March 26, 2006

What A Game! Ottawa doubles the Petes: 8 - 4

Tonight’s game was played at the Scotia Bank Place (formerly known as the Corel Centre) as the Civic Center was hosting the annual Ottawa Spring Home and Garden Show (which is a major disappointment this year). Peterborough had won the first game of the series on Thursday in Peterborough 3 – 2 at 13:29 of the second overtime period on a goal by Trevor Hendrix. Scoring for Ottawa in that game were rookies Thomas Kiriakou (who had been promoted to the top line replacing suspended captain Julian Talbot) and Logan Couture . Both Ottawa goals were on the PP (in fact, the OT goal was the only even-strength goal of the night).

First Period: It didn’t take long for Peterborough to serve notice and score the first goal of the night. Before the first minute and a half was up, Steve Downie got one past Danny from the slot with what I think must have been the first shot on goal (or at least the second). Jordan Morrison and Trevor Hendrix got the assists. And then just over a minute and a half later Fredrik Naslund got one past Danny on the wrap around. Grimaldi had moved back from that corner of the net to cover the other side when Naslund was able to score the goal. Scott Cowie and Greg Stewart got assists. The Petes were all over Ottawa at this point – deep in their zone and keeping the play there with ease. Finally, at 5:42 while Jamie Tardiff was serving time for roughing, Logan Couture took a nice feed in the slot feed from Chris Hulit and beat David Schantz to get Ottawa within 1. It didn’t last too long as Jordan Morrison notched his first goal and his second point of the night at 7:17 getting a sharp angle shot past Danny. I don’t think Danny even saw it. And that’s all she wrote for Danny after letting 3 goals in on just 9 shots (my notes say 4). Brady Morrison took over between the pipes. He was not spared some angst as Peterborough scored their fourth (and what would be their final) goal of the night at the 13:00 mark when Daniel Ryder and Liam Reddox combined for the goal. This had all the hallmarks of a bloodbath in the works. There was a rather large concentration of Petes fans in what I guessed to be about 211 or 212 section who were enjoying the on-ice results up to now. In the last minute of play Chris Hulit brought us back within 2 with the help of Brett Liscomb.

The period ended with the score 2 – 4 for Peterborough. I did not write down the final shots on goal from the arena clock but I don’t believe the score sheet either which suggests that Peterborough out shot Ottawa 19 to 12. I’m pretty sure that the Petes out shot Ottawa but my recollection is that both numbers were not that high.

Second Period: It took less than a minute to turn the tide of this game. Before the opening minute was up, Chris Hulit was on a breakaway when Lubomir Stach hooked him in front of the net. The ref called the infraction and awarded a penalty shot. The arena was electric as we waited for the Petes to stop whining and for Chris to set up. No doubt about it – Chris snapped it past the glove hand of David Schantz to put Ottawa within one and back in the game! While Lubomir was still serving his penalty, Joe Grimaldi tied the game with a one-timer from the point. Logan Couture and Brett Liscomb got the assists. Ottawa finally went ahead (for good) with its third power play goal of the night. Ottawa had the 5 on 3 advantage with Steve Downie off for tripping and Jamie Tardiff off for roughing. This time it was Aaron Alphonso scoring with the help of Jamie McGinn and Elgin Reid. And now it was David Schantz's turn to get the hook. Now both starting goalies were out before the game was half over! Well, it was not enough to turn the tide – on its 5th power play of the night, Thomas Kirakou teamed up with Derek Joslin and Brett Liscomb to score Ottawa’s 4th power play goal and go up by two! He was all alone in front of the net to make it count! The second period damage ended with a minute and a half to go when Matt Lahey beat Cann on the glove-side to make it 7 – 4! Brett Liscomb assisted on that one too!

In a complete reversal of fortunes, the period ended 7 – 4 for Ottawa with total SOG 22 – 22 (for the good guys!!) From my notes, it took until the 13:00 mark of the period for the Petes to register their first SOG on Ottawa for the period.

