4-3, with approximately 5 minutes left to go, and the fans were going nuts.

The Petes pulled MacDougald with over a minute to go, and put out six attackers. The 67s held on, and finally Mancari was able to get the puck down the ice and into the Petes’ net, but it wasn’t registered as an EN.

Final SOG were 32 for Ottawa and 38 for Peterborough. The 67s were 1/6 on the PP, the Petes were 2/9. The 67s held on to win 4-3.

1, Bickell, (3) (Mancari, Bonello), 19:41
2, Bickell, (4) (Mancari, Staubitz), 15:02 (PP)
2, Talbot, (7) (McGinn, Hulit), 19:09
3, Kaspar, (5) , 07:22

3, Hendrikx, (6) (Ryder, Kaleta), 10:39 (PP)
3, Staal, (4) , 12:29 (PP)
3, Staal, (5) (Hunter, Flood), 14:54

The OHL three stars were: (1) Bickell, (2) Staal, and (3) Battochio.

The TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Bickell, (2) Staal, and (3) Talbot.



GAME 4 – Wed Apr 27 at OTT, 7:00 p.m.

*GAME 5 – Fri Apr 29 at PET, 7:00 p.m.

*GAME 6 – Sun May 1 at OTT, 2:00 p.m.

*GAME 7 – Mon May 2 at PET, 7:00 p.m.

*if necessary

April 25, 2005

Now, This Really Bothers Me . . .

Reading a thread on NOOF, poster REFUG68 mentions that only Killer gets the ref’s attention during a game [post link]:

(a good instance and something that STILL ticks me off, was in game 2 of the east finals, when the Petes got called for an icing on the PK, Dick Todd was calling the ref over and he really didn't want to hear any of it, however every time i've seen Kilrea motion to a ref, he goes right on skating over.) [Sic]

After someone mentioned this on NOOF the last time, I made sure that I captured the following pic of Coach Todd and the ref conferring. In fact, they were conferring about the exact play REFUG68 is referring to from Game 2 in Ottawa.

It’s not just Killer who gets to ‘talk’ w/refs during the game!
Here we can see that when Todd motioned to him, Smith went “right on skating over.” And Smith listened to him – didn’t necessarily cowtow to what he said – but Smith is clearly listening to him.

And it’s interesting that every time he’s seen Killer motion the refs over they go. In the same vein, I guess I could then say that every time Coach Todd motions the refs (since this was the one time I saw him motioning), they go “right on skating over.”


I’ve seen plenty of instances where Killer is freaking out on the bench about a call/non-call, and no one skates over to him - ignores him. Sometimes coaches freak out . . . Sometimes refs listen . . . Sometimes they give the coaches warnings . . . penalties . . . whatever. But please don’t misrepresent what really happened to make a point.

Interview With Brad Staubitz, “We haven’t accomplished anything yet . . .”

Summary of an interview with Brad Staubitz today on TEAM 1200/Dave Gross and Garry Galley. [paraphrasing]

(What happened w/Stewart who dropped his gloves?) I just suckered him in a bit. He gave me a hit and . . . I looked at him like we were going to go. But then I skated away. I just sucked him in. I got him.

(On being up 2-0 going back to Peterborough) They’re going to be coming out hard, really battling. We’re really fortunate to be up 2 games. We haven’t accomplished anything yet though. We have to keep going, keep battling.

(On limiting their offence) Oh for sure, especially with the atmosphere in the rink. The fans are right there, they’re right on you. If we can weather the storm in the first five, then come out and put something together in their rink again.

We’ve been really focusing on shutting down their two top lines. That gave room for Akeson and the two Euro boys. Bonello and Mark have shut down their top line. We have to look for offensive opportunities and capitalize when they come.

(Have they been playing hard?) They came out hard, especially in the game down there. They were flying around looking for hits, especially Kaleta. The first game we weren’t sure what to expect having to come out in OT in their home rink.

We gotta keep going like that. We can’t let up. The things that have been working for us we have to keep. The last game they had a few PP that we were able to shut down, but we have to play 5-on-5.

(On the team’s performance) I remember from the season, in the newspapers, that consistency is the trouble with the team. Having a fourth line that works as hard, battling in the corners, just helps the team. And that line with Akeson on it, helps out the front end.

(On Raftis throwing the game puck into the stands) He threw the puck up into the stands. We’ve been collecting them this year, as sort of a team building thing. It was a low blow by them. If the fan has the puck we’d like it back, especially for Danny. (Garry read that it went to a Petes fan) Well, Raftis knew what he was doing, flipped it to the right guy.

(On Kaleta) We’ve been keeping our eye on him. He looks to have big hits, lure you into penalties. That’s how he gets into the game, with a big hit, then he gets rolling. We just have to keep an eye for him, we can keep him from being a big factor.

(Asked about the the things they say to each other on the ice) It’s just small trash talk. He’s telling me to keep my head up. Just junk.

(Thoughts on flying to Peterborough) It’s great. It’s such a good experience. We can’t thank the owner, Jeff Hunt, enough.

(Anyone freaking out about flying?) No, nothing like that. [/paraphrasing]

Staubitz [3.11.2005].

