December 03, 2006

Brutal Finish to a Brutal Weekend: Windsor 4 – Ottawa 1

Sorry for no report on Friday’s game. Had a really busy week at work and just didn’t have any juice left by the time I got home after 6:00 on Friday. Was sleeping before the game was over.

Windsor scratches: MacArthur, Todd, Kurtz and Nolan.

Ottawa scratches: Gallea, Ribeiro and Fisher. Brady Morrison started in net

Lines for tonight:
Lahey, Couture, McGinn
Liscomb, Kiriakou, Alphonso with Linsday moving up in the third period
Biduke, Cowie, Kewin
Cimadamore, Nesbitt, Lindsay with Kiriakou moving down in the third

Defensive pairings changed quite a bit during the game from what I could tell but I could be wrong, I just stopped noting it along the way.

Quickly to the game summary. Ya know, sometimes it’s hard to know what to write about and tonight is one of those times for me. The first penalty of the game was called on Matt Lahey when he hit the Windsor player just as he turned to protect the puck. Morrison made a really good save on the first Windsor PP when he deflected a shot from Bailey right from the slot. While still short handed, new comer Scott Cowie made a great effort bring the puck into the Windsor zone to create a scoring chance and draw a penalty. Ottawa couldn’t convert when they had the advantage on this or their next PP despite a number of great chances. And that would be the pattern for the afternoon. They hit pretty much everything but the net most of the time and when they did aim it right, the goalie was there to stop it. Just before halfway through the first period, Ottawa got into penalty trouble when Kiriakou was called for hooking and less than 15 seconds later, Liscomb was called for high sticking. On the ensuing 5-on-3, Windsor scored on both halves. Keaton Turkiewicz notched the first goal which was followed 36 seconds later with a goal by Adam Henrique.

Just after the halfway mark of the period, Brett Liscomb laid out a Windsor player in his own zone with a perfectly legit and great hip check. The Windsor team didn’t like it and Cory McGillis took the time to make that clear to Brett. Cory is listed at 6”1’ and 214 pounds. Brett is listed at a generous 5”9’ and 186 pounds. There should be the Gulliver rule: when one opponent is much bigger than the other guy, the other guy should be able to bring in back-up without a penalty. Anyway, Cory earned himself a 4 minute timeout for his efforts and I don’t think Brett was the least bit phased by the display. Windsor did a really good job during the 4 minute PK and again, Ottawa could not inflict any scoring damage with the advantage. Ottawa also got a 54 second 5-on-3 advantage and the result was the same.

After the first 20 it was Windsor up by 2, both on the PP, with on 6 shots on net in all. Ottawa was zip after 11 shots on goal.

Ottawa started the second period with 43 seconds in their powerplay but couldn’t make anything out of it. Windsor scored their third goal when Brady Morrison misplayed a shot and the puck ended on the stick of Ryan Baldwin who had the whole net to aim for. He didn’t miss. Ottawa just couldn’t get anything going after that. Add bad luck to that and it pretty much sums up the period. Their luck was so bad that, one of the times they actually got one past Englange, the puck went through his legs and out the other side without going in the net! No puck luck there for the 67s!

The 67s finally got off the PP schneid late in the period when Logan Couture got his own rebound and snapped it past Englange. Linemates Lahey and McGinn got the assists.

Brett Liscomb seemed to be really trying to mix it up and get something going. At the very end of the period, with a Windsor player behind his own net just letting the dying seconds tick down, Brett was in front of Englange and making quick forays into the blue paint. Englange reacted by hitting Brett’s stick. It was hilarious to watch – almost like a kid poking a stick through the fence to get the reaction of the neighbor’s crabby dog. Now, had there been an altercation, with Englange clocking in at 6”5’, Brett would easily have qualified for the aforementioned Gulliver rule.

At the end of the second period, Windsor 3 and Ottawa 1. Shots: Ottawa 25 and Windsor 9!

Either Windsor played really well or Ottawa played really poorly. I haven’t decided. But Windsor really fore checked the crap out of Ottawa while Ottawa still stuck with the chip ‘n chase even though most of the time they couldn’t catch up in time to get much going with it. Ottawa had a really good scoring chance when Shea Kewin came around the net and tried to stuff the puck in on the short side. But Englange was right on top of it to stop it. With just over 5 minutes left to play, Ryan Baldwin put the game away with help from Craig Voakes and Cory McGillis. Just after that, Kewin and Baldwin set up to dance after Shea took a stick in the face. It wasn’t much of a tilt but Kewin did get Baldwin to the ice first.

At the final buzzer it was Windsor 4 and Ottawa 1. Shots were 32 to 21 in Ottawa’s favour.

Windsor sweeps the three stars (sure can't call the Team 1200 guys homers):

1. Goalie Andrew Englage (31 saves – and some of them pretty good ones too)
2. Ryan Baldwin (2 goals)
3. Craig Voakes (4 assists)

Hardest working 67: Rookie Cody Lindsay.

My Thoughts: No way to paint a pretty picture on this weekend. Ottawa came away with 1 point out of a possible 6 against teams that, on paper anyways, shouldn’t have beaten the team so soundly. Ottawa was outscored 18 to 8 on the weekend. And most of the Ottawa scoring came from the same line.

Power play: 1 in 13 chances. ‘nuff said.

Face offs – no numbers but it didn’t look so good.

The rookies are playing really well. Defense – not so much. I must say that I saw some really great plays by Brody Beard – a couple of really good hustles to the puck.

Brett is like Brad Bonello, pesky but with way less drama. He really works hard out there and is ready to mix it up with anyone.

The reffing today was plain old lousy. That’s not why the 67s lost but it was lousy just the same. Right at the beginning, McGinn laid a big elbow on a Windsor player right in front of the ref and there wasn’t a call. In the third period, new guy Cowie was tripped twice before anyone with a stripe called anything. Refs Holdsworth and Bolibruck should be charged for the best spectator seats in the house.

We are Sens ticket holders as well as for the 67s and it wasn’t all that long ago most were despairing over the state of the team, calling for changes in the coaching, GM, roster, and wondering if the team would even make the playoffs. But the Senators managed to start pulling it together as a team, getting great goal tending and beating teams they weren’t supposed to beat. Lots of chatting on the discussion boards on who the real fans are.

Well, the same could be said here of the 67s. It’s getting pretty late into the season for a turn around and they will have to start stringing a whole lotta wins together if they are going to make the playoffs. And the seasonal chatter has already started on whether Killer and his team still have what it takes to lead young men to hockey success. But as many said on the Sens network, a fan is a fan even when the going is tough. Especially when the going is tough. It’s disappointing to see the attendance dropping and to notice that those of us that are there are a lot quieter. Win or lose, we will be there cheering this team on.

Go 67s Go!

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