March 29, 2006

Whoo Hoo! Ottawa over the Petes: 4 - 3

For those who watched or listened to Monday’s game, you may have had some serious doubts about whether this series was about to enter its death throes. Well I guess not. On to a quick summary; the 5AM alarm gets here real quick.

Tonight’s scratches for Ottawa: Brent Mackie, Aaron Alphonso and Elgin Reid

First Period: Ottawa dominated the beginning of this period right from the get-go starting with 4 shots on goal within the first two minutes. The Petes couldn’t get anything going and ended up just dumping the puck into the Ottawa zone from the neutral zone. We got signs of what was going to be a bad night of refereeing when Ottawa was called early for icing when the puck actually went off a Peterborough player. Two refs and two linsemen and none of them could see what happened. Sheesh! After trading a couple of penalties, Ottawa got a 5 on 3 for about 30 seconds by my reckoning (didn’t make a note of the time) with Liam Reddox and Scott Cowie both off for hooking in separate penalties. Julian Talbot seriously redeemed himself from the spearing suspension by getting the first goal of the game off a rebound. Matt Lahey and Logan Couture assisted on the goal. The goal was recorded as being scored just after Scott Cowie’s penalty expired so the goal actually retired the Reddox penalty and play was back to even. Ottawa started struggling a little bit, getting sloppy and not clearing the puck out of their own zone. Peterborough was able to even up the score at 16:03 of the frame on a power play goal by Jordan Staal while Brent Liscomb was serving time for a hooking call. Liam Reddox and Trevor Hendrikx got the assists.

The period ended with the score tied at 1 with Ottawa leading shots on goal 19 – 8 (the score sheet says 19 – 8 saves but I wrote down what was on the clock in the arena).

Second Period: Ottawa started the period on the power play as Patrick Kaleta was not quite halfway through his hooking penalty called late in the first period. I didn’t note the time (paying too much attention to what was happening rather than taking notes) but very early in the period Logan Couture was hauled down on a breakaway to the net – penalty shot awarded!! Just like Saturday – everyone (well, all the Ottawa fans anyway) was really excited. Logan picked up the puck at centre ice, skated in on Schantz and tried to wrist one into the upper left corner. Not sure whether Schantz actually got some leather on it or whether Logan missed altogether but the result was no goal. It seemed to me that the 67s kinda deflated a bit here. Robbie Lawrance seemed to be having trouble readjusting to his defensive role and while he was serving his second penalty of the period, the Petes went ahead when Trevor Hendrikx (??) fired one from between the face off circles that went high over the net and bounced off the glass right on to the stick of Jordan Staal who put it in the net while Danny was trying to find the puck. He didn’t stand a chance. Jordan Morrison also got an assist. Then, a mere 30 seconds, at even strength, the Petes went up by 2 again on a rebound that went right onto the stick of Patrick Kaleta who had a wide open net. Justin Caruana and Daniel Ryder got the assists. This was not looking good – not at all. Well, I shouldn’t have worried. With Justin Caruana in the sin bin for holding, Joe Grimaldi made a nice behind the back from the neutral zone to Matt Lahey that caught the Petes going against the flow. Matt fired a long shot at Schantz who let a big rebound go right to Jamie McGinn who made no mistake – we’re back in this game! Before the period was over, Logan Couture evened it up with a sharp angle shot that was deflected off someone (must have been a Peterborough player as it was recorded as an unassisted goal). By now Ottawa had picked up its play and the Petes were getting frustrated and managed to end the period by setting themselves up for a 5 on 3 disadvantage to start the second period. Liam Reddox went off first for hooking followed by Daniel Ryder for slashing.

At the end of the second period the score was tied at 3 with Ottawa still leading shots on goal with 29 to 21.

Third Period: With the two man advantage for well over a minute, I (and pretty much everyone else I imagine) expected Ottawa to take the lead and they didn’t disappoint. Joe Grimaldi got what turned out to be the game winner with a shot from the point. Logan Couture and Julian Talbot got the assists. Then Ottawa just poured on the forecheck to keep the Petes penned in their own zone for most of the period. The Petes really couldn’t get much going at even strength but had a huge chance for a short handed goal while Joe was off for interference. Somehow Downie got behind the Ottawa defense and took a great long pass from Staal (??) and had a great breakaway on Danny. Danny came out to challenge, backed up as Downie drove in, followed him to the corner and made a great save!! I agree with the Team 1200 guys – it was the play of the game! And that’s all she wrote. The Petes really couldn’t put anything together and managed to earn themselves a few 10 minute misconducts for chirping off. Aaron Dawson earned one at the 16:296 mark when he vociferously disagreed with the roughing call he had been assessed. Downie and Tardiff each earned 10 minute misconducts at the end of the game – not sure what the value is in that.

Final score: 4 - 3 for Ottawa with shots on goal 49 – 30 for Ottawa

Thoughts: Another solid performance by Ottawa tonight for most of the night. They had a few miscues (this is junior hockey after all) and had bouts of trouble getting the puck out of their zone but they played really well in front of Danny and worked their butts off. Tibor Radulay got out there and worked the boards, blocked shots, and made himself dangerous at times. Joe showed again why he has been such a good addition to the team. Kiriakou won a ton of face offs. They boys played physical and perhaps surprised the Petes a tad. All this without Elgin and with a number of the guys reportedly somewhat under the weather with colds or flu-like symptoms.

It is so great to see the effort when behind a couple of goals. This has to be really energizing for our guys and more than a tad frustrating for the Petes. I don’t know where to confirm the information but I understand that the Petes have something like 10 players who have already been drafted by the NHL. To my recollection, we have only 1 drafted player on our roster (Derek Joslin drafted by San Jose). It just goes to show ya that the stuff on paper means nothin’on the ice.

The boys now go to Peterborough with some great momentum and a full, and hopefully healthy, lineup. Twice now they have come from behind with some solid effort to win the game. They can do this on the road and Friday’s the day to do it. We can’t make it to the game but really hope those who are traveling down are seriously entertained with good hockey and a win!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Logan Couture (1 goal and 2 assists)
Second Star: Joe Grimaldi (goal and an assist)
Third Star: Jordan Staal (2 goals)

Hardest Working 67: Thomas Kiriakou (and well deserved I might add)

See everyone on Sunday!


March 26, 2006

What A Game! Ottawa doubles the Petes: 8 - 4

Tonight’s game was played at the Scotia Bank Place (formerly known as the Corel Centre) as the Civic Center was hosting the annual Ottawa Spring Home and Garden Show (which is a major disappointment this year). Peterborough had won the first game of the series on Thursday in Peterborough 3 – 2 at 13:29 of the second overtime period on a goal by Trevor Hendrix. Scoring for Ottawa in that game were rookies Thomas Kiriakou (who had been promoted to the top line replacing suspended captain Julian Talbot) and Logan Couture . Both Ottawa goals were on the PP (in fact, the OT goal was the only even-strength goal of the night).

