Tonight was the 5th match up of these two teams with Belleville having won all four previous matches: 3 games by one goal and the last one by 2 goals (the last goal being an empty netter). Belleville was first in the division coming into tonight’s game with 34 points. Ottawa was last with 24 points and two games in hand.
Belleville’s scratches for tonight: Paul Cianfrini, Marc Cantin, and Erik Caladi. Kevin Lalande started in net.
Ottawa scratches: Jesse Biduke, Jakub Vojta and Jake Fischer. Brady Morrison started in net again.
Lines for tonight:
Lahey, Couture, McGinn
Alphonso, Liscomb, Linsday
Cowie, Kiriakou, Kewin
Nesbitt, Ribeiro, Cimadamore
I tried to pay more attention to defensive pairings and from my notes, pretty much everyone was matched with everyone else at any given point in the game. Joslin, Grimaldi and Cuma seemed to get a lot of ice time (until Cuma was injured early in the third).
The game started quicker than Friday’s game with both team getting shots on net early. Both goalies made some good saves. By half way through the period the shots were 9 – 7 for Ottawa. Then Belleville took its first penalty of the game when Andrew Gibbons was called for interference off a faceoff at the Belleville blue line. Derek Joslin scored his second goal of the season and his first goal of the night when his shot from the point got past Moose Creek native Kevin Lalande. Matt Lahey and Joe Grimaldi got the assists and the teddy bears rained onto the ice (it was the teddy bear toss today). A minute and a half later, Alphonso had a great scoring chance as he muscled through the Bulls and got a backhand shot on the goalie – Lalande stopped it. Then with Tyler Donati off for unsportsmanlike conduct, Scott Cowie had a great chance breaking in on the Belleville goal but the shot was deflected by the defender. Finally, with 2:06 left in the period, Aaron Alphonso took a nice pass in the slot from the boards and snapped it past Lalande for the goal! Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn got the assists. The period ended with Ottawa continuing to play hard, make the hits and keep Belleville to the outside. Shots at the end of 20 were 14 – 12 in Ottawa’s favour.
Belleville started the second period putting pressure on Ottawa but it only lasted about a minute. Before we were two minutes into the period, Alphonso made a great play, skating hard and fast into the Belleville zone, around the net and centering the puck to Liscomb in the slot. SCOOOOORE!!!! That made it 3 – 0 for Ottawa on only 15 shots. Lalande was pulled and Mike Murphy was brought in.
Belleville was not down for the count. Taking advantage of sloppy defensive play in front of Brady less than 3 minutes later, Shawn Matthias beat Morrison with assists from Geoff Killing and Aaron Snow to bring Belleville within two. About two and a half minutes after that, Derek Joslin restored the 3 goal lead while Ottawa had the two man advantage with a wrist shot from the slot. McGinn and Couture got the assists. Then it was Belleville’s turn to score on the powerplay while Ottawa was in penalty trouble. First Cody Lindsay was called at 7:41 for hooking. Then 31 seconds later, Brodie Beard was called for hooking. That gave Belleville the two man advantage for about 1:29. Five seconds after the start of that penalty, Joslin got two for shooting the puck over the glass. This gave Belleville the 2 man advantage for a whole lotta time. Ottawa managed to keep Belleville off the board for Lindsay’s penalty. The bad news is that Andrew Gibbons scored on the powerplay (assists to Donati and Subban), the good news is that the goal came after Lindsay’s penalty expired so the goal actually retired Brody’s penalty. Ottawa did a really good job of keeping Belleville off the score sheet while killing Joslin’s penalty. Belleville was now within two of tying this game up. But that wouldn’t last long. With Belleville’s Jeff Leavitt off for slashing, Logan Couture tipped in Joslin’s one-timer from the blue line. Grimaldi got the assist. Ottawa got a 4-goal lead when Cody Lindsay got the rebound past Murphy with about 5 minutes left in the period. Assists were given to Alphonso and I-just-can’t-say-his-name-enough Derek Joslin! The period saw 6 goals scored 3 on the powerplay and 3 at even strength. The score was 6 – 2 for Ottawa with shots on goal 26 – 24 for Ottawa.
The Bulls came out bullish, pressured Ottawa early in the third period and were rewarded with an early goal. A rebound bounced off an Ottawa defender right onto Lalonde’s stick who had the whole net to hit – which he did. This made the game 6 – 3. Tyler Cuma took a big hit behind his net. He tried to skate off but he didn’t make it to the bench. We couldn’t see what happened but he did leave the bench for the dressing room later in the period on his own strength before the period was over. 33 seconds after the first goal, Belleville planned to make a game of it with their 4th goal of the afternoon. It was Shawn Matthias with assists from Aaron Snow and Geoff Killing. Belleville kept up the efforts for the period but Ottawa came up with the goals. At 8:34, Brett Liscomb snapped a fast wrist shot from the face off circle for Ottawa’s 4th powerplay goal of the evening. Lindsay and Grimaldi got the assists. Then, with 8 minutes left to play, Shea Kewin notched his 6th goal of the season on a great heads-up play by Cowie. Scott skated into the Belleville zone, pulled up sharp at the circle and let ‘er fly to the net. Kewin was there for the rebound and got it past Murphy. Kiriakou got the assist. That would be all the scoring for the night. The Bulls were mighty frustrated and one of the Belleville players thought it would be a good idea to take this out on rookie Cimadamore. There was a rather large group hug going on and Tyler Donati came out with the 4 minute award. This was with 2:55 left in the game and Ottawa cruised to the win.
Final score: 8 – 4 Ottawa with shots on goal even at 38.
Again, it was a starry night in Ottawa:
1. Derek Joslin (2 goals – 2 assists)
2. Arron Alphonso (goal and 2 assists)
3. Logan Couture (goal and 2 assists)
Hardest working 67: Brett Liscombe (2 goals)
My Thoughts: Yee-ha! That was a sweet win over the division leaders. 4 powerplay goals on 8 opportunities, Belleville held to 1 powerplay goal on 4 opportunities. 6 points from the defensive ranks (4 for Joslin and 2 assists for Grimaldi). Some really good saves from Brady. Goals from the secondary and solid play from the entire bench. It was a good effort to watch and if they can keep this up, they can battle their way back into playoff contention. There are only 4 points separating 6th and 10th spot. What a difference from last weekend!!
Well done gentlemen. Onwards and upwards!!!
Go 67s Go!