This is gonna be quick as I have some paying work to finish tonight. Ottawa scratches this afternoon were Brent Mackie, Joe Pleckaitis and Pat Daley.
First Period: The Wolves came out to hit and that they did. And they seemed to pick on Logan. At about 7 ½ minutes into the period one of the Wolves took a run at Logan. Jamie McGinn (!!?) came to the defense of Logan and took Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn on. McGinn lost his helmet early is the tilt but still managed to hold his own. In addition to standing up for his line mate, he also got 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting (hey – that would make a good name for a band) and 10 minutes misconduct. We were back at even strength when Sudbury marked the first goal of the game at 11:22. Ottawa couldn’t clear the puck out of their zone and Benoit Pouliot fed the puck to Matt Dias who was all alone in front of Danny. He managed what looked like a soft shot which Danny got but there was a rebound right back to Dias who made it count. About 3 ½ minutes later Ottawa got the only PP goal of the game when Brett Liscomb got what I think is called a garbage goal – a scramble in front of the net that Brett made count. Hulit and Joslin got the assists. Then, with just under 3 minutes left in the period, Ottawa had an odd-man rush with Grimaldi bringing the puck down along the far-side boards (the visitor’s side). It looked like he was in way too deep but he managed a goal-mouth feed to Robbie Lawrance who made no mistake about it! Derek Joslin got the other assist.
At the end of the first period, it was 2 – 1 Ottawa with shots on goal 12 – 8 for Ottawa.
Second Period: The really bad refereeing that started in the first period really took its affect in the second. It started peaking with a dirty hit from behind by Benoit Pouliot on Jamie McGinn. I didn’t see all the ensuing action but from what I have heard Julian Talbot speared Adam McQuaid who spent a lot of time on the ice. When he eventually got up, he could not put weight on one of his legs and was helped all the way to the dressing room. Jamie also left the ice for the dressing room. Bennie earned himself a 5 minute charging penalty as well as a game misconduct. Julian got a match penalty. Depending on what Branch sees from the tape and given that this will be Julian’s second time in front of Hizzoner, we may have seen the last of our captain for the rest of the season.
With 14 minutes gone in the period, Grimaldi took a nice wrist shot off the face off that went over Beech ‘s left shoulder to put Ottawa up 3 – 1. But it only took Sudbury less than three minutes to get back into the game when Devin Didiomete got one past Danny with help from Mike Mills. This goal would not have happened if either of the referees were doing their job. Robbie Lawarance was blatantly interfered with along the boards as he was almost checked into the Wolves bench and held up by the Sudbury player. The ref was standing right there but apparently couldn’t find his whistle.
Near the end of the period, there was some pushing and shoving involving Logan (who was now on the top line in Talbot’s place) and a couple of Sudbury players. It looked like Logan was prepared to mix it up until Elgin Reid hauled him out by his jersey. As the players were getting ready for the face off, Devin DiDiomete was put on the ice and Killer pulled Logan off. They were gunnin’ for Logan and Killer got his boy out of the way. McGinn already was hurt – didn’t need Logan hurt too and given that the refs were effectively blind, he couldn’t count on any respect for the rules to protect Logan. With 10 seconds left in the period, Shea Kewin took DiDiomete on and clearly had the better of him. They both got 5 for fighting.
So the second period ended with Ottawa up by one with shots on goal 19 – 20 for Sudbury.
Third Period: Ottawa went up by 2 in the first two minutes of play when Derek Joslin picked up a rebound and got it to Robbie Lawrance who was parked at the corner of the crease. Thomas Kiriakou got an assist on the goal as well. Sudbury got it back in less than two minutes when Jakub Voyta gave it away right to Versteeg-Lytwyn got it past Danny in the top corner. Then Sudbury tied it up 2 ½ minutes later when Ryan Donally teamed up with Adam McQuaid (who had been back for sometime since his “spearing” injury) and Jesse Messier for the goal at 5:18.
The teams had settled down a bit since the first period but the refereeing wasn’t any better. At one point Nick Foligno was holding Logan’s stick and Logan had to practically drag Nick to the penalty box past the ref before it was called! Ottawa was down to 10 forwards with the loss of Talbot and McGinn (Jamie was back on the bench but he wasn’t getting any ice time. With the players playing hockey rather than no-rules rugby on skates, the game was exciting to watch.
Regular time ended with the game tied at 4. Total shots on goal at this point: 36 – 32 for Ottawa.
Overtime: Ottawa controlled the play during the overtime period spending most of the five minutes in the Sudbury zone. They managed to get a number of scoring chances (7) but were unable to get any of them past Beech. For their part, Sudbury managed to get 3 shots on Danny without beating him. The overtime period ended without any scoring. We’re off to the shoot out.
Sudbury: #15 Dias X
Ottawa: #89 Couture X
Sudbury: #10 Baker X
Ottawa: #9 Hulit X
Sudbury: #16 Foligno O
Ottawa: #8 Lahey X
Final score: 5 – 4 for the Wolves in a shoot out.
Thoughts: I think the 67s put up a pretty good game. They stayed with Sudbury in the hits department and stood up for their own. I’m not the biggest fan of fights but sometime a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. The boys did not back down from these goons when it was required but it was nice to see McGinn ignore Versteeg-Lytwyn’s (?) attempt to draw him back into a fight once McGinn was back from his misconduct. It was a no-value proposition and McGinn was the smarter player. Grimaldi had another outstanding game. He just gets better and better each game. Too bad we will only see him for a year and a half at max (assuming that he comes back as an OA next year). And Couture showed again why other teams see him as a threat. Despite being targeted by the Wolves, he still managed to make himself dangerous.
Voyta did not have a good game. After getting the hardest working player acknowledgement on Friday, he was not showing anywhere near that quality of play. In fact, he was on the ice for all 4 of Sudbury’s regulation play goals. I can recall at least two occasions where his play directly contributed to a Sudbury goal.
If either of the refs were actually anywhere near being halfway close to being marginally competent there would have been a truck load more penalties today and at least a few less injuries. Parc and Beers used to be my least favorite refs. I will now add McQuigge and Hutchinson as well. These guys were right on top of a number of really bad offenses by both teams and didn’t think to call them. This game was very nearly totally out of control because of these two guys. They were really bad.
And so ends the regular season. We’re 4th in our Division and 8th in our conference having played a below .500 season (which I understand is the first time for Kilrea in a few years). There have been some frustrating moments for the fans as well as some really exciting moments. The boys seem to have pulled it together for the last month of the season and show that they could be the dark horse in any given game. Two of our players, Derek Joslin and Pat Ouellette, have played in every regular season game; they stayed healthy, stayed out of serious trouble, and were consistent enough never be healthy scratches. Killer made a couple of really good trades in getting Liscomb and Grimaldi. These two are contributing significantly to the team.
In addition to Logan Couture, we’ve seen some really exciting play out of our other rookies this year – Thomas Kiriakou, Sean Ryan and Shea Kewin in particular of late.
We’ve been musing among ourselves regarding Chris Hulit – wondering if he ever fully recovered from his rib injury. His play seems to come in fits and starts; sometimes explosive, at other time completely flat-footed. Hope he is well.
Danny has given us three shut outs and some replay reel saves. And Brady Morrison has shown that he can win games too.
So it's on to the play-offs! See you at the games!!
Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Joe Grimaldi (goal, an assist and some terrific plays)
Second Star: Marc Staal (a goal)
Third Star: Robbie Lawrance (2 goals and lots of hard work)
Hardest Working 67: Brett Liscomb