First Period: It didn’t take long for Peterborough to serve notice and score the first goal of the night. Before the first minute and a half was up, Steve Downie got one past Danny from the slot with what I think must have been the first shot on goal (or at least the second). Jordan Morrison and Trevor Hendrix got the assists. And then just over a minute and a half later Fredrik Naslund got one past Danny on the wrap around. Grimaldi had moved back from that corner of the net to cover the other side when Naslund was able to score the goal. Scott Cowie and Greg Stewart got assists. The Petes were all over Ottawa at this point – deep in their zone and keeping the play there with ease. Finally, at 5:42 while Jamie Tardiff was serving time for roughing, Logan Couture took a nice feed in the slot feed from Chris Hulit and beat David Schantz to get Ottawa within 1. It didn’t last too long as Jordan Morrison notched his first goal and his second point of the night at 7:17 getting a sharp angle shot past Danny. I don’t think Danny even saw it. And that’s all she wrote for Danny after letting 3 goals in on just 9 shots (my notes say 4). Brady Morrison took over between the pipes. He was not spared some angst as Peterborough scored their fourth (and what would be their final) goal of the night at the 13:00 mark when Daniel Ryder and Liam Reddox combined for the goal. This had all the hallmarks of a bloodbath in the works. There was a rather large concentration of Petes fans in what I guessed to be about 211 or 212 section who were enjoying the on-ice results up to now. In the last minute of play Chris Hulit brought us back within 2 with the help of Brett Liscomb.

The period ended with the score 2 – 4 for Peterborough. I did not write down the final shots on goal from the arena clock but I don’t believe the score sheet either which suggests that Peterborough out shot Ottawa 19 to 12. I’m pretty sure that the Petes out shot Ottawa but my recollection is that both numbers were not that high.

Second Period: It took less than a minute to turn the tide of this game. Before the opening minute was up, Chris Hulit was on a breakaway when Lubomir Stach hooked him in front of the net. The ref called the infraction and awarded a penalty shot. The arena was electric as we waited for the Petes to stop whining and for Chris to set up. No doubt about it – Chris snapped it past the glove hand of David Schantz to put Ottawa within one and back in the game! While Lubomir was still serving his penalty, Joe Grimaldi tied the game with a one-timer from the point. Logan Couture and Brett Liscomb got the assists. Ottawa finally went ahead (for good) with its third power play goal of the night. Ottawa had the 5 on 3 advantage with Steve Downie off for tripping and Jamie Tardiff off for roughing. This time it was Aaron Alphonso scoring with the help of Jamie McGinn and Elgin Reid. And now it was David Schantz's turn to get the hook. Now both starting goalies were out before the game was half over! Well, it was not enough to turn the tide – on its 5th power play of the night, Thomas Kirakou teamed up with Derek Joslin and Brett Liscomb to score Ottawa’s 4th power play goal and go up by two! He was all alone in front of the net to make it count! The second period damage ended with a minute and a half to go when Matt Lahey beat Cann on the glove-side to make it 7 – 4! Brett Liscomb assisted on that one too!

In a complete reversal of fortunes, the period ended 7 – 4 for Ottawa with total SOG 22 – 22 (for the good guys!!) From my notes, it took until the 13:00 mark of the period for the Petes to register their first SOG on Ottawa for the period.

Third Period: What were the coaches telling their guys during the intermission? For Killer, the challenge is to keep the guys focused on the period in front of them. For Todd, it’s to forget the period that just finished. I expected the Petes to come out hitting hard and heavy this period. Then again, with the Ottawa PP doing so well, the better tactic would have been to stay clean – which they mostly did. For Ottawa, Grimaldi was assessed a roughing penalty right at the end of the second which he started serving in the third. Not only did the boys did a fine job of killing that one, Brett Liscomb finally got a goal of his own (after helping just about everyone else get one) when he scored the 8th Ottawa goal of the night with help from Chris Hulit and Jakub Voyta! A mere 30 seconds later, Sean Ryan was assessed a tripping infraction and somehow Elgin Reid got caught up in the chatter and was assessed a gross misconduct. I can tell you that I was worried at this point. Were we going to see a total melt down in discipline? Could the rest of the defense step up with Elgin off the bench? Not a problem. No meltdown and plenty of good defensive play to go around!! Including the spectacular play of Brady Morrison to keep the Petes off the board!!

Final score: 8 - 4 for Ottawa with shots on goal 40 – 41 for Peterborough (according to the score sheet) .

Thoughts: Whoo nelly – this was one surprising game. It sure looked like a bloodbath in the making in the first period. The Petes seriously outplayed Ottawa in that frame – certainly in the early going. The 67s couldn’t put anything together, couldn’t control the play and ended up just dumping the puck without any clear plan in mind. The turnovers were horrendous. Were they intimidated by the Vault? Who knows? And I feel badly for Danny. I met his mom and billet as we were comparing game worn jerseys (I now know where all of last year’s jerseys are – I have one and they have the other two). They’re both fine ladies and seriously proud of their charge. This is tough coming off of the great play on Thursday. But the starters for both teams were pulled today – perhaps it’s just the sort of thing that happens coming off a tough game. (If it’s any consolation, Emery was pulled within the first 14 (?) minutes of the Senators game against Pittsburg tonight). I was listening to the radio on the way home and the consensus is that Danny is the stronger player mentally and will put this behind him. On the upside, it looks like we might have our new starter for next year getting some good playoff experience. Brady made some great athletic saves tonight.

7 unanswered goals! Against a team that has been ranked in the top 10 in Canada for 23 weeks and was the top team for 5. In my inexpert opinion, the tide turned on Chris’ penalty shot in the first minute of the second period. Peterborough went on to play as if playing dirty would win the game. They got themselves into a world of trouble and Ottawa was able to finally make their PP work. In the last two games, Ottawa has gone 6/21 on the PP while Peterborough has gone 2/14. Gotta like those numbers if you’re a 67 fan.

Once Ottawa got its game going, this was fun to watch. Whatever Killer (or anyone else for that matter) said in the locker room in the first intermission, it certainly had its affect on the team. That was awesome to watch – coming back from a 2-goal deficit and being seriously outplayed to winning big time. Now that our scoring has come from all over the roster, the Petes know that beating up on Logan will not keep them safe. Brett, keep your head up for the next game – you are now the most dangerous guy on the team (goal and 5 assists!! Yowza!!)

I was reading a lot of complaining about the Scotia Bank Place being inappropriate for junior hockey. I thought the atmosphere was pretty good tonight. We were right behind the 67s’ bench and had a good time. It was nice to hear that the attendance was over 10,500. And thanks to all the Petes fans who made the trip. Not fun when the team gets spanked but still nice to see a good turnout.

Great work by everyone - vets and rookies!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Brett Liscomb (1 goal and 5 (!!!) assists)
Second Star: Chris Hulit (2 goals and an assist)
Third Star: Thomas Kiriakou (goal)

Hardest Working 67: didn’t catch it and could not make a fair guess on my own. Lots of hard work by lots of players tonight.

Looking forward to more great play for the rest of the series (dare we dream???).


March 19, 2006

A Shoot-Out Loss: 4 – 5 for Sudbury

This is gonna be quick as I have some paying work to finish tonight. Ottawa scratches this afternoon were Brent Mackie, Joe Pleckaitis and Pat Daley.

First Period: The Wolves came out to hit and that they did. And they seemed to pick on Logan. At about 7 ½ minutes into the period one of the Wolves took a run at Logan. Jamie McGinn (!!?) came to the defense of Logan and took Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn on. McGinn lost his helmet early is the tilt but still managed to hold his own. In addition to standing up for his line mate, he also got 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting (hey – that would make a good name for a band) and 10 minutes misconduct. We were back at even strength when Sudbury marked the first goal of the game at 11:22. Ottawa couldn’t clear the puck out of their zone and Benoit Pouliot fed the puck to Matt Dias who was all alone in front of Danny. He managed what looked like a soft shot which Danny got but there was a rebound right back to Dias who made it count. About 3 ½ minutes later Ottawa got the only PP goal of the game when Brett Liscomb got what I think is called a garbage goal – a scramble in front of the net that Brett made count. Hulit and Joslin got the assists. Then, with just under 3 minutes left in the period, Ottawa had an odd-man rush with Grimaldi bringing the puck down along the far-side boards (the visitor’s side). It looked like he was in way too deep but he managed a goal-mouth feed to Robbie Lawrance who made no mistake about it! Derek Joslin got the other assist.

At the end of the first period, it was 2 – 1 Ottawa with shots on goal 12 – 8 for Ottawa.

Second Period: The really bad refereeing that started in the first period really took its affect in the second. It started peaking with a dirty hit from behind by Benoit Pouliot on Jamie McGinn. I didn’t see all the ensuing action but from what I have heard Julian Talbot speared Adam McQuaid who spent a lot of time on the ice. When he eventually got up, he could not put weight on one of his legs and was helped all the way to the dressing room. Jamie also left the ice for the dressing room. Bennie earned himself a 5 minute charging penalty as well as a game misconduct. Julian got a match penalty. Depending on what Branch sees from the tape and given that this will be Julian’s second time in front of Hizzoner, we may have seen the last of our captain for the rest of the season.

With 14 minutes gone in the period, Grimaldi took a nice wrist shot off the face off that went over Beech ‘s left shoulder to put Ottawa up 3 – 1. But it only took Sudbury less than three minutes to get back into the game when Devin Didiomete got one past Danny with help from Mike Mills. This goal would not have happened if either of the referees were doing their job. Robbie Lawarance was blatantly interfered with along the boards as he was almost checked into the Wolves bench and held up by the Sudbury player. The ref was standing right there but apparently couldn’t find his whistle.

Near the end of the period, there was some pushing and shoving involving Logan (who was now on the top line in Talbot’s place) and a couple of Sudbury players. It looked like Logan was prepared to mix it up until Elgin Reid hauled him out by his jersey. As the players were getting ready for the face off, Devin DiDiomete was put on the ice and Killer pulled Logan off. They were gunnin’ for Logan and Killer got his boy out of the way. McGinn already was hurt – didn’t need Logan hurt too and given that the refs were effectively blind, he couldn’t count on any respect for the rules to protect Logan. With 10 seconds left in the period, Shea Kewin took DiDiomete on and clearly had the better of him. They both got 5 for fighting.

So the second period ended with Ottawa up by one with shots on goal 19 – 20 for Sudbury.

Third Period: Ottawa went up by 2 in the first two minutes of play when Derek Joslin picked up a rebound and got it to Robbie Lawrance who was parked at the corner of the crease. Thomas Kiriakou got an assist on the goal as well. Sudbury got it back in less than two minutes when Jakub Voyta gave it away right to Versteeg-Lytwyn got it past Danny in the top corner. Then Sudbury tied it up 2 ½ minutes later when Ryan Donally teamed up with Adam McQuaid (who had been back for sometime since his “spearing” injury) and Jesse Messier for the goal at 5:18.

The teams had settled down a bit since the first period but the refereeing wasn’t any better. At one point Nick Foligno was holding Logan’s stick and Logan had to practically drag Nick to the penalty box past the ref before it was called! Ottawa was down to 10 forwards with the loss of Talbot and McGinn (Jamie was back on the bench but he wasn’t getting any ice time. With the players playing hockey rather than no-rules rugby on skates, the game was exciting to watch.

Regular time ended with the game tied at 4. Total shots on goal at this point: 36 – 32 for Ottawa.

Overtime: Ottawa controlled the play during the overtime period spending most of the five minutes in the Sudbury zone. They managed to get a number of scoring chances (7) but were unable to get any of them past Beech. For their part, Sudbury managed to get 3 shots on Danny without beating him. The overtime period ended without any scoring. We’re off to the shoot out.

Shoot Out:
Sudbury: #15 Dias X
Ottawa: #89 Couture X
Sudbury: #10 Baker X
Ottawa: #9 Hulit X
Sudbury: #16 Foligno O
Ottawa: #8 Lahey X

Final score: 5 – 4 for the Wolves in a shoot out.

Thoughts: I think the 67s put up a pretty good game. They stayed with Sudbury in the hits department and stood up for their own. I’m not the biggest fan of fights but sometime a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. The boys did not back down from these goons when it was required but it was nice to see McGinn ignore Versteeg-Lytwyn’s (?) attempt to draw him back into a fight once McGinn was back from his misconduct. It was a no-value proposition and McGinn was the smarter player. Grimaldi had another outstanding game. He just gets better and better each game. Too bad we will only see him for a year and a half at max (assuming that he comes back as an OA next year). And Couture showed again why other teams see him as a threat. Despite being targeted by the Wolves, he still managed to make himself dangerous.

Voyta did not have a good game. After getting the hardest working player acknowledgement on Friday, he was not showing anywhere near that quality of play. In fact, he was on the ice for all 4 of Sudbury’s regulation play goals. I can recall at least two occasions where his play directly contributed to a Sudbury goal.

If either of the refs were actually anywhere near being halfway close to being marginally competent there would have been a truck load more penalties today and at least a few less injuries. Parc and Beers used to be my least favorite refs. I will now add McQuigge and Hutchinson as well. These guys were right on top of a number of really bad offenses by both teams and didn’t think to call them. This game was very nearly totally out of control because of these two guys. They were really bad.

And so ends the regular season. We’re 4th in our Division and 8th in our conference having played a below .500 season (which I understand is the first time for Kilrea in a few years). There have been some frustrating moments for the fans as well as some really exciting moments. The boys seem to have pulled it together for the last month of the season and show that they could be the dark horse in any given game. Two of our players, Derek Joslin and Pat Ouellette, have played in every regular season game; they stayed healthy, stayed out of serious trouble, and were consistent enough never be healthy scratches. Killer made a couple of really good trades in getting Liscomb and Grimaldi. These two are contributing significantly to the team.

In addition to Logan Couture, we’ve seen some really exciting play out of our other rookies this year – Thomas Kiriakou, Sean Ryan and Shea Kewin in particular of late.

We’ve been musing among ourselves regarding Chris Hulit – wondering if he ever fully recovered from his rib injury. His play seems to come in fits and starts; sometimes explosive, at other time completely flat-footed. Hope he is well.

Danny has given us three shut outs and some replay reel saves. And Brady Morrison has shown that he can win games too.

So it's on to the play-offs! See you at the games!!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Joe Grimaldi (goal, an assist and some terrific plays)
Second Star: Marc Staal (a goal)
Third Star: Robbie Lawrance (2 goals and lots of hard work)

Hardest Working 67: Brett Liscomb


March 18, 2006

Ottawa in OT: 5 - 4

By the numbers:
Oshawa has won only 17 games this year coming into the Civic Centre and 3 of them have been against Ottawa. This last ranked team has given Ottawa a run for its money that’s for sure. Both teams have won all their home games against each other.

Getting the big points for Oshawa are John Tavares with 75 and former 67s Peter Tsimikalis with 97. Their +/- is pretty bad with only three players on the plus side (+1, +2, and plus +6).

They have 5 guys with over 100 PIMs with defenseman Justin Sawyer leading the way with 197. Oshawa has the worst road PK in the league having allowed 82 goals against out of 286 occasions when the opponent has had the advantage. Ottawa’s PK at home is ranked 15th. The Gennie’s PP on the road is ranked 17th while Ottawa’s PP at home is 15th.

Goalie Carlo DiRienzo, who has played only 30 games this year, is ranked 19th in the league with a save percentage of .892 while Danny is ranked 13th with a save percentage of .907.

The 67s have two consecutive wins right now. Scratches for today were Brent Mackie, Joe Pleckaitis and Tibor Raduly.

First Period: Former team mates and now both captains of their respective teams, Peter Tsimikalis and Julian Talbot seemed to have a nice chat at centre ice waiting for the puck drop. Then, the game was on and Julian won the first face-off just to be sure that nice stops when the clock starts. If you have seen any herding dog demonstrations, you will have seen that the dog handler uses a variety of whistles to issue commands to the dog. Well, apparently so does someone on the coaching team of the Oshawa Generals to signal line changes to the players. While perhaps effective, it seems a tad unseemly. Anyway, Ottawa scored first at the 6:16 mark of the game when Logan Couture got a nice pass to Matt Lahey at the crease and he made it count! Jamie McGinn got the other assist on the goal. Then, at just past half way and on the power play Jakub Voyta took a shot from the top of the face off circle and in the ensuing banging around in front of the goalie, Logan got his first of the night past DiRienzo. Matt Lahey had a hand in that one too. Then all sorts of bad stuff happened. Our guys had a serious discipline melt-down. It started with Brody Beard getting 2 minutes for holding. With 28 seconds to serve in that one, Elgin Reid was sent to the brig for holding and earned an extra 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct. That gave Oshawa 28 seconds of 5 on 3 (which they couldn’t capitalize on) and 3:40 of the one man advantage. Cal Clutterbuck scored his first of the night on the power play at 13:49 with help from Kelly Thompson and Peter Tsimikalis. Before Elgin’s second penalty was over, Chris Hulit was tagged for high sticking giving the Gennies 48 seconds of 5 on 3 and then the man advantage for 1:12. The 67s managed to come out of these problems with only the one goal by Clutterbuck. Then, with the team caught on a horrendous line change, Grimaldi interfered on an Oshawa player (didn’t get the number) to break up a scoring chance. He got two minutes for that, and then in the last minute of play, he mixed it up with Oshawa’s Dale Mitchell. They both were sent off for roughing and Grimaldi got an extra 10 minute misconduct. Not sure what that was for. Ottawa basically played the second half of that period with 4 players and over a minute with only three players.

After 20 minutes it was 2 – 1 Ottawa with shots on goal 14 – 18 for Oshawa.

Second Period: Grimaldi was still serving 1:17 of his roughing penalty at the start of this period plus he had to serve the rest of his misconduct (didn’t actually get back on the ice until 11:17 according to the game sheet). Since his partner in roughing Dale Mitchell was also serving time, the period started at even strength. At 1:13, Cal Clutterbuck scored his second of the night when when he a surprised Danny with a backhanded shot amidst some defensive breakdowns by Ottawa. That tied the game at 2 apiece. Oshawa managed to get themselves into some penalty trouble, getting 5 penalties, but it sure didn’t look like they had the worst road PK on the league. Ottawa did not play well at all. It would have been a challenge for them to pass gas much less pass the puck. It was bad.

The only Ottawa penalty for the period was a very questionable call in my opinion on Grimaldi for interference in the last two minutes of play. When Dale Mitchell was called at 18:52 for slashing (on Talbot I believe) we were back at even strength, 4 each. Cal Clutterbuck closed out the scoring for the period with a natural hat trick with help from Eric Regan and John Tavares. Eric Regan ended the penalty parade with a slashing call at 19:51 giving Ottawa a brief PP before the end of the period.

At the end of the second period it was 2 – 3 for Oshawa despite Ottawa out shooting Oshawa 19 to 9 during the period.

Third Period: With Grimaldi’s penalty expiring 9 seconds into the period, it was Ottawa’s turn for the 2-man advantage. They couldn’t make it work but just three seconds after Mitchell’s penalty expired, Julian Talbot finally picked off one of DiRienzo’s big rebounds and evened up the score. Joe Grimaldi got the assist. Then, 1:17 later, Ottawa took the lead again when Brett Liscomb fed Logan Couture at the edge of the crease. Elgin Reid got an assist as well. Oshawa continued its bad ways and managed to get 5 penalties in the frame while the 67s managed to keep their noses clean (or at least not get caught at anything). Ottawa pounded 19 shots at DiRienzo all period and he gave up some mighty huge rebounds but Ottawa players just couldn’t seem to get in the right spot to capitalize. You could see the Ottawa players trying to feed Logan so he might get his own hat trick and, to his credit, he was not greedy – if he didn’t have a shot, he moved the puck to someone else.

Oshawa tied it up at 15:32 when Brett Parnham got one past Danny.

The third period ended with the game tied at 4. Total shots on goal at this point: 52 – 34 for Ottawa.

Overtime: Oshawa dug themselves into a penalty hole late in the third period when Justin Sawyer was called at 19:06 for interference and Eric Regan was called at 19:22 for interference too. This gave Ottawa a 2-man advantage for 1:06. They could not make anything of it and when the Oshawa penalties were, Ottawa was called for too many men on the ice. Someone had lost track that it was supposed to be 4-on-4. Ottawa managed to kill the penalty but neither team was getting a lot of scoring opportunities. In the final 30 seconds of the OT period, Jamie McGinn won the game when he took a nice pass from Julian Talbot and got it past DiRienzo which resulted in a whole lotta complaining coming from the Oshawa bench and players. Not sure what the fuss was. Did someone think that Jamie kicked the puck in? From the description on the radio, Jamie did stop the puck with his skate but scored using his stick. Did someone think Jamie was offside? Or was it some perceived infraction involving Grimaldi as Jamie was scooting down the ice? No indication was given but Clutterbuck was carrying on pretty strongly. I noticed in the game sheet that he was assessed a game misconduct and a gross misconduct. Guess he won’t be playing in Oshawa’s last game of the season on Sunday.

Final score: 5 – 4 for the 67s with final shots on goal 55 - 37 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: Well, they almost didn’t win this game but they now have their first 3-game winning streak of the season. Guess now is as good a time as any. They managed to score twice on the PP but they should have been able to do more damage to a team that has the worst PK in the league. The Crazy-8s scored 4 of the 5 goals for Ottawa and were only scored on once. I think we are looking at our top line for next year. Jakub Voyta stayed out of the penalty box all game – again. He’s improving alot. Danny made a number of spectacular saves but unfortunately there were a couple of goals that should have been stopped. I wonder how a coach teaches a team to adjust to a goalie that gives out big rebounds. I mean DiRienzo gave up really big rebounds all night but somehow the guys just couldn’t seem to figure this out and get into better position to anticipate them. All in all, a pretty exciting game; fast, end-to-end play and lots of ooh-ahh moments. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when a lower ranked team steps up their play – look at how the 67s have played against Barrie and Peterborough. And the Sens have lost to pretty much every bottom feeder team this year too despite a plane load of talent.

Let’s see if the boys can make it 4 in a row tomorrow when the Sudbury Wolves come to town to close out the regular season. Hope to see you there!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Logan Couture (2 goals and an assist)
Second Star: Cal Clutterbuck (hat trick)
Third Star: Jamie McGinn (game winning goal and an assist)

Hardest Working 67: Jakub Voyta. I’m gonna part company with the Team 1200 guys. While they said they considered Joe Grimaldi, I think they should have gone all the way and given it to him. I sure would like to know his ice time in the third period and in the OT period. He has great stamina, made some great plays at the point can move up and be a scoring danger. Despite his rather lengthy time in the penalty box, I think he really worked hard and contributed significantly to the team’s win.


March 12, 2006

Ottawa Shuts out the Colts 6 - 0 !!

By the numbers:
This is the 4th meeting of these two teams this year with each team winning on home ice so far. Coming into today’s game Barrie was in second place only one point ahead of Brampton and having lost to Kingston on Friday 5 – 2

The big point getter on their team is Brian Little who sits in 7th place in the league with 103 points. Last year’s fans will recall last year's game when Brian was caught with his head down by Lukas Kaspar at the Ottawa blue line. It was a big hit that put Brian out of play for the series which turned out to be the rest of the season. Just before today’s anthem, someone from the Asylum reminded Brian to keep his head up.

Today is Jakub Petruzalek’s first return to the Civic Centre. Since his return to the O he has played 20 games and scored 28 points. Not too shabby. They have a lot of guys contributing; 7 with +/- in the double digits.

Defensemen Todd Perry and David Pszenyczny and forward Jordan Grant lead the PIM count for Barrie with 146, 148 and 176 respectively. Barrie is ranked 4th on the PP on the road having scored 51 times in the 243 chances they had. Ottawa’s PP at home is ranked 16th in the league with only 44 goals in 253 power plays. Barrie’s PK on the road is ranked 7th overall while Ottawa’s PK at home is ranked 15th having allowed 42 goals against from 215 shots on goal during the PK.

In net, Dan LaCosta is ranked 5th in the league in the save percentage having allowed 135 goals in 1582 shots. He has 5 shutouts for the year. Danny is ranked 15th having allowed 161 goals in 1698 shots. Danny has 2 shutouts for the season so far.

The 67s are riding a 5 game losing streak into today’s game. Word on Jamie McGinn is that he has a pretty serious neck strain that will probably keep him out of the lineup today and Tuesday in Kingston. Here’s the article from the Ottawa Sun: [link]

Brody Beard and Matt Lahey were also scratches for today’s game. We didn’t have any radio coverage for the game so I have no idea why these guys sat out. But I don’t mind telling you that the news had me worried.

First Period: It was a 2-ref game today and their work started early. Just 8 seconds into the game Barrie’s Hunter Tremblay got his stick up into the face of Derek Joslin. Ottawa had only one scoring chance on the PP when Julian Talbot snapped one off that bounced off LaCosta’s face. But it only took 3 minutes for Ottawa to score first (and what would be the game-winning goal). Elgin Reid picked up a nice drop from Joe Pleckaitis and fired it over the right shoulder of LaCosta. Then, before the 14 minute mark, Ottawa scored again when Barrie turned the puck over and Robbie Lawrence got it to Logan Couture standing beside the crease to make it 2 – 0. Radulay was playing pretty physical and got caught checking from behind to earn himself a 4 minute time-out at 15:13 of the period. At 17:58, Joe Grimaldi was called for interference giving Barrie the two-man advantage for about 1:15. The boys were doing a good job of keeping the Colts at bay in front of Danny when Danny managed to draw Travis Fuller into a goal tender inference call at 18:43. Ottawa burned the 30 seconds remaining in Tibor’s penalty to get back to even.

After 20 minutes it was 2 – 0 Ottawa with shots on goal 10 – 9 for Ottawa.

Second Period: Ottawa started with a 43 second power play but was unable to convert it. Travis Fuller came out of the penalty box and went right for Grimaldi who had the puck by the Ottawa bench. Fuller apparently was still ticked because Joe quite nicely stood him up at the Ottawa blue line earlier. Before the first 5 minutes were up, Pat Ouellette picked up a Barrie turnover in the Ottawa zone and beat LaCosta with a great wrist shot from the face off circle. No assists on the goal. At this point, Barrie pulled LaCosta as he had allowed 3 goals on just 12 shots. At the next face-off, Elgin Reid and Michael Lombardi dropped the gloves and went at it. Have no idea what led up to the fracas; they weren’t even standing near each other. It wasn’t much of a tilt – hard to call it. At about halfway through the period and just 6 seconds into the power play while Matthew Bragg was serving an interference penalty, Logan Couture got his second of the afternoon when he got one past replacement goalie Andrew Perugini on his right. It was at the other end so I didn’t get a good look at it. Robbie Lawrance and Derek Joslin got assists. Near the end of the frame, Aaron Alphonso looked to be standing up for Danny when he and Bragg went at it. Both got some good shots in, Matthew ended up with a bloody nose and stripped of his jersey (does Arron get to keep it??). But I think Aaron got the worst of it since he didn’t come back for the rest of the game. He’s had his bell rung too many times this year – not good for this kid – could shorten his career real soon. Scoring for the period was ended with a beautiful passing play from our top line; from Julian to Chris to Brett who made it count!
At the send of the second period, Ottawa had a strangle hold on Barrie 5 – 0 with Barrie getting more shots on goal 19 – 23 in total.

Third Period: The boys only had two jobs – protect the lead and help Danny get his third shut out and they really worked hard at both. Early in the period Michael Lombardi was called for delay of game when he put the puck over the glass in his defensive zone. This time it was crash-and-bang Tibor Radulay who scored with help from Joe Grimaldi making it 6 – 0 !

Later, Sean Ryan was on the receiving end of what looked to me to be a very questionable call on what I thought was a great defensive play. Not to worry - Ottawa had a great penalty kill and almost scored when Joe Grimaldi came up with the puck and set up Logan for potentially his third goal. Logan got in a bit deep and Perugini was able to make the save. At midway Chris Hulit went at it with Lombardi in the Ottawa zone. I don’t recall Chris getting into too many fisticuffs in his two years here; methinks that Lombardi was just having a really bad day and needed to take it out on someone. They were both sent off for fighting with Lombardi earning extra time for instigating, fighting and a 10 minute misconduct for good measure. He was done for the day and left the ice. Probably for the better. Barrie was pretty much done too. They had a few sparks left in them but were unable to do anything effective.

Final score: 6 – 0 for the 67s with shots on goal 25 - 32 for Barrie.

Thoughts: Who is this team and what did they do with the 67s?? And whatever they did with them, leave ‘em there. Earlier, I was concerned about the team having to play so many really good teams this late in the schedule. I’m now of the mind that this is turning out as well as one could reasonable expect. I have no delusions of fluking it all the way to the Memorial Cup but I see the team improving bit by bit and this year’s rookies are getting some really good experience. Grimaldi is turning out to be one of my favorites. He sure didn’t make any Barrie friends today as he managed to stand a few of them up rather abruptly – including Petruzalek. There was a lot of good board work and I especially liked seeing the great second efforts on the ice.

They have now scored three PP goals in the last two games and left Barrie with 0/9 on the PP!

I didn’t keep track of the lines today – worried about missing something but it seemed to me that all dressed players got reasonable ice time. Our rookies are getting excellent experience for both the playoff run (short as it may be) and for next year. Danny got his third shutout of the season and he had to work for it. Great for him!

Normally I would not comment on anthem singing. It’s a great tradition and it’s fun to see the different groups come out to open the game. But today’s rendition was absolutely the worst damage I have ever heard to O Canada – ever – in my rather long life. Why do people think it needs to be fixed; it’s just fine the way it is. I have friends at Canadian Heritage – there must be some sort of sanction for abusing the national anthem. I’m gonna hafta check this out. Please – no encore for that one – please!!

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star:
Danny Battochio (32 saves)
Second Star: Logan Couture (2 goals)
Third Star: Joe Grimaldi (1 assist and some really great playing)

Hardest Working 67: There wasn’t a radio broadcast so we didn’t get the benefit of the “the boys upstairs”. There were a number of 67s who could claim the hardhat but today I will give it to Pat Ouellette. He had a goal and an assist and to my recollection, worked pretty darn hard all game.


March 11, 2006

Ottawa 2 – Brampton 4

By the numbers:
This is the 4th and final meeting of these two teams this year with Brampton having won all 3 previous games. It’s been almost a month since Brampton lost their last game and that was to London back on February 17th. They come to town riding an 8-game winning streak and sitting in 3rd place in the conference looking to move up.

Their really big gun is Wojtek Wolski who has overtaken London’s Dylan Hunter for third place in the conference with 111 points. Wojtek has been named the OHL top performer of the month 3 times (December, January and February) after returning from his 9 game stint with the Colorado Avalanche in October where he posted 2 goals and 4 assists. Luch Aquino is also an on-ice force with 59 points and a +23.

On the penalty front, defensemen Phil Oreskovic and Nick Duff are the Battalion players spending the most time in the brig (196 and 114 PIMs respectively). Brampton is ranked second in the league when it comes to their PP on the road having scored 52 times in the 218 occasions where they have had the advantage. By contrast, Ottawa’s PP at home is ranked 16th having scored just 43 goals in the 252 times they have had the advantage. The PK numbers suggest that the teams are more evenly matched with Ottawa having a slight statistical edge.

In net, Darren Machesney has the edge on Danny for goalie measures including goals against (135 v 161), wins (24 v 22) and overtime losses (1 v 5).

The 67s return to the Civic Centre after a close game with Peterborough last night. Their P10 of 2-8-0-0 is the complete opposite of Brampton and I have lost track of how long the PP-drought has been for Ottawa. Last night they were 0/12! On the upside (if there is one in these numbers) they only let in one PP goal in the 10 chances Peterborough had. But they have to get their PP producing some goals!!

Noticed in the warm-up that it appeared as if Danny injured himself. I didn’t see what exactly happened but he left the net about half-way through the warm up and didn’t return until the last 2 ½ minutes. As it turned out, Brady Morrison got the start. Don’t know if that had been already planned since Danny played last night in Peterborough.

First Period: The usual top line of Talbot, Hulit and Liscombe started tonight with Voyta and Joslin at their backs. The Battalion wasted no time taking the game to Ottawa. They won the first face-off and before anyone knew it (except Brady that is) each of the Brampton forwards were able to take a shot at Brady. Our guy was up to the challenge and let them know that they would have to do better to get past him. In response, we had a couple of great opportunities in the Brampton end but just couldn’t get the timing right on the centering passes. Brady Morrison really kept the team in the game with a number of great saves. At about the 7 minute mark into the period Luch Aquino had a great breakaway - going in alone on Brady. Stoned! Great save by the kid. . Ottawa got into serious penalty trouble in the second half of the period ending up on the wrong side of a 5-on-3 situation at the end of the period.

The period ended tied at 0 with shots on goal 13 – 12 in Ottawa’s favour

Second Period: Ottawa started the period down two men for 55 seconds. It only took Brampton 17 seconds to capitalize. A Brampton player (Michael Vernace?) fired one that bounced off the post and back to the stick of Howie Martin near the crease who had pretty much an open net to get the first goal of the game. With Ottawa now only down one player, our young players showed us yet again just how good they are. Couture made a great pass to McGinn and Machesney made the great save. Would have been a super short-handed goal. At 3:30 into the period, Wolski showed how it is done by firing a wrist shot from the circle that beat Brady on the glove side. Aquino and Duff got assists on the goal. Ottawa wasn’t done yet but Machesney was not having any of it making yet another good save off Talbot who got a nice feed from Hulit. There was a flurry of activity in front of Machesney and the puck went in the net but the goal was waved off. There were some weak protests about a Brampton player having put his glove on the puck in the crease but it didn’t go anywhere (the complaint that is). Brampton’s third goal of the period started with some bad attempts at clearing the puck out of the Ottawa zone. Eventually Brampton was able to throw the puck at the net. Brady made the first save but the rebound was pretty big and Aaron Snow was able to put it home and put Brampton up 3 – 0.

Not willing to call it a game just yet, our young line showed the vets what it means to work hard and make a difference. At just over the half-way mark, Logan Couture took a shot that Matt Lahey redirected past Machesney to make it a 3 – 1 game. Then, two and a half minutes later on the PP, Jamie McGinn was able to bang at a Couture rebound to make it 3 – 2. Joe Grimaldi got the assist as well. Hooray – the PP drought is over!!!

With just over 4 minutes left to play, Joe Grimaldi and Wojtek Wolski mixed it up behind the Ottawa net. It looked that that was settled when Jamie McGinn and Aaron Snow needed to vent some frustration on each other. Jamie did not come out the winner but he showed that he would not back away from a tilt either. When it was all settled, the teams played at even strength for the rest of the period although Phil Oreskovic managed to get a penalty just as the buzzer sounded to end the period.

At the send of the second period, Brampton led Ottawa 3 0 2 with total SOG 27 – 24 for Ottawa.

Third Period: Ottawa started the period with the man advantage but was only able to get one shot on Machesney during the two minutes. They just had a real hard time getting anything going for the first half. Brampton was fore checking really hard and Ottawa just couldn’t get anything set up. They finally had a couple of good chances but couldn’t beat the goalie. Brampton got the deal-breaker late in the period when Graham McNabb was able to get one through the legs of Brady. John Seymour got the assist. Ottawa tried to make it a game and pulled Brady with 1:19 left on the clock. They couldn’t keep it in the Brampton zone but did manage to prevent the empty netter. Grimaldi stepped into the crease at one point to defend the net.

Final score: 2 – 4 for the Battalion with shots on goal 39 – 31 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: I’m beginning to sound like a broken record (do kids these days even know what that means???). For the most part I thought the team played well. Sure, there were miscues and mistakes but there were a lot of chances too. They were up against a good goalie. Most of the team played like they wanted to win. I thought it was a good game for Brady as well. He made some really good, confidence building saves. And the Crazy-8s were exciting to watch as usual. McGinn went down late in the third period with what looked like a shoulder injury. This is not good at any time of the year but especially bad now. While our playoff run will be short, it will be great experience for the kids who are coming back next year and McGinn is a big part of that crew. There’s a lot to like about the talent that we will have next year.

Again, Killer rolled 4 lines tonight giving all the dressed players reasonable ice time although the 4th line did not get regular shifts. Sure would be nice to know what’s up with Hulit. Although he is our top scorer, he is not playing to the potential that we saw last year. It would be safe to say that the kids on our number 2 line, the Crazy-8s, are showing Chris what a real work ethic looks like. Heck, all the other lines would be good reference cases if Chris was interested. It’s disappointing.

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Darren Machesney (Brampton goalie – 37 saves – some of them pretty good ones too)
Second Star: Logan Couture (2 assists)
Third Star: Wojtek Wolski (1 assist)

Hardest Working 67: Brady Morrison


March 05, 2006

Round 1 Minus 2: Ottawa 1 – Peterborough 3

By the numbers:

Peterborough remains atop the Eastern Conference but lost their spot as the best in the O this week with their loss to London on Thursday. They have been ranked in the top-10 CHL teams for 20 weeks this year, occupying top spot for 5 weeks earlier in the season. They are now ranked 4th overall ahead of Calgary and London but expect that to change this upcoming week.

They don’t have any really outstanding scorers on their team, in fact their top scorer, Daniel Ryder with 72 points, is ranked 28th in the league, behind our Christ Hulit who has 76 points and just ahead of Julian Talbot who has 71 points. But their team’s 5 top scorers range from 72 – 62 points. For our team, the top five scorers range from 76 – 44 points. But one of the really telling stats for me are the +/- numbers. The Petes have 6 players who are over +10 while Ottawa has only 2. Further, the Petes have only have 3 players who are in the minus column. Ottawa on the other hand has a whopping 14 players with minus stats; 4 in the double digits.

On the penalty front, the Petes are 7th in the league with 1459 minutes versus Ottawa being 18th in the league with 1192. Overall on the PK, the Petes are ranked 5th having allowed 79 goals in 487 shots during the kill while Ottawa is 10th having allowed 81 goals in 438 attempts by the opposition. On the PP, overall during the 541 times this year that they have had the advantage, Peterborough scored 117 goals. Ottawa has had fewer PP opportunities (481) and has scored only 80 goals. As for having a number of bad boys, the Petes have 5 players with more than 100 PIMS, Craig Cescon leading the pack with 217 minutes. If nothing else, the 67s seem to be more polite (?) with the top (?) PIM range running between 85 and 110. In the last 5 games Ottawa has scored just two times in 30 PP advantages while their opponents have scored 11 PP goals in 41 advantages.

In net, Danny has seen more ice time (2804 vs 2666) and taken more rubber (1634 vs 1491) than David Schantz but has also unfortunately let in a lot more goals (156 vs 130). Shantz also has the edge on all the rest of the goalie measures.

So, what does this mean you might ask. To me, and as you know I’m no expert on this stuff, this tells me that Peterborough may not be flashy but they are steady and have some depth. It looks like everyone is contributing, taking penalties is not a problem as they know how to deal with them and their PP, especially on the road, is dangerous. They are coming in on a two-game losing streak having lost in a shoot-out in Sudbury yesterday (Pete’s started their back-up goalie Trevor Cann). They will be hungry for a win. Also, they are always up for a game with Ottawa with the painful memories of last year’s playoff sweep and knowing that we have beat them twice at the Civic Centre this year including a 5-0 shutout. Coach Dick Todd will not be behind the bench today as he sits out the second of his two-game suspension handed down after the brouhaha in the London game on Thursday.

First Period: The Crazy-8s started with Sean Ryan and Elgin Reid on defense. The Petes came out all elbows and attitude from the get-go. Referee Joe Parc seemed to forget that he was actually officiating and not just enjoying a rather close perspective as a spectator. The boys weren’t intimidated and seemed pumped for the pace and tone. Peterborough got the first 5 shots on goal and Danny kept them in the game, especially with a spectacular save in the early going. The 67s finally found their game and started taking the play to the Petes. The only goal of the period came at 7:04 when Pat Lahey made a sharp angle pass across the crease to Couture who scored the first goal of the game and his 21st of the season. Crazy line mate Jamie McGinn also got an assist on the goal. While Peterborough’s Kyle Raftis was in the penalty box for tripping, Ottawa worked really hard on the PP. They kept the pressure up but were not able to covert. We had a scary moment when Chris went down in the Peterborough zone behind the play. He looked like he was in pain. After some time on the ice with the trainer pulling him into a sitting position by the front of his jersey (as it appeared that Chris was not able to sit up on his own), Chris was finally able to get up and skate off on his own. Looked like he might have taken a hit in the diaphragm that knocked the wind out of him. That’s happened a couple of times to me and it can be really debilitating. He was OK and made it back on the ice for his next shift.

At the end of the first 20 minutes, Ottawa had the only goal of the game and led shots on goal: 16 – 10 as posted on the clock in the arena; 16 – 11 according to the score sheet.

Second Period: Peterborough scored early in the first period when Liam Reddox banged it in from a funny deflection. Danny didn’t stand a chance. Daniel Ryder and Steve Downie got the assists. Ottawa got themselves into a bit of penalty trouble in the middle of the frame when Tibor Raduly was called for slashing behind the Pete's net and then with about 40 seconds left in that penalty Joe Grimaldi was called for delay of game when his shot from the defensive zone went into the net (which the ref considered to be the same as putting it over the glass). The Petes had the two man advantage for about 40 seconds and the man advantage for about 18 seconds until the Radulay penalty expired. Jamie Tardiff took a penalty 10 seconds later to make it even play. The 67s had a great PK – by my reckoning the Petes didn’t even get a shot on goal the whole time much less get anywhere close to scoring. Great work with the pressure and working hard in front of Danny. During their brief PP during the remainder of the Tardiff penalty, Ottawa generated good pressure but was unable to score on the two shots that they got on Shantz. The wheels fell off for the 67s when Peterborough scored two quick goals 30 seconds apart in the last minute and a half of the period. Justin Caruana scored when Ottawa could not clear the puck. Kaletta made a nice pass from behind the net to Justin standing in the slot who got it nicely past Danny. Hendrix also got an assist on the goal. The third Peterborough goal, 30 seconds later, came when Danny tried to clear the puck by bouncing it off the glass towards the Peterborough bench. Daniel Ryder intercepted it at the point and passed it to Steve Downie who snuck a slow backhand past Danny. Sorry Danny – you gotta wear that one and should actually get the minus on it.

The period ended 1 – 3 for Ottawa with total SOG 22 – 24 for the Petes with Peterborough out-shooting Ottawa 14 – 6.