Conference Finals Pre-Game 3 News And Notes

Well, it will be interesting to see how the 67s respond tonight - Game 3, could take an enormous advantage with a win - but we know (as Asst Coach O’Brien pointed out this morning on TEAM 1200) that the team has a history of not taking advantage of these opportunities. They just need to keep playing like they have: all lines firing, working 100% on each shift. Peterborough has to win this game, so they will be throwing everything they can at them.

*From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Petes in must-win situation. Snippet:

“We’re going to have to put forth a better effort,” Petes’ captain Mark Flood said. “We have to win one game in (Ottawa) and win our home games.”

Petes’ head coach Dick Todd noted a number of areas where his club needs to be better.

“It’s a game of inches and (Ottawa has) been able to take advantage of those inches,” Todd said. “If we’re going to go forward, we have to start making things happen in those areas.”

*From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Re-Pete performance. Snippet:

"I just let them know they're only as good as their work ethic and that (Saturday) night is over," said Kilrea.

His players' efforts in Game 2 delighted Kilrea, who called it one of the club's top games of the season.

But he also let them know it's time to move on.

"Winning those two games is good, but it isn't three," said Kilrea. "They've got to know that they'll need to work harder to get three."

*From the Ottawa Citizen, 67's can't believe good fortune [Sub req].

And this is definitely noteworthy: The Rangers won Game 2 at home against the Knights Saturday night, 3-1. Captain Canada Mike Richards seems to be working his magic. He scored a SH (his 4th of the playoffs!) and an EN. Of course, you can’t mention the Rangers without talking about their goaltender, Eric Pfligler (who got himself an assist in Richards’ EN). He’s been outstanding for them.

While I haven’t blogged about the Western Conference, we’ve been following the Rangers closely considering our ties. We are glad to see them doing well in the playoffs – knocking out OS in 4 games, plus removing the 1.000 stat from the Knights’ standings – even though it could mean a tough OHL final fight for the Memorial Cup berth.

It looks like it is turning into one very nasty series – lots of stick work of the body-kind, after-the-play punches and jabs, and a ton of verbiage thrown by players at fans. And this wouldn’t be the OHL without the anger over the refereeing. Coach DeBoer isn’t mincing words about his upset [link]:

"It's tough enough beating the London Knights, the No. 1-ranked team in the country, without having to beat the refereeing, too," DeBoer said at the postgame media conference after Kitchener won 3-1 to tie the series.

"We're in the final four here and I can't believe there'd be that level of incompetency. I don't know if there is a mandate out there that the London Knights need a nice easy ride to the Memorial Cup or what, but that was embarrassing."

Wow. And for the record, he’s talking about Hobor who is 4th on the seniority list. And of course, Coach Hunter has a few words of his own:

The Rangers have been accused by the Knights of hacking and slashing, with coach Dale Hunter describing Kitchener's play as "bush league" and "goon" hockey.

[. . .]

"This is what all teams try to do against our skilled players. You can take the hits from the body, it's part of the game, but it's the slashing. They could have a penalty every shift.

"You know what's really bad? It's when they already have a penalty, then you really notice it because they think the referee won't put them down five-on-three. That's when they really cross-check and slash. A five-on-three happened once Saturday and it was only 20 seconds."

Ah, the Drama of the playoffs!

More [link]:

London Knights coach Dale Hunter called it everything from "hack, whack and slash" hockey to "bush hockey" to "goon hockey." Kitchener Rangers coach Peter DeBoer shrugged off Hunter's criticism with a wave of the hand. He questioned the competence of referee Terry Hobor and called his work embarrassing.

Then he levelled a blast at Hunter.

"I'm sure Dale would like it if we just handed him the series and didn't show up," said DeBoer.

And this was . . . interesting. We saw the last minutes of Game 2, when Valabik and Foreman went at it. Oh boy, it looked like Valabik was throwing around a rag doll. Definitely one tough cookie:

. . . Brandon Prust and Boris Valabik squared off and when it was over, Valabik turned to the Knights bench and wiped his hands in a derisive gesture.

And what do we have in the East? We have ‘Peterborough’s a hole,’ Killer’s got Branch/the refs/the entire OHL in his pockets, and Raftis threw away the game puck . . . It just doesn’t seem as dramatic now, does it?

*Update 4.25.2005 1530h by Sid: The punishment has been handed down to both the Rangers and the Knights . . . and the official word from the OHL:

OHL Announces Disciplinary Action

Created: Apr 25, 2005

The Ontario Hockey League announced today its results of its review of certain incidents which occurred in the playoff game played in Kitchener on April 23rd, 2005 involving the London Knights and the Rangers.

As the result of the review player Josh Beaulieu of the London Knights Hockey Club was suspended five (5) games and the London Knights Hockey Club fined $2,000.00.

The Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club are fined $6,000.00.

The suspension to player Beaulieu was the result of his cross check to the back of the head of player Kevin Henderson of the Rangers and the fine to the Rangers was as the result of the inappropriate comments made by Head Coach and General Manager Peter DeBoer following the playing of the game. In the case of the Knights, their fine was for their verbal interaction with the Rangers bench near the conclusion of the game.

Those were some costly words.

April 24, 2005

CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 2 – Peterborough at Ottawa (23-Apr) – Ottawa Wins 3-0, Leads Series 2-0

67s win 3-0 over the Petes! A SO for Battochio! Woo Hoo! See OHL game summary here. See the 67s’ playoff page here.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's smother Petes. Snippets:

"As far as it being the best game of the year, it would rank right up there," said Kilrea. "Whether it was the best ... but it was certainly one of the best."

From the Ottawa Citizen Chris Yzerman writes, 67's hold home serve. A quote from Bickell:

"Winning the last two games -- first off starting in their barn and winning in OT, then coming back here and serving up a 3-0 game -- that's pretty confidence (building)," Bickell said after the 67's put the Petes in it up to their knees.

From SLAM! Sports, 67's shut out Petes. A quote from Battochio:

"It's a pretty big thrill," Battochio said after the 67's improved to 7-0 on home ice in the post-season. "The last few seconds seemed almost like forever.

"The boys just kept fighting and fighting. (They) have just to keep playing like that."

From the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Pete throws 67's a biscuit. I wondered what happened at the end of the game, with the 67s players looking towards the Petes’ bench. I guess this was it:

It was just a little thing and hardly noticed -- except to those to whom it meant the most. As time ran out in last night's 3-0 win by the 67's over Peterborough, Kyle Raftis of the Petes picked up the puck and threw it over the glass into the Civic Centre crowd.

A string of 67's was on its way down the ice to retrieve the puck as has been their custom in each of their wins this post-season.

The pucks from each victory are taped to a goalie stick that sits across the top of the big-screen TV in their dressing room.

It would have also been a significant souvenir for goaltender Danny Battochio, who had his first OHL shutout.

"That was an unsportsmanlike thing to do, to throw the puck over the glass," forward Brad Bonello said after the 67's took a 2-0 best-of-seven series lead.

"To my knowledge, that's a penalty and a suspension. They told us at the beginning of the year not to put anything in the crowd. I guess it depends on how they look at it."

More as it’s published.

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 Game 1) It was a hard fought game. They missed a couple of chances late in the game. We capitalized in one end and they didn’t.
(On the GWG) Kaspar’s setup was sheer determination and strength. He was going down and he had enough strength to get the puck out in front.
(Anything stand out?) Well the defence was good. We did a good job playing in our own end.
(On the importance of Game 1) Every game is important but we did get the home ice advantage. We know they’re capable of winning on the road. It’s one of those games that you hope you play your best.
(On the PP) It has been a problem at times. We don’t have to give them some of the chances we did. It’s better if we can play 5-on-5.

(On Game 1) The first period we really had a feeling out process. We started in the second and third. We had a number of OTs in the regular season with some pretty big successes. We had a great chances right before they scored, which is what usually happens in OT.
(On the key for tonight) Just stick to the simple game plan. We know Ottawa will come out of the gate fast, try to get the crowd behind them. We need to weather the storm for the first 10 to 15 minutes and we’ll be alright.
(On Morrison) He’s playing with a lot of confidence. The game comes to him pretty simple. We know what he’s going to give us.
(Need more from Ryder and Reddox?) We need more 5-on-5 from the whole team. The 2G on the PP were great, we’ve had this all year, but we need a few 5-on-5 to get our confidence up because Ottawa is pretty good 5-on-5.

*Forwards: McGinn, Talbot, Hulit (started); Bickell, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Ouellette, Alphonso.
*Defensive pairings: Colbert, Joslin; Staubitz, Van Herpt; Beard, Lawrance.
*Starting in goal: Battochio. Guadagnolo as backup.
*Scratches: Reid (inj-ankle), Lahey (inj-conc), Spezza, Jarram, and Kiriakou.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Let me just give the reader an impression of how loud and pumped fans were for this game: when the players came out on the ice for pre-game warm-up (yes, pre-game warm-up) the boos for the Petes and the cheers for the 67s were as loud as they would be during a regular season game! It was unbelievable.

Conference Finals!
Also, to whoever put together the pre-game scoreboard montage (?GG) with the AC/DC and the players faces: you rock! That was so good. And it looked like it must have been fun to put together. The guys all looked so mean and intense, that I’m sure a few of them had to laugh when they saw it. It was a great intro. Nice job 67s organization!

And Battochio – a well-deserved SO.

Battochio's got things under control.
I was really impressed with the composure of the 67s after whistle stoppages and such. They were pretty good at skating away, and not giving into the Petes’ goading.

They’re still having troubles with the PP; they were only 1/6 tonight. The Petes had a terrible time with their PP tonight as well, going 0/6.

First period. Like Game 1, the 67s got on the score sheet first with a penalty. They were able to kill it off.

Chris Hulit scored the first goal (and consequent GWG), off a pass by Alphonso who had just come out from the penalty box. It was a wicked hard shot and MacDougald didn’t have a chance.

Peterborough seemed to be playing timid. The 67s were skating hard; they got 7 SOG before the Petes registered one.

Bickell fell into the Petes’ bench and couldn’t get out. His legs were waving in the air as he struggled to get out.

Bickell trying to get out of the Petes' bench.
Stewart was given a 10 minute misconduct at the end of the period – he attempted to goad Staubitz into a fight, even dropping his gloves, but Staubitz kept a cool head. A few seconds later, Reddox was penalized for high sticking (I didn’t see it, and later watching the Rogers broadcast on replay not sure either), giving the 67s a 5-on-3 with a few seconds left in the period.

