March 12, 2006

Ottawa Shuts out the Colts 6 - 0 !!

By the numbers:
This is the 4th meeting of these two teams this year with each team winning on home ice so far. Coming into today’s game Barrie was in second place only one point ahead of Brampton and having lost to Kingston on Friday 5 – 2

The big point getter on their team is Brian Little who sits in 7th place in the league with 103 points. Last year’s fans will recall last year's game when Brian was caught with his head down by Lukas Kaspar at the Ottawa blue line. It was a big hit that put Brian out of play for the series which turned out to be the rest of the season. Just before today’s anthem, someone from the Asylum reminded Brian to keep his head up.

Today is Jakub Petruzalek’s first return to the Civic Centre. Since his return to the O he has played 20 games and scored 28 points. Not too shabby. They have a lot of guys contributing; 7 with +/- in the double digits.

Defensemen Todd Perry and David Pszenyczny and forward Jordan Grant lead the PIM count for Barrie with 146, 148 and 176 respectively. Barrie is ranked 4th on the PP on the road having scored 51 times in the 243 chances they had. Ottawa’s PP at home is ranked 16th in the league with only 44 goals in 253 power plays. Barrie’s PK on the road is ranked 7th overall while Ottawa’s PK at home is ranked 15th having allowed 42 goals against from 215 shots on goal during the PK.

In net, Dan LaCosta is ranked 5th in the league in the save percentage having allowed 135 goals in 1582 shots. He has 5 shutouts for the year. Danny is ranked 15th having allowed 161 goals in 1698 shots. Danny has 2 shutouts for the season so far.

The 67s are riding a 5 game losing streak into today’s game. Word on Jamie McGinn is that he has a pretty serious neck strain that will probably keep him out of the lineup today and Tuesday in Kingston. Here’s the article from the Ottawa Sun: [link]

Brody Beard and Matt Lahey were also scratches for today’s game. We didn’t have any radio coverage for the game so I have no idea why these guys sat out. But I don’t mind telling you that the news had me worried.

First Period: It was a 2-ref game today and their work started early. Just 8 seconds into the game Barrie’s Hunter Tremblay got his stick up into the face of Derek Joslin. Ottawa had only one scoring chance on the PP when Julian Talbot snapped one off that bounced off LaCosta’s face. But it only took 3 minutes for Ottawa to score first (and what would be the game-winning goal). Elgin Reid picked up a nice drop from Joe Pleckaitis and fired it over the right shoulder of LaCosta. Then, before the 14 minute mark, Ottawa scored again when Barrie turned the puck over and Robbie Lawrence got it to Logan Couture standing beside the crease to make it 2 – 0. Radulay was playing pretty physical and got caught checking from behind to earn himself a 4 minute time-out at 15:13 of the period. At 17:58, Joe Grimaldi was called for interference giving Barrie the two-man advantage for about 1:15. The boys were doing a good job of keeping the Colts at bay in front of Danny when Danny managed to draw Travis Fuller into a goal tender inference call at 18:43. Ottawa burned the 30 seconds remaining in Tibor’s penalty to get back to even.

After 20 minutes it was 2 – 0 Ottawa with shots on goal 10 – 9 for Ottawa.

