October 27, 2006


This was the second game of a home and home series with Belleville having won the first one on home ice on Wednesday with a score of 4 – 3. The boys are trying to get Killer his 1100th win as a coach but weren’t able to do it on the road.

Ottawa scratches for the game: Couture, Ribeiro, Liscomb (injured from a slash in Wednesday’s game), Daley (?) and Beard (shoulder). The good news is that Couture and Ribeiro have started skating with the team again and should be playing by next weekend. Belleville was missing Andrew Self (serving a 2 game suspension), Erik Caladi and Kevin Lalande.

Belleville was in second place in the conference coming into this game having won 6 or their last 10 games. Ottawa stood at 8th place with an even split of their last 10.

I kinda lost track of the third and fourth lines but the first two were:
Biduke – Kiriakou – Alphonso
Lahey – Kewin – McGinn
And did my eyes deceive me? Did I see Jamie McGinn playing defense on the fourth line a couple of times? Or did he just get caught out there? That, or I have to get these old eyes rechecked.

I’m gonna apologize right now for the low quality of this blog. I’m just not inspired to write tonight. Not from the game – I actually enjoyed the game (except for the losing part) - just sorta pooped. In addition to having a fairly time consuming job, we were at the Sens game last night (woo hoo! lovin' every minute of it. Gonna claim my pizza tomorrow!)

We have a difference of opinion in our household on the game tonight. I thought that for much of the game, especially in the first period (which ended in a no-score tie) Ottawa played really well – taking the game to Belleville. After the first 6 minutes of play, Ottawa was ahead on shots on goal 8 – 2. They worked the boards hard, came up with the puck often and created opportunities. But they did have the odd defensive brain cramp that Belleville was only too happy to pounce on. Belleville has been picked by Hockey News to take the O this year (to the extent that it is a trade rag to be taken seriously). So it would be expected that they should be reasonably good. And Ottawa played without a few key players so all in all, I thought it was a good effort. The spousal unit, however, thought that the 67s were outplayed from the get-go.

The first period saw 7 penalties (3 for Ottawa and 4 for Belleville) but neither team could convert. Actually, Ottawa got itself into a bit of a penalty hole, very briefly in a 5-on-3 situation but the managed to get out very nicely.

The second period saw the most scoring for the night with Belleville getting on the board first early in the period when Subban took a pass from the corner and got a one-timer from the slot past Flueler. This was quickly followed up with another Belleville goal when Ottawa was caught on a 4-on-2 play. A nice 3-way passing play left Flueler wide open and they scored the second goal.

Then the gal next to me, Jessie, put her Battochio jersey on and the tide turned (if ever so briefly). Jessie Biduke was driving for the net and was in the very right spot at the very right moment to pick up a rebound from Alphonso’s blistering shot on Murphy (the Belleville starting goalie). Biduke sent it upstairs for Ottawa’s first goal. Kiriakou got the other assist on that goal. Then, only 11 seconds later, it was Alphonso again setting up Kiriakou this time who buried it past Murphy to tie it up! Biduke got the assist on that one. Now we’re cookin’! Or so we think. Belleville responds on the powerplay with Voyta off for the second time in the evening. Ottawa stopped minding the front of the net and Matt Beleskey was left all alone to accept a nice pass from behind the net and snap it past Lukas. He didn’t stand a chance. And then Belleville repeated that trick with about 2 and a half minutes left in the frame but this time it was Tyler Donati parked all alone in front of poor Lukas. On the up side, there were some great plays by 67s players. Tyler Cuma played hard, and Elgin Reid had some great defensive recoveries to break up scoring chances by Belleville.

The third period started with Belleville up by two and having scored relatively late in the previous frame. Also, Kiriakou went down hard on a blocked shot late in the period while killing a penalty. He looked like he was in a lot of pain but when they didn’t take him directly to the dressing room (only a couple of minute left in the second period) I was reassured that it probably stung really badly but wasn’t fatal. Anyhoo, it seemed like Ottawa lost some of its steam, especially when Belleville scored its fifth goal. Alphonso was off for tripping early in the period and John Hughes was able to convert the man advantage. Jesse removed her jersey at this point (no longer being a lucky charm obviously). But just over the halfway mark, Ottawa decided that they might make a game of it and started applying some pressure. Jesse Biduke scored his second of the night at the end of a very odd shift where everything that both teams did looked entirely broken. But a goal it was and rookies Cody Lindsay and Thomas Nesbitt helped. Then, with 1:15 left in the game, Matt Lahey got Ottawa within 1. McGinn and Kewin assisted. Despite Ottawa’s efforts, they were unable to get the play into the Belleville zone for what seemed like an eternity. They were finally able to pull Flueler but it was too late.

So the game ended with Belleville winning 5 – 4. Final shots on goal were 31 to 32 in Belleville’s favour.

I thought that Reid had a pretty good game, making some really good defensive plays to break up scoring chances of Belleville. Gotta love Cuma! Gotta wonder about Grimaldi (-3 for the night). Joslin also got a -3 for the night but I think that had more to do with the unfortunate pairing with Joe. Ottawa spread its 6 penalties across the three periods while Belleville managed to avoid the attention of the ref after the first period (no penalties in the second or third). Hmmm.

Three stars of the game:

Tyler Donati (Belleville goal and 2 assists)
Jesse Biduke (2 goals and an assist)
Matt Beleskey (Belleville goal and 2 assists)

Hardest working 67: Thomas Kiriakou

G’night. See you Sunday.

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