SOG were 15 for Ottawa and 9 for Peterborough. The score was 1-0 for Ottawa.

Second period. Peterborough killed off the 5-on-3. I expected them to come out charging, to get back into the game, and killing off a 5-on-3 would give them a boost. While they did have some moments and Ottawa had some sloppy play, Ottawa was definitely the more aggressive team.

Ottawa scored to go up 2-0, a beautiful goal by Bonello. He was standing to the right of MacDougald all alone. Kaspar passed the puck from across the ice . . . beautiful play by them both.

Petruzalek scored seconds later, again with a beauty of a pass by Kaspar and a great set up by Akeson. This line is definitely clicking. This is what I thought we’d see from Kaspar and Petruzalek at the beginning of the season. And it seems that the louder it is, the better they play.

When a Peterborough player fell on Danny after rushing to the net, the 67s quickly came to his defence, creating a scrum behind the net.

SOG at the end of the period were 24 for Ottawa and 28 for Peterborough. The score was 3-0 for Ottawa.

Third period. Peterborough got a few chances in the third, especially during the last minutes of the period when they pulled MacDougald and had the PP. Battochio was steady in the net, making the saves right down to the last seconds. He was excellent tonight in not allowing rebounds.

There was no scoring in the third. Final SOG were 31 for Ottawa and 37 for Peterborough, with the 67s winning 3-0.

67s win Game 2!
A few more pics:

Akeson, the hero of Game 1.
Bickell shoots.
It’s not just Killer who gets to ‘talk’ w/refs during the game!
1, Hulit, (9) (Alphonso), 08:29
2, Bonello, (6) (Kaspar, Bickell), 13:21 (PP)
2, Petruzalek, (7) (Kaspar, Akeson), 13:55



The OHL three stars were: (1) Battochio, (2) Kaspar, and (3) Hulit.

The TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Battochio, (2) Kaspar, and (3) Hulit.



GAME 3 – Mon Apr 25 at PET, 7:00 p.m.

GAME 4 – Wed Apr 27 at OTT, 7:00 p.m.

*GAME 5 – Fri Apr 29 at PET, 7:00 p.m.

*GAME 6 – Sun May 1 at OTT, 2:00 p.m.

*GAME 7 – Mon May 2 at PET, 7:00 p.m.

*if necessary

April 23, 2005

Conference Finals Pre-Game 2 News And Notes

A few quick notes before the game tonight:

* Another playoff sell out. It will be loud for sure. So nice to see all the support for the team.

* Bickell has created quite the upset with his comments on Peterborough. A 3-page thread has developed over on NOOF. I don’t think it was the smartest thing to say. You never want to give the opposition and their fans any more reason to get a hate-on. Plus, his family has a business there, it’s kind of tacky, and it’s certainly relative (Bickell’s one to talk – he came from Orono!).

* From the Ottawa Citizen Chris Yzerman writes, Akeson's output not lost in Czech translation [Sub req]. Apparently Petruzalek and Kaspar have taught Akeson some Czech, which has helped them out on the ice. Jakub and Lukas have:

. . . taught Akeson . . . a nick-name that they use for each other in their native tongue to ease negotiations on the ice.

"If I say it, they find me no matter where I am and put it on my stick."

That’s great!

* From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Kaspar in comfort zone. A snippet:

"The last couple of weeks have been great for me," said Kaspar, who has four goals and 13 points in in 13 playoff games.

"It wasn't an easy year for me. A lot of new things for me. My family isn't here. It's a different style of hockey. Different coach, learning different things," he said.

"It was a different lifestyle and it was very hard."

* From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Facing 67's extra special for Petes defenceman. Snippet:

As a native of Russell, a small town outside Ottawa, Hendrikx grew up a 67’s fan. Now he’s hoping to help the Petes eliminate them.

“It’s always a special feeling to play in Ottawa,” Hendrikx said. “I have all my friends and family come out. I seem to always be a little more pumped up than everybody else because it’s my hometown.”

Good stuff.

* [Added 4.23.2005 1715h by Sid] Tony Ambrogio (from The Score) has a bit on his blog about Coach Todd and Killer meeting up in the Conference Finals, Coaching legends to face off.

April 22, 2005

Interview With Brad Staubitz, “Everybody was excited to see him get that goal. He’s been working really hard.”

Summary of interview with Brad Staubitz on TEAM1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson this afternoon. They caught Brad as he was preparing to get out on the ice for a practice. [paraphrasing]

(On the win last night) It was a big game. Its always good to come away with it, we were not sure what to expect from Peterborough. To come out with an OT win, it just sparks the team.

(On Akeson/Petruzlak/Kaspar line) They were really playing well. They were clicking. They came out last night and played well for us.

(On his contribution, like hits at key times) There are turning points. I wouldn’t say the hit, but the way they capitalized on it. A big goal or even a fight can turn things around.

(On Kaleta being a pest) Oh yeah, Kaleta gets under the boys skin. That’s part of his game and he does it well. It’s just so frustrating to play against him. We just have to work hard and not let him suck us in, stay disciplined around him. (Dean: I call him weasel, but I’m sure you’ve got other names for him) Oh, we’ve got a few names for him. . .