Third Period: What were the coaches telling their guys during the intermission? For Killer, the challenge is to keep the guys focused on the period in front of them. For Todd, it’s to forget the period that just finished. I expected the Petes to come out hitting hard and heavy this period. Then again, with the Ottawa PP doing so well, the better tactic would have been to stay clean – which they mostly did. For Ottawa, Grimaldi was assessed a roughing penalty right at the end of the second which he started serving in the third. Not only did the boys did a fine job of killing that one, Brett Liscomb finally got a goal of his own (after helping just about everyone else get one) when he scored the 8th Ottawa goal of the night with help from Chris Hulit and Jakub Voyta! A mere 30 seconds later, Sean Ryan was assessed a tripping infraction and somehow Elgin Reid got caught up in the chatter and was assessed a gross misconduct. I can tell you that I was worried at this point. Were we going to see a total melt down in discipline? Could the rest of the defense step up with Elgin off the bench? Not a problem. No meltdown and plenty of good defensive play to go around!! Including the spectacular play of Brady Morrison to keep the Petes off the board!!

Final score: 8 - 4 for Ottawa with shots on goal 40 – 41 for Peterborough (according to the score sheet) .

Thoughts: Whoo nelly – this was one surprising game. It sure looked like a bloodbath in the making in the first period. The Petes seriously outplayed Ottawa in that frame – certainly in the early going. The 67s couldn’t put anything together, couldn’t control the play and ended up just dumping the puck without any clear plan in mind. The turnovers were horrendous. Were they intimidated by the Vault? Who knows? And I feel badly for Danny. I met his mom and billet as we were comparing game worn jerseys (I now know where all of last year’s jerseys are – I have one and they have the other two). They’re both fine ladies and seriously proud of their charge. This is tough coming off of the great play on Thursday. But the starters for both teams were pulled today – perhaps it’s just the sort of thing that happens coming off a tough game. (If it’s any consolation, Emery was pulled within the first 14 (?) minutes of the Senators game against Pittsburg tonight). I was listening to the radio on the way home and the consensus is that Danny is the stronger player mentally and will put this behind him. On the upside, it looks like we might have our new starter for next year getting some good playoff experience. Brady made some great athletic saves tonight.

7 unanswered goals! Against a team that has been ranked in the top 10 in Canada for 23 weeks and was the top team for 5. In my inexpert opinion, the tide turned on Chris’ penalty shot in the first minute of the second period. Peterborough went on to play as if playing dirty would win the game. They got themselves into a world of trouble and Ottawa was able to finally make their PP work. In the last two games, Ottawa has gone 6/21 on the PP while Peterborough has gone 2/14. Gotta like those numbers if you’re a 67 fan.

Once Ottawa got its game going, this was fun to watch. Whatever Killer (or anyone else for that matter) said in the locker room in the first intermission, it certainly had its affect on the team. That was awesome to watch – coming back from a 2-goal deficit and being seriously outplayed to winning big time. Now that our scoring has come from all over the roster, the Petes know that beating up on Logan will not keep them safe. Brett, keep your head up for the next game – you are now the most dangerous guy on the team (goal and 5 assists!! Yowza!!)

I was reading a lot of complaining about the Scotia Bank Place being inappropriate for junior hockey. I thought the atmosphere was pretty good tonight. We were right behind the 67s’ bench and had a good time. It was nice to hear that the attendance was over 10,500. And thanks to all the Petes fans who made the trip. Not fun when the team gets spanked but still nice to see a good turnout.

Great work by everyone - vets and rookies!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Brett Liscomb (1 goal and 5 (!!!) assists)
Second Star: Chris Hulit (2 goals and an assist)
Third Star: Thomas Kiriakou (goal)

Hardest Working 67: didn’t catch it and could not make a fair guess on my own. Lots of hard work by lots of players tonight.

Looking forward to more great play for the rest of the series (dare we dream???).


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