September 15, 2006

Ottawa beats Kingston Again in Pre-Season

The Kingston Frontenacs were in town tonight for their second pre-season game with the 67s. You’ll recall from StatsGuy’s summary, Ottawa beat Kingston last Sunday.

Logan Couture played tonight but we were still without Joslin, McGinn, Grimaldi. Vojta has reported to the Carolina Hurricanes camp (he’s in Group B if anyone is following the camp). We noticed that Cuma didn’t hit the ice. Couldn’t see the bench well enough to see whether he had dressed. Elgin Reid was the captain for the game (foreshadowing an announcement perhaps??). As part of the 40/30 celebrations, the 67s will be bringing back past 67s players. Tonight’s guest was Sean Blanchard who played with the club from 94 to 98 and won the Max Kaminsky Trophy in 1997. This trophy is awarded each year to the most outstanding defenceman in the Ontario Hockey League. Here’s a link to Sean’s hockey profile: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=24077

First Period: The starting line up for tonight was: Sean Ryan and Elgin Reid on defense; Liscomb centre with Couture and Lahey. Flueler started between the pipes. Kilrea played 4 lines for this period: Kewin, Pleckaitis and Daley were on the second line; Kiriakou, Alphonso and Liscomb on the third line; and the rookies Ribeiro, Linsday and Nesbitt on the fourth.

Ottawa started out much better than they did last Friday and generally outplayed the Fronts for the first half although it was not outstanding hockey (it is preseason after all). The first shot on goal didn’t register until almost two minutes had passed. Kingston scored first with 12:27 left to play. The goal by Peter Stevens with assists from Shawn Connors and Robert Mignardi was on a big rebound off Flueler. Ottawa was starting to get sloppy in front of their own net at this point. Then Ottawa managed to get itself into a bit of penalty trouble, including giving Kingston a couple of 5-on-3 opportunities (although the first one was for only 12 seconds). They managed to stay out of trouble and then it was Kingston’s turn for a couple of penalties. Coach tried out the rookie line on the PP to see what they could do. It looks like a pretty good line that will just get a whole lot better. More about that later. With 2:41 left to play in the period, Ottawa evened it up. It seemed like Logan lost sight of the puck but managed to get his stick on it somehow to rate an assist. The puck got to Brett who skated across the goalie and got it past Scamerra with a soft backhand that he probably was not expecting. Alphonso was also credited with the assist. My handwriting is so bad I coulda been a doctor – my notes have some weird notations that might suggest that there was a correction on the assists with Alphonso and Kewin getting credit. I can’t remember.

At the end of the first period, the game was tied at 1 with SOGs also even at 14 (although Ottawa trailed significantly for a while).

Second Period: Ottawa started the period on the powerplay and it took just 44 seconds for the top line to take advantage. Logan made up for a missed net earlier in the period when he took a nice pass from across the crease and sent it to the back of the net. Reid and Beard got assists on that one. Just over 5 minutes later, Ottawa went up by two when Alphonso went right for the net and took a nice pass from Daley (or was it Kiriakou – couldn’t tell in the fog) and banged it past Scammura. While the rookie line didn’t see that much time in the first period, we began to see more of them in the second period. There were a few times when Coach put out 4 rookies (the forwards with Gallea) and one veteran defenseman. He also tried them again on the PP.

Flueler made a couple of really great saves when a Kingston player had a breakaway chance. Flueler stopped the shot but gave up a(nother) big rebound that another Front shot right back at him which he stopped too. That was probably the play of the game.

With 12:42 to play Kiriakou scored with assists from Gallea and Couture. It was pretty crowded and foggy so I really didn’t see how it happened. But it happened and that’s good enough for me. A short time later (about a minute and a half), Matt Lahey scored Ottawa’s second power play goal with assists from Liscomb and Couture.

Brodie Beard took a penalty with 6:56 to go and Kingston scored its second (and final) goal of the night when Fleuler was beat on a screened one-timer straight from the slot. Didn’t stand a chance. Then it was Ottawa’s turn to score on the PP. With 1 minute left to play, the rookies scored Ottawa’s 6th goal and 3rd power play goal of the night. Nesbitt was credited with the goal with assists from Ribeiro and Gallea.

The period ended with Ottawa ahead – 6 – 2 with shots on goal 28 – 24 for Ottawa.

Third Period: Ottawa started the period again on the PP. They didn’t play too well and allowed Kingston a short handed breakaway which didn’t score. With 13:02 left to play, the rookies struck again when Lindsay scored with help from Ribeiro and Nesbitt.

Final score: 7 – 2 with shots on goal 42 – 35 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: It was great to see Logan in uniform again. At first I thought that he might not see too much ice time just ease into the game but it seemed that he certainly saw enough time. With a shortened bench, Liscomb saw lots of time. We didn’t see Kewin back on the ice after the first period. I didn’t see any injury so perhaps….. The line of rookies is looking pretty good for a fourth line. Kilrea gave them lots of ice time for power plays and we saw some of them on the PK too. It will be really interesting to see them develop over the season. They will keep some of the second year players sharp and looking over their shoulders I think. Flueler looked calm in the net but he sure does give up some really juicy rebounds. Until he learns how to stop doing that the team is going to have to play really well to get to them before the opposition. Flueler played the entire game and speculation around me is that Morrison will get the call for the entire game on Sunday (against Belleville??). It was a significant improvement over last Friday’s game. The passing was better, the anticipation was better and there was a little more jump in my opinion. And the points came from a number of players tonight which is a good sign. All in all a pleasant Friday’s entertainment. Attendance was announced as 5672.


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