(On Peterborough playing nervous, affecting their play) They came out working hard. The atmosphere in that arena was great. They were finishing their checks and working hard. They’re definitely a talented team. Some of their forwards didn’t have too many chances. They definitely came out hard in their barn.

(On how the 67s’ defence limited those chances) Just staying together as a core. Working well with your partner. The forwards did a great job of coming back, helping out. The last two series Danny’s been carrying us there. Making big saves and giving us confidence. Yesterday we were holding it down. Trying to shut down their top line and helping Danny there.

(On Bickell’s comments on Peterborough, did you see it and say “oh no”) Yeah, definitely. Bickell’s home town is not too far from there. He means nothing by it. I knew they’d react to it, especially when they were introducing us, the crowd gave him a pretty big boo.

(On finally winning in Peterborough’s rink) It’s something we needed to do as a group, to know that we can play well in their barn. It’s a hard rink to play in. But if we play smart and disciplined, hopefully on Monday we can do just as well.

(On series schedule, one to one). Don’t really have a preference. This gives a chance, now we’re back in our rink, that we can really get a roll going.

(On Akeson getting back into line up) Everybody was excited to see him get that goal. He’s been working really hard. It’s been hard for him this year, not playing [w/injury]. He’s a great leader on and off the ice. It was great to see him score that for the team.


Staubitz [4.17.2005]

April 21, 2005

CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 1 – Ottawa at Peterborough (21-Apr) – Ottawa Wins Game 1 in OT (3-2), Takes Series Lead 1-0

67s win 3-2 in OT over the Petes. See OHL game summary here. See the 67s’ playoff page here.

(From 4.22.2005)
From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's Game 1 gurus. Quote from the game hero:

"That's my biggest goal of my OHL career, minor hockey, everything," said Akeson, who scored his first career OHL overtime goal.

And quote from the coach on the importance of the win:

"I won't down play the importance of one game," said Kilrea. "It did prove that we can win in Peterborough, which we couldn't do throughout the season.

"We came here and we won, so now we know we can."

From the Ottawa Citizen Andy Watson writes, 67's jump into driver's seat.

From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Petes in strange spot after loss. Snippets:

For the first time this playoffs Peterborough Petes trail a series.

[. . .]

“Lukas drove the net like Killer (67’s coach/GM Brian Kilrea) tells him to,” Akeson said. “He put one out in front and I just took a whack at it. I got hit so I didn’t see it go in I just saw the bench jump up.”

[. . .]

“The first game of a series playing at home we were, maybe, a little nervous,” Todd said.

“I don’t think we were on top of our game as far as making good passes and playing as confidently as we are capable of.

“I think this is a good opportunity for us to go into their building. We’ve had pretty good success on the road this year. I think we can improve our game and we’ll have to.”

From the Toronto Sun Terry Koshan writes, Appreciative 67's in flight. On Hunt’s providing flights for travel throughout playoffs:

"We're really grateful for what he does for us," said overage forward Jeremy Akeson, who scored the winner at 2:16 of overtime before a packed house of 3,843. "It's such a better feeling to have a 30-minute flight. You get off the plane, come right to the rink and you're ready to go."

And from SLAM! Sports, 67's take opener.

The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) and television (Rogers Television 22/Scott MacArthur and Lee Versage and Cogeco feed from Peterborough/Terry Doyle and Bob Akins). Some notes from Schreibs and AJ:

* Killer w/over 1000 wins and Todd w/over 500 wins – amazing.
* Thinks that it will be a real physical series.
* Schreibs echoed my ‘fuel to the fire’ regarding Bickell’s comments on Peterborough.
* Will have to do a better job containing Reddox, Ryder, and Kaleta.

(Thoughts on this Conference Finals round) You never know how long you’ll survive. All I know is that you never look farther than tonight. Hopefully it will be a long one.
(On what the team needs to do) Starts with him [Battochio] but everyone has to contribute and play well. We know that Peterborough romped through pretty good themselves. We need to play well tonight and do the little things better than we have.
(On coaching match up/line match ups) The big thing with the line ups is staying on the ice 5-on-5. We can stay with them. Hopefully we won’t get into penalty troubles. Hopefully we’ve learned a little about discipline.
(On who he’d like to see step up their game) I’d like to see everyone stay on a roll: Mancari, Talbot, Hulit, Petruzalek and Kaspar, Akeson. Bickell being back home and McGinn. We need everyone to play as well as they can and it will be good enough.
(On video replay – is it a positive.) I think it is. You have the technology and you have the complete coverage of every game. It helps the ref. In the case you have a controversial call it helps the ref.

(Thoughts on this Conference Finals round) Well the Ottawa 67s have a fine hockey club and we expect a real competitive series. They scored more and allowed less and that tells you a lot about their level.
(On Series w/Toronto) St. Mikes had a great series with Mississauga and Mississauga looked like the favourite, but St. Mikes finished with more points than any team in the division. They played a disciplined game and their building is tight. They received great goaltending coming into the series.
(Home ice advantage an advantage?) That can be a key factor. But Ottawa has been able to win both first games of their series. We have to be ready to deal with that tonight.
(Other offensive players besides Reddox and Ryder ) We had a balanced attack from our 3 top lines and our fourth down low. We hope to get a consistent effort from everyone.
(On Peterborough goaltending) Jeff’s played well from the last half of the year. He was building toward Christmas. We went to the two goaltending system. He’s played real well and he’s taken the brunt of the load here in the playoffs. That happens in the playoffs. They gain confidence and that’s where we are right now.
(On playing vs Killer) Coaching against Brian has always been a pleasure because he teaches his players dignity in the game. We appreciate the skill he teaches them.

