March 18, 2006

Ottawa in OT: 5 - 4

By the numbers:
Oshawa has won only 17 games this year coming into the Civic Centre and 3 of them have been against Ottawa. This last ranked team has given Ottawa a run for its money that’s for sure. Both teams have won all their home games against each other.

Getting the big points for Oshawa are John Tavares with 75 and former 67s Peter Tsimikalis with 97. Their +/- is pretty bad with only three players on the plus side (+1, +2, and plus +6).

They have 5 guys with over 100 PIMs with defenseman Justin Sawyer leading the way with 197. Oshawa has the worst road PK in the league having allowed 82 goals against out of 286 occasions when the opponent has had the advantage. Ottawa’s PK at home is ranked 15th. The Gennie’s PP on the road is ranked 17th while Ottawa’s PP at home is 15th.

Goalie Carlo DiRienzo, who has played only 30 games this year, is ranked 19th in the league with a save percentage of .892 while Danny is ranked 13th with a save percentage of .907.

The 67s have two consecutive wins right now. Scratches for today were Brent Mackie, Joe Pleckaitis and Tibor Raduly.

First Period: Former team mates and now both captains of their respective teams, Peter Tsimikalis and Julian Talbot seemed to have a nice chat at centre ice waiting for the puck drop. Then, the game was on and Julian won the first face-off just to be sure that nice stops when the clock starts. If you have seen any herding dog demonstrations, you will have seen that the dog handler uses a variety of whistles to issue commands to the dog. Well, apparently so does someone on the coaching team of the Oshawa Generals to signal line changes to the players. While perhaps effective, it seems a tad unseemly. Anyway, Ottawa scored first at the 6:16 mark of the game when Logan Couture got a nice pass to Matt Lahey at the crease and he made it count! Jamie McGinn got the other assist on the goal. Then, at just past half way and on the power play Jakub Voyta took a shot from the top of the face off circle and in the ensuing banging around in front of the goalie, Logan got his first of the night past DiRienzo. Matt Lahey had a hand in that one too. Then all sorts of bad stuff happened. Our guys had a serious discipline melt-down. It started with Brody Beard getting 2 minutes for holding. With 28 seconds to serve in that one, Elgin Reid was sent to the brig for holding and earned an extra 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct. That gave Oshawa 28 seconds of 5 on 3 (which they couldn’t capitalize on) and 3:40 of the one man advantage. Cal Clutterbuck scored his first of the night on the power play at 13:49 with help from Kelly Thompson and Peter Tsimikalis. Before Elgin’s second penalty was over, Chris Hulit was tagged for high sticking giving the Gennies 48 seconds of 5 on 3 and then the man advantage for 1:12. The 67s managed to come out of these problems with only the one goal by Clutterbuck. Then, with the team caught on a horrendous line change, Grimaldi interfered on an Oshawa player (didn’t get the number) to break up a scoring chance. He got two minutes for that, and then in the last minute of play, he mixed it up with Oshawa’s Dale Mitchell. They both were sent off for roughing and Grimaldi got an extra 10 minute misconduct. Not sure what that was for. Ottawa basically played the second half of that period with 4 players and over a minute with only three players.

After 20 minutes it was 2 – 1 Ottawa with shots on goal 14 – 18 for Oshawa.

Second Period: Grimaldi was still serving 1:17 of his roughing penalty at the start of this period plus he had to serve the rest of his misconduct (didn’t actually get back on the ice until 11:17 according to the game sheet). Since his partner in roughing Dale Mitchell was also serving time, the period started at even strength. At 1:13, Cal Clutterbuck scored his second of the night when when he a surprised Danny with a backhanded shot amidst some defensive breakdowns by Ottawa. That tied the game at 2 apiece. Oshawa managed to get themselves into some penalty trouble, getting 5 penalties, but it sure didn’t look like they had the worst road PK on the league. Ottawa did not play well at all. It would have been a challenge for them to pass gas much less pass the puck. It was bad.

The only Ottawa penalty for the period was a very questionable call in my opinion on Grimaldi for interference in the last two minutes of play. When Dale Mitchell was called at 18:52 for slashing (on Talbot I believe) we were back at even strength, 4 each. Cal Clutterbuck closed out the scoring for the period with a natural hat trick with help from Eric Regan and John Tavares. Eric Regan ended the penalty parade with a slashing call at 19:51 giving Ottawa a brief PP before the end of the period.

