November 17, 2006

Arrgh! Lost it in the Last 16 seconds!

Front end of another home and home series between these two teams. Belleville took both games in October.

Their big guns: Tyler Donati (36 points for 10th in the league), Matt Beleskey (21) and P.K. Subban (17). On the penalty side: Matt Pelech (69), Andrew Self (43) and Matt Beleskey (42). For plus/minus, keep an eye on P.K. Subban (+13), Matt Pelech (+4) and Bryan Cameron (+4). Belleville scratches for today: Geoff Killing, Matthew Tipoff and Jeff Leavitt.

Ottawa remains in 10th place in the Eastern conference with only 15 points on the season after 17 games (the fewest played in the league for some reason). Ottawa scratches for today: Julian Cimadamore, Brody Beard, Pat Daley and Sean Ryan.

To the Ottawa numbers: Leading scorers: Jamie McGinn (22), Brett Liscomb (17) and Jesse Biduke (16). On the PIM side we still have Joe Grimaldi still leading with 43, Arron Alphonso with 29, followed by Jakub Voyta with 28. Our plus/minus numbers are not so good: Arron Alphonso with +8 (and he hasn’t played in the last couple of games) , Jakub Voyta, Cody Lindsay and Jesse Biduke each with +4. Matt Lahey is not having too much of a good run with a whopping -13.

For the specialty teams: Ottawa tops Belleville in the PP home and PK home stats but when it’s all put together, Belleville edges Ottawa. Belleville has scored 29 PP goals in 20 games to Ottawa’s 26 goals in 17 games and as for the PK, both teams have allowed 24 goals against but again, Ottawa has played fewer games that Belleville. Ottawa still has the fewest PIMS in the league with 325 in 17 games; Belleville has 445 PIMs.

Lines for tonight (more or less):
Alphonso, Couture, McGinn
Lahey, Jukosky, Liscomb
Pleckaitis, Kewin, Biduke
Nesbitt, Lindsay, Ribeiro (no ice in the third)

Defensive pairings:
Grimaldi – Joslin
Cuma – Vojta
Reid – Gallea (!)

It didn’t turn out as it should have / could have but it was an entertaining game to watch. Ottawa was stung by breakdowns in their defensive play and Kevin Lalande (Moose Creek native, Belleville goalie and Calgary Flames prospect) was hot!

The first period was a very defensive period by both teams. Ottawa was on the PK very early when Jordan Gallea was called at 17:52 for elbowing. The PK teams (Couture, McGinn, Grimaldi and Joslin – Liscomb, Kiriakou, Vojta and Reid) did a really good job playing the Belleville players aggressively. Not long after that penalty was killed, Ottawa was back on the PK for too many men on the ice. This was a good kill as well and Jamie McGinn had a breakaway for a chance at a short handed goal but Lalande wouldn’t have any of it. Ottawa got its first (and only) PP chance in the period when Steven Whitely was called for roughing up Thomas Nesbitt in front of the Belleville net. They managed to get a couple of shots on net but the advantage was cut short when Liscomb was caught hooking. Brady Morrison made a great save with about 5 minutes left in the period when he came way out of the crease to cut the angle on the Belleville player (didn’t catch the number). Then it was Ottawa’s turn for a couple of great chances but to no avail. The period ended without any scoring and the shots on goal: 6 – 8 for Belleville.

The second period started with some early excitement when Kyle Jukosky had the steal and had a great scoring chance but opted instead to try and pass it back (to McGinn??). Ottawa might have been on the PP at this time. Ottawa managed 3 SOGs during the PP but could not make any of them count. Then Jesse Biduke had a chance when he intercepted a Belleville pass but that didn’t pan out either. Finally, at 15:44 in the period, Elgin Reid passed from inside the Ottawa zone to Jesse Biduke at the Belleville blue line. Jesse went in and blasted it over Lalande’s shoulder to put Ottawa on the board first! Jordan Gallea got the other assist. Well that lead was short-lived as 29 seconds later Andrew Gibbons received a pass from Aaron Snow from the corner to beat Brady Morrison. Shortly thereafter Ottawa went on the PP again when Shawn Matthias was called for interference. Ottawa managed to create some pressure but could not get past Lalande. Ottawa got another PP opportunity at 9:43 when Subban effectively tackled Liscomb at the Belleville bench. Then they had ANOTHER PP with 6:17 left in the period. This one was by far the worst PP effort of the night as they simply could not get organized at all. They’re lucky they didn’t get scored on! Then AGAIN, with 30 seconds left in the period, Belleville is back in the box for a hit from behind on Couture. With 21 seconds left, Belleville puts another guy in the box for a high stick. Ottawa can’t do anything with the 5-on-3 advantage and the period ends with it tied up at 1 but shots on goal have changed significantly: 28 – 14 for Ottawa. Belleville played the most part of the period on their heels.

Ottawa started the third period with a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:30. It seemed that they were a tad sluggish from the intermission but before the first penalty expired, Brett Liscomb scored his 9th goal of the season when he picked up a rebound and sent it past Lalande. Alphonso and Joslin were credited with the assists but I could swear that I thought McGinn took the first shot that rebounded. Oh well! Then with 31 seconds left in the 5-on-4 powerplay, Jesse Biduke scored his second of the evening from the slot. Jukosky and Lahey got the assists. Ottawa was now up by 2! On Belleville! Well, before the official announcements on the two Ottawa goals could be made, Tyler Donati picked up a rebound off the boards and beat Brady to bring Belleville quickly back to within one goal. Matt Beleskey and Shawn Matthias got assists on it. Belleville now put on the pressure and Ottawa started making some mistakes. Ottawa was finally able to get into the Belleville zone but Shawn Matthias picked up the puck inside his defensive zone, skate around Reid, split the defense and score on Brady to tie up the game with about 8:44 left in the game. It was smooth – a really nice goal BUT NOT FOR THE RIGHT TEAM!! Ottawa started breaking down defensively and getting brain cramps. With just over a minute left in the game, Alphonso took the puck into the Belleville zone and for some apparent reason though he was Jason Spezza and dropped the puck to…..well not an Ottawa player! This allowed Belleville to take the play into the Ottawa zone. Ottawa managed to ice the puck and call a time out. They didn’t win the face off back in their zone and failed to clear the puck when they had the chance. With 16.1 seconds left in the game Andrew Gibbons scored the winning goal on a shot that deflected off an Ottawa stick. Ottawa pulled Brady for the face off and the final 16 seconds but was unable to pull off the tying goal. Joslin (I think) fired a shot from the point that had the net written all over it but Lalande caught it just as the buzzer sounded.

Oh well, Ottawa played some really good hockey but unfortunately, they paid for a couple of their mistakes. Had Lalande been anything other than brilliant, it might have been a different outcome.

Final shots on goal: 41 – 28 for Ottawa.

Three stars of the game:

1. Kevin Lalande (39 saves and essentially the reason Belleville won)
2. Jesse Biduke (2 goals) (I had my had ready for the hat trick!)
3. Shawn Matthias (a really nice goal! and an assist)

Hardest working 67: Kyle Jukosky (former Belleville Bull)

Goin’ on a road trip tomorrow to see the game in Belleville. Will report upon return unless I decide that there's more to life than hockey.


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