*Forwards: McGinn, Talbot, Hulit (started); Bickell, Bonello, Mancari; Akeson, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, Ouellette, Alphonso.
*Defensive pairings: Colbert, Joslin; Staubitz, Van Herpt; Beard, Lawrance.
*Starting in goal: Battochio. Guadagnolo as backup.
*Scratches: Reid (inj-ankle), Lahey (inj-conc), Spezza, Jarram, and Kiriakou (healthy).

I was really impressed with both teams. They both played hard – each team pushing harder at different points, with the other team bouncing back, some end-to-end play, a lot of great scoring chances, and good goaltending. The SOG were even for the first time in the playoffs for the 67s. The one area that the Petes were better in, was the PP. The 67s were 0/5 on the PP, while the Petes were 2/5. The 67s will need to work on this, otherwise Kaleta will continue to get away with his shenanigans! The best game I’ve seen in the playoffs so far – really enjoyed this game, and the fact that 67s won it makes it all the sweeter.

They had the player introductions prior to the puck drop. A quick ‘cheers and jeers’ round up: upon introduction the whole team was booed, Guadagnolo was booed (the goalie they saw play over the reg season), they booed Bickell loudly – Bickell smiling the whole time. Some had a nice cheer for Mancari, a big boo for Bonello (he smiled too). And a nice cheer for Killer.

First period. 67s got on the sheet first – with a penalty call, and Peterborough scored first on PP (1-0), a goal by Ryder. A hooking call on Raftis gave Ottawa their first PP opportunity, which the Petes killed off easily. Petruzalek tied it up, a goal flipped into the top of the net, short side on MacDougald (1-1). A high-sticking by VanderVeeken gave Peterborough their second PP of the period. This time the 67s were able to kill it off. SOG were pretty good, with 8 for Ottawa and 7 for Peterborough. The score was tied at 1-1.

Second period. The 67s really increased the pressure in the second. At the beginning of the period, Hulit scored to give Ottawa the lead 2-1. He was parked out in front of the net, waiting for a rebound, and shot it home. There was a good stretch where they kept the puck in the Petes’ zone and were getting a number of chances on net. The Petes iced the puck a couple times to get a break. Ottawa was not able to capitalize on their PP chances in the second. Peterborough however had no such problems, scoring on their PP chance to tie it up (2-2). SOG at the end of the period were 20 for Ottawa and 18 for Peterborough. The score was tied 2-2.

Third period. Hulit continued taking a beating in the playoffs, drawing a penalty (slashing), but still the 67s were not able to capitalize. There was a fast pace in the third, with end-to-end skating and both teams forechecking hard. SOG at the end of the period were 25 for Ottawa and 24 for Peterborough. The score remained tied at 2-2.

OT period. Just over 2:00 into the third Akeson scored to win the game. It looked like he didn’t know it went in initially, as he took the shot at the net and was spun around by a Petes defenceman. He certainly knew it seconds later when he was mobbed by his teammates for congratulatory hugs. The hero of the game for sure, with co-hero status going to Kaspar who worked to get the puck into the zone and fight off a check. He got the puck out in front of the net one-handed while falling to the ice, and Akeson was in good position to get the pass. Final SOG were 32 for Ottawa and 28 for Peterborough. OH YEAH! The third time the 67s have gone into the opponent’s rink and stolen away home ice advantage. Good for them.

1, Petruzalek, (6) (Kaspar, Van Herpt), 08:09
2, Hulit, (8) (Talbot, Colbert), 02:32
4, Akeson, (4) (Kaspar, Petruzalek), 02:16

1, Ryder, (8) (Kaleta, Raftis), 02:23 (PP)
2, Hendrikx, (5) (Morrison, Tardif), 14:30 (PP)

The OHL three stars were: (1) Akeson, (2) Battochio, and (3) Hendrikx.

The TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Kaspar, (2) Hendrikx, and (3) Akeson.



GAME 2 Sat Apr 23 at OTT, 7:00 p.m.
GAME 3 Mon Apr 25 at PET, 7:00 p.m.
GAME 4 Wed Apr 27 at OTT, 7:00 p.m.
GAME 5* Fri Apr 29 at PET, 7:00 p.m.
GAME 6* Sun May 1 at OTT, 2:00 p.m.
GAME 7* Mon May 2 at PET, 7:00 p.m.
*if necessary

Conference Finals Pre-Game 1 News And Notes

Well, it’s ROUND 3, and here we are – still blogging. There were many times throughout the season that I had some doubts that we’d be watching hockey in April this year, but of course knowing who the coach is, I’m not entirely surprised.

All I can say is I love hockey in the springtime – the warmer it gets and you’re still cheering on your team, the better the feeling. When you can go the rink in just a T-shirt and jersey . . . AH! Playoff hockey. I love it.

I haven’t blogged any of the latest news this week, but I have been keeping track of it all and will include it in this big pre-game post.