At the end of the second period it was 2 – 3 for Oshawa despite Ottawa out shooting Oshawa 19 to 9 during the period.

Third Period: With Grimaldi’s penalty expiring 9 seconds into the period, it was Ottawa’s turn for the 2-man advantage. They couldn’t make it work but just three seconds after Mitchell’s penalty expired, Julian Talbot finally picked off one of DiRienzo’s big rebounds and evened up the score. Joe Grimaldi got the assist. Then, 1:17 later, Ottawa took the lead again when Brett Liscomb fed Logan Couture at the edge of the crease. Elgin Reid got an assist as well. Oshawa continued its bad ways and managed to get 5 penalties in the frame while the 67s managed to keep their noses clean (or at least not get caught at anything). Ottawa pounded 19 shots at DiRienzo all period and he gave up some mighty huge rebounds but Ottawa players just couldn’t seem to get in the right spot to capitalize. You could see the Ottawa players trying to feed Logan so he might get his own hat trick and, to his credit, he was not greedy – if he didn’t have a shot, he moved the puck to someone else.

Oshawa tied it up at 15:32 when Brett Parnham got one past Danny.

The third period ended with the game tied at 4. Total shots on goal at this point: 52 – 34 for Ottawa.

Overtime: Oshawa dug themselves into a penalty hole late in the third period when Justin Sawyer was called at 19:06 for interference and Eric Regan was called at 19:22 for interference too. This gave Ottawa a 2-man advantage for 1:06. They could not make anything of it and when the Oshawa penalties were, Ottawa was called for too many men on the ice. Someone had lost track that it was supposed to be 4-on-4. Ottawa managed to kill the penalty but neither team was getting a lot of scoring opportunities. In the final 30 seconds of the OT period, Jamie McGinn won the game when he took a nice pass from Julian Talbot and got it past DiRienzo which resulted in a whole lotta complaining coming from the Oshawa bench and players. Not sure what the fuss was. Did someone think that Jamie kicked the puck in? From the description on the radio, Jamie did stop the puck with his skate but scored using his stick. Did someone think Jamie was offside? Or was it some perceived infraction involving Grimaldi as Jamie was scooting down the ice? No indication was given but Clutterbuck was carrying on pretty strongly. I noticed in the game sheet that he was assessed a game misconduct and a gross misconduct. Guess he won’t be playing in Oshawa’s last game of the season on Sunday.

Final score: 5 – 4 for the 67s with final shots on goal 55 - 37 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: Well, they almost didn’t win this game but they now have their first 3-game winning streak of the season. Guess now is as good a time as any. They managed to score twice on the PP but they should have been able to do more damage to a team that has the worst PK in the league. The Crazy-8s scored 4 of the 5 goals for Ottawa and were only scored on once. I think we are looking at our top line for next year. Jakub Voyta stayed out of the penalty box all game – again. He’s improving alot. Danny made a number of spectacular saves but unfortunately there were a couple of goals that should have been stopped. I wonder how a coach teaches a team to adjust to a goalie that gives out big rebounds. I mean DiRienzo gave up really big rebounds all night but somehow the guys just couldn’t seem to figure this out and get into better position to anticipate them. All in all, a pretty exciting game; fast, end-to-end play and lots of ooh-ahh moments. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when a lower ranked team steps up their play – look at how the 67s have played against Barrie and Peterborough. And the Sens have lost to pretty much every bottom feeder team this year too despite a plane load of talent.

Let’s see if the boys can make it 4 in a row tomorrow when the Sudbury Wolves come to town to close out the regular season. Hope to see you there!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Logan Couture (2 goals and an assist)
Second Star: Cal Clutterbuck (hat trick)
Third Star: Jamie McGinn (game winning goal and an assist)

Hardest Working 67: Jakub Voyta. I’m gonna part company with the Team 1200 guys. While they said they considered Joe Grimaldi, I think they should have gone all the way and given it to him. I sure would like to know his ice time in the third period and in the OT period. He has great stamina, made some great plays at the point can move up and be a scoring danger. Despite his rather lengthy time in the penalty box, I think he really worked hard and contributed significantly to the team’s win.


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