Third Period: Peterborough went into defensive mode to protect their lead. The Ottawa players worked hard trying to get the goal that would spark the rest of the come-back but they got into penalty trouble which limited their chances. First, Chris Hulit was called for high sticking when his stick inadvertently went into the face of a Pete as Chris was trying to skate around him. Again, the 67s were really strong on the kill and came out unscathed except for the loss of time. Then, at 6:18 of the period, Grimaldi made a great play standing Greg Stewart up hard at the Ottawa blue line. Stewart went down and Jamie Tardiff came in to defend his honour. Grimaldi accepted the invitation and dropped the gloves. Tardiff may have slightly won the boxing match but Joe won the wrestling match bringing Tardiff to the ice on his back. The hit on Stewart looked fair to everyone around us but Joe got a roughing call plus 5 minutes for fighting. Again, the team did a really good job of killing the penalty. The final bit of trouble came with just over 6 minutes left to play. The alleged offense was early in the shift – apparently Pat Lahey got his stick into the face of one of the Petes (didn’t see who). After the play was whistled dead, many many seconds later, one of the linsemen spoke with the ref and since blood was drawn, Lahey got 4 minutes. Happy with the 4 minutes of advantage, the Petes didn’t work too terribly hard on the PP, and in fact their sloppy play led to more than a few turnovers, some of which could have been disastrous. The Petes didn’t score and Ottawa couldn’t come back at even strength in the last 2 and a half minute although they really tried hard.

Final score: 1 – 3 for the Petes with shots on goal 32 – 28 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: Opinion is divided in this household on whether it was a good game or not. I actually enjoyed it even though Ottawa lost. I liked the fast physical play, I thought our defense played much better than I have seen in a while, everyone worked hard and apart from the one major brain-cramp, Danny played well. There were a lot of chances; Shantz had to work for the win unlike Steve Mason on Friday. This game could have been won. Both Grimaldi and Voyta are playing much better in my opinion. They are getting into better position, causing turnovers, and working hard on their own boards. And Voyta didn’t get any penalties today! As usual, the Crazy-8s played really strong for such a young line. Interestingly, two of the Peterborough goals were scored against our line of vets but as I said before, I think Danny should get the minus on the third goal. All four lines saw ice time even once we were down the two goals. Killer must be giving them some experience with the Petes as this will be the round one match. Realistically, Ottawa will not probably win many of their remaining games and they will not change their standing. So getting everyone quality ice time against strong teams will be good preparation.

But now the 67s have had 36 PP opportunities and have only scored two goals – way back against Erie and Brampton. On the plus side, Peterborough was held 0/7 today.

The other opinion in this household is that Peterborough played dirty and that the 67s were very outplayed. Made for a lively discussion during the ride home.

We both agreed that Parc is crappy ref. Pity the poor teams if ever Beer and Parc were both scheduled for the same game. That would be brutal and grounds for complaint.

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Daniel Ryder (2 assists)
Second Star: Steve Downie (goal, assist and no suspensionable behaviour!!)
Third Star: Logan Couture (goal and, as usual, lots of hard work)

Hardest Working 67: Jamie McGinn


March 03, 2006

Ottawa 2 – London 5

This will be a pretty fast summary - it's been crazy busy at work all week and I'm pretty pooped. But never too tired to take in a couple of hockey games!

Game three on the road for London. They started with a 2 – 0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday followed by a feisty game in Peterborough last night where they won 4 – 2. Both coaches earned a two-game time-out for their teams’ antics. Here’s a link to an announcement on the CHL site (but nothing on the OHL site) http://www.chl.ca/OHLNews0506/0303.html

Well, what’s to say about London that hasn’t already been said. A powerhouse of a team that seems to be on an upward trend to another spectacular year. Some stats to consider going into tonight’s game:

The top three scorers in the OHL play for London: Rob Schremp with 131 points; David Bolland with 113 points and Dylan Hunter with 106 points.

Number 1 goalie Adam Dennis has seen the most rubber in the league and has the 4th best goals against average. He did not start tonight.

Best PP in the league.

4th best overall PK in the league

P10: 8-1-1-0 and currently on an 8 game winning streak.

Ranked 6th in Canada by the CHL (up from 8th last week).

The numbers tell a powerful story.

First Period: London took the first penalty of the game 22 seconds into the period. Ottawa quickly responded with a good scoring chance and a whole lotta banging away at the puck in front of the goalie. The puck went in but the play had already been whistled dead. Very good start but Ottawa was unable to inflict early first pain on the Knights. Adam Perry left the ice for what appeared to be equipment repairs. I didn’t notice if and when he came back. Then at about the halfway mark there was a strange kafuffle in the Ottawa end. London’s Sergei Kostitsyn was called for high sticking and then Joslin was mixing it up with someone. Then the end gate appeared to open and it looked to me like Perry was trying to get back on the ice. I’m not sure what happened but someone came in and the next thing Adam Perry and Elgin were both off for roughing.

The period ended 0 - 0 (for the good guys) with SOG 11 – 15 in London’s favour.

Second Period: Brodie Beard was tagged early in the second for interference. It was a questionable call but it was already Brodie’s third penalty of the night. Ottawa was doing a pretty good job of killing the penalty but just could not hang on. Just as the penalty was ending, Robbie Schremp scored his 50th goal of the season with assists from Dylan Hunter and the aforementioned Sergei Kostitsyn. London made it 2 – 0 at 12:15 into the game when Kris Belan got one past Danny with help from former 67s David Halasz and Jamie VanderVeeken. Danny made a number of really nice saves but couldn’t get them all.

The period ended 2 – 0 for London with SOG 20 – 33 for London.

Third Period: Ottawa got back into the game early with a nice goal by Jamie McGinn from a pass from Logan Couture at just 1:41 into the frame. The Crazy-8s were back at it! The euphoria didn’t last too long. Matt Lahey was off for an interference infraction when the London PP machine made good on its stats. Robbie Schremp scored his second goal of the night with help from Adam Perry (brother of Cory). Then London made it 4 – 1 when Jordan Foreman fired one over Danny’s shoulder. Chris Hulit responded with a good effort when he picked up the puck at his blue line, took it into the London zone and beat Steve Mason with a fast wrist shot. Julian Talbot got an assist on the play. But that would be it for Ottawa. London sealed it with their third PP goal at 15:49 when Bolland combined with Schremp and Hunter for the 5th London goal of the night.

Final score: 5 – 2 with shots on goal 28 – 48 – both numbers in London’s favour.

Thoughts: Well, I really didn’t expect the 67s to win tonight so the loss isn’t all that disappointing. I thought the boys played a pretty good first period and Danny played really well all game. He certainly had to work harder than London’s backup goalie. It seemed to me that many of the London shots were real scoring chances. At least two of the goals against Danny bounced in off the cross bar.

For some reason in the second and third periods Ottawa seemed to lose their confidence or get over anxious. They just seemed out of synch with each other. However, we were at the Scotia Bank Centre for the game last night and I can say with confidence that the 67s played much better against London than the Caps did against the Sens. Now that was brutal!

London went 3/7 on the PP while Ottawa went 0/8. If memory serves me, they also took a beating in Brampton on the PK. Looks like some work might be in order for the specialty teams.

But all in all, not the best we’ve seen from this team but certainly not the worst. Let’s hope they’re saving their best for the Petes on Sunday!

Three Stars of the Game:
A London sweep:
First Star: Robbie Schremp (2 goals and an assist)
Second Star: Trevor Kell
Third Star: David Bolland (goal and an assist)

Hardest Working 67: didn’t catch it.