Just took a quick look at my recaps from the reg season meetings with Peterborough – very up and down. MacDougald did a good job for them, and Guadagnolo was in the nets for Ottawa. The last game against Peterborough was that horribly-reffed game. Thank whoever that ‘he’ has not reffed any of the playoff games.

(News And Notes From 4.21.2005)

* From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, Hulit has General dislike of Petes. It looks like Battochio and the 67s will finally get a goaltending challenge:

The last three of those Petes wins came with goalie Jeff MacDougald in net, including a 38-save performance on Feb. 10 during a 2-1 decision.

"He's had a fantastic year for them," said Ottawa coach Brian Kilrea. "You don't end up challenging for first place over the course of 68 games without having a good goalie."

And some disappointing news on Reid:

67's defenceman Elgin Reid, who has an ankle sprain, will likely miss the entire series.

Again, not surprising, but he will definitely be missed.

* Also from the Ottawa Sun and Barre Campbell, 'It's not a great town'. Ah, Bickell, I know of what you speak (having my own close ties to the area) . . . but way to give the competition some fuel for the fire.

* From the Globe and Mail Tim Wharnsby writes, Old rivals square off in OHL Eastern final. Another great article on the duelling coaches. Good stuff.

* From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Coaches worried about potent offences.

* And what are the fans saying? Looking at Noofer PetesSection9Fan:

I just hope Killer brings his nitro-glycerin pills to Peterborough tonight. He has gotten a little irate at his team this year in our building and has turned many shades of red behind the bench.[sic]

He/she’s right on that.

If I remember accurately, this is the first time the Peterborough colour/play guys were very vocal in their criticisms of Killer. (Yep . . . just checked. The TEAM 1200 broadcast of the first period was pre-empted for NFL, so we listened online to the Peterborough call [link], and were treated to this lovely statement: “We all know that Killer’s got a nice understanding with the refs around the league.”)

Noofer This PUKS4You responds:

[. . .] Just you all remember who you are and where you are and what you wrote here.......then when Ottawa beats Peterboro we'll all meet back in my Ottawa kitchen for a slice of HUMBLE PIE.

Just a side note to all those who think Ottawa has this power over the OHL....
Don't you wish you wore the pants of Kilrea with pockets so friggin deep they hold all the CASH, the REFS, the OHL and probably even your own coach as well......
didn't you know Kilrea paid off the COLTS and the WOLVES...and he'll end up paying the PETES off as well...ahh what a life, to own and control the OHL and Mr. Branch... [sic]

Oh, and it’s ON! Noofer Danny Tanner responds:

Humble Pie? It's about time somebody knocked Ottawa off of their high-horse and took over the east. You can come over to my place and we'll watch the OHL Finals and Mem Cup together..[sic]

Love it!

(News And Notes From 4.20.2005)

* The League is introducing video replay for goals for this round. (Via OHL):

OHL to use Video Goal Judge in Conference and League Championships

Created: Apr 20, 2005

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that a video goal judge will be utilized to review all goals during the 2005 OHL SportChek Conference Championships and the OHL Championship Series.

The video goal judge will view all games from the league's head office in Scarborough, Ontario and will be in direct contact with league appointed officials at each game.

"The fact that all of our remaining playoff games will be broadcast live on Rogers and Cogeco Cable and are available on the OHL Action Pak gives us the unique opportunity to utilize a video goal judge system," said OHL Commissioner David Branch. "This system provides the league with another resource to assist the consideration process on any disputed goals."

All of the remaining games in the OHL playoffs will be broadcast live on Rogers and Cogeco Cable in their local markets and are available across Ontario and New Brunswick on the OHL Action Pak.

The SportChek OHL Conference Championships open on Thursday with the Peterborough Petes hosting the Ottawa 67's and the London Knights hosting the Kitchener Rangers.

More on this from Jim Cressman [LFP] (OHL to use replays), and Terry Koshan [TS] OHL to use video judge.

* From the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Opposing goalies know how to survive adversities.

(News And Notes From 4.19.2005)

* From the Ottawa Citizen Chris Yzerman writes, Familiarity with Petes makes 67's wary. A quote:

"I know all the boys in the (dressing) room are pumped up to play Peterborough," 67's left-winger Bryan Bickell said. "They beat us in the season series, but the season series doesn't matter any more."

* From the Ottawa Sun writes, 67's-Petes renewing hot rivalry.

* And from the Peterborough Examiner Mike Davies writes, Legends about to clash in Eastern Conference final. Snippet:

Two junior hockey coaching legends will clash in the OHL Eastern Conference final.

Ottawa 67’s coach/GM Brian Kilrea, 71, the winningest coach in CHL history faces Peterborough Petes’ Dick Todd, 59, who possesses the CHL’s highest career winning percentage. They are also the two winningest active CHL coaches.

“It’s nice that we’re both still alive and kicking,” chuckled Todd. “The combined age of the two of us is 130 years of age. I’ve said that Killer only looks like he’s 30 so I must look like I’m 100.”

Kilrea is quick with the wit, too.

“I just hope I look as good as he does when I’m as old as him,” Kilrea says, with a laugh.

This is going to be a great series!

* Checking out Noof today, it seems like the Petes’ fans are having trouble getting tickets. [link]. Now that we’re to the conference finals, it seems like tickets are going fast. I think that London was sold-out before they even knew who they’d be facing, and I’ve heard from RangersFan that they are making people buy tickets in person in Kitchener – no phone sales. Good news for all the teams, both monetarily and considering how much fan support means to the home team, but understandably frustrating.

April 18, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “. . . hopefully Danny Battochio is enjoying this day off more than anyone.”

Some notes from the post-playoff Game 6 interview this afternoon with Killer on the TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson. [paraphrasing]

(Congratulations on winning Round 2) Thanks very much. I just enjoyed today, not having to travel and not having to go anywhere. A day of rest. It’s good because a few of our fellows played a few minutes. When you get this deep you worry a little bit, but everyone has to play 60 minutes.

(On the one game in each city style) Going back and forth is not a hardship. They wanted to get that extra day of rest for the kids. I’m pretty pleased with the schedule.

(On the practice schedule) We’ll skate tomorrow and have a good practice. Thursday is not a hardship because Jeff has taken the hardship out the travel. The health of the team is good and hopefully Danny Battochio is enjoying this day off more than anyone.

Today is the day that we could have had an optional, but the trainer is the one going up early and getting things ready for the boys. It’s hard on Patafie. He needs a day off more than anyone. No, we’ll just stay away from the rink, enjoy it, hit a bucket of balls. We’ll start tomorrow.

(On not having to travel to Sudbury for a Game 7) I know that I hadn’t been feeling great and so if we had to get on a plane – its quick but still tough, an hour and half up – it would have been tough with their crowd behind them. I was really, really happy that we had last night off and we could just sleep in and do nothing today.

(On the better team effort last night) Yeah they worked harder and we eliminated their [Sudbury] chances and we put a few pucks in their net instead of having to go to the end depending on Danny. Made it a little bit easier for him.

(On Kaspar and Petruzalek elevating their games) I think it’s just understanding that no matter who you play against or how many minutes you play, you have to go and work hard. Had they been playing with the talent they’ve been given it might have been a different story with a few games. The good thing with our line up, the Talbot line did all the damage in Game one and yesterday they only got one – but a big one by Hulit. Yesterday they had a big game [Akeson, Kaspar, and Petruzalek].

(On what a SH goal can do to a hockey club) Well it’s one of those things that you have to understand. You anticipate pucks and move and skate. We can throw the puck around pretty good and a few fellows can read the puck really well. Sometimes on the PP you relax a little bit. We did it yesterday where we were nonchalant and they had a 3 on 2. Sometimes you get lazy and beat a little bit. They [Sudbury] were caught a few times, four I guess. Sometimes it bounces off the boards funny. It’s one of the those things if the situation presents itself, be ready for it.

(On an MVP of the Sudbury series who is not the goaltender) Yeah outside of goaltending I wouldn’t want to try because each and every night it’s a different story. Talbot was a star up in Sudbury the one night we had the game advantage. Bonello and Mancari had strong games. I don’t want to overlook Colbert or Staubitz. They would have to share it. I don’t interfere with the kids in the dressing room. They have their own methods and they award the hard hat. Except yesterday I grabbed it and I put it on Danny, and it was unanimous. There was a cheer in the room like we scored a goal. He gutted it out and gave us a chance to win.

(On Coach Dick Todd) I like Dick Todd. He’s done a tremendous job. You have to give the organization . . . they’ve made themselves a formidable foe. They beat London this year and they were leading the other until they ran into penalty troubles. You look forward to the challenge because you know that they’re a good team. We’re happy to be here because not too many people would have predicted that Ottawa would be here against Peterborough.

(On what Coach Todd has done to improve the team) He came from the school of hard knocks. He taught them responsibility in their own end and they do play better in their own end. They have an awful lot of talent and now they’re using it. They’ve got the four lines and their number one pick Staal is playing tremendous hockey and they use him to kill penalties.

Also, one of the most underrated players in the League is Daniel Ryder. I just love watching him play. He works as hard defensively as offensively and he kills penalties. If they had a vote for MVP I think it would be Ryder. I really appreciate his overall game.

They play very good in their own end. If you look at our team, we’re run and gun, sometimes a gamble. If you gamble against a good team you get burned. We’ll have to be smarter in our own end. Hopefully everyone learns to methodically get the puck out, keep the tempo up mind you, but be a little more careful of where you make your first pass.

(On the high SOG during the first 2 rounds; misleading?) Shots sometimes are a little misleading. You can give up a lot of shots if they’re not in the danger zone. You can get the angle shots and let the goaltender set up and clear them. But if you’re giving up quality shots you’re going to be in trouble. The shots we’ve been giving up are not all dangerous. We’re going to have to cut done some of the opportunities and some of the penalties. Peterborough had over 80 more PP opportunities throughout the year.

(On home ice being a factor) We won 2 here and we tied 2 here. They didn’t win here and we didn’t win there. I’m hoping that we can adjust to their rink. But they play well on the road too.

(On the play of the fourth line) Our fourth line has been playing really well. Pat Ouellette should get credit. He’s been playing really well. He’s really upped his game. It took him awhile to adjust on the ice. He’s winning his face-offs and they go out and they work and they bump and they’re playing well in their own end. If they go out and give us the minutes and hold the opposition even, then they’ve done their job. If they get on the board, that’s a bonus. [/paraphrasing]