Second Period: Ottawa started with a 43 second power play but was unable to convert it. Travis Fuller came out of the penalty box and went right for Grimaldi who had the puck by the Ottawa bench. Fuller apparently was still ticked because Joe quite nicely stood him up at the Ottawa blue line earlier. Before the first 5 minutes were up, Pat Ouellette picked up a Barrie turnover in the Ottawa zone and beat LaCosta with a great wrist shot from the face off circle. No assists on the goal. At this point, Barrie pulled LaCosta as he had allowed 3 goals on just 12 shots. At the next face-off, Elgin Reid and Michael Lombardi dropped the gloves and went at it. Have no idea what led up to the fracas; they weren’t even standing near each other. It wasn’t much of a tilt – hard to call it. At about halfway through the period and just 6 seconds into the power play while Matthew Bragg was serving an interference penalty, Logan Couture got his second of the afternoon when he got one past replacement goalie Andrew Perugini on his right. It was at the other end so I didn’t get a good look at it. Robbie Lawrance and Derek Joslin got assists. Near the end of the frame, Aaron Alphonso looked to be standing up for Danny when he and Bragg went at it. Both got some good shots in, Matthew ended up with a bloody nose and stripped of his jersey (does Arron get to keep it??). But I think Aaron got the worst of it since he didn’t come back for the rest of the game. He’s had his bell rung too many times this year – not good for this kid – could shorten his career real soon. Scoring for the period was ended with a beautiful passing play from our top line; from Julian to Chris to Brett who made it count!
At the send of the second period, Ottawa had a strangle hold on Barrie 5 – 0 with Barrie getting more shots on goal 19 – 23 in total.

Third Period: The boys only had two jobs – protect the lead and help Danny get his third shut out and they really worked hard at both. Early in the period Michael Lombardi was called for delay of game when he put the puck over the glass in his defensive zone. This time it was crash-and-bang Tibor Radulay who scored with help from Joe Grimaldi making it 6 – 0 !

Later, Sean Ryan was on the receiving end of what looked to me to be a very questionable call on what I thought was a great defensive play. Not to worry - Ottawa had a great penalty kill and almost scored when Joe Grimaldi came up with the puck and set up Logan for potentially his third goal. Logan got in a bit deep and Perugini was able to make the save. At midway Chris Hulit went at it with Lombardi in the Ottawa zone. I don’t recall Chris getting into too many fisticuffs in his two years here; methinks that Lombardi was just having a really bad day and needed to take it out on someone. They were both sent off for fighting with Lombardi earning extra time for instigating, fighting and a 10 minute misconduct for good measure. He was done for the day and left the ice. Probably for the better. Barrie was pretty much done too. They had a few sparks left in them but were unable to do anything effective.

Final score: 6 – 0 for the 67s with shots on goal 25 - 32 for Barrie.

Thoughts: Who is this team and what did they do with the 67s?? And whatever they did with them, leave ‘em there. Earlier, I was concerned about the team having to play so many really good teams this late in the schedule. I’m now of the mind that this is turning out as well as one could reasonable expect. I have no delusions of fluking it all the way to the Memorial Cup but I see the team improving bit by bit and this year’s rookies are getting some really good experience. Grimaldi is turning out to be one of my favorites. He sure didn’t make any Barrie friends today as he managed to stand a few of them up rather abruptly – including Petruzalek. There was a lot of good board work and I especially liked seeing the great second efforts on the ice.

They have now scored three PP goals in the last two games and left Barrie with 0/9 on the PP!

I didn’t keep track of the lines today – worried about missing something but it seemed to me that all dressed players got reasonable ice time. Our rookies are getting excellent experience for both the playoff run (short as it may be) and for next year. Danny got his third shutout of the season and he had to work for it. Great for him!

Normally I would not comment on anthem singing. It’s a great tradition and it’s fun to see the different groups come out to open the game. But today’s rendition was absolutely the worst damage I have ever heard to O Canada – ever – in my rather long life. Why do people think it needs to be fixed; it’s just fine the way it is. I have friends at Canadian Heritage – there must be some sort of sanction for abusing the national anthem. I’m gonna hafta check this out. Please – no encore for that one – please!!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Danny Battochio (32 saves)
Second Star: Logan Couture (2 goals)
Third Star: Joe Grimaldi (1 assist and some really great playing)

Hardest Working 67: There wasn’t a radio broadcast so we didn’t get the benefit of the “the boys upstairs”. There were a number of 67s who could claim the hardhat but today I will give it to Pat Ouellette. He had a goal and an assist and to my recollection, worked pretty darn hard all game.


No comments: