September 30, 2006

Ottawa loses to Peterborough 5-1

Friday, September 29, 2006

The 67s start the season 0-2, losing their home opener to the Petes. Before the game, Vince Malette was honoured for his nine years with the 67s before becoming head coach of the Petes this year. More on Vinny in the Peterborough Examiner here and here and in the Lindsay This Week here.

Ottawa had no answer for the Ryder/Downie duo. Ryder was in on all 5 Peterborough goals with 4 goals and an assist on Downie's goal.

Other than that, I thought the 67s didn't play too badly, really. They just couldn't finish their chances.

Liscomb was still out serving his suspension that carried over from last year's playoffs. Kewin didn't play and Ribiero is out with mono. Ribiero was replaced by Cuma on left wing. That kid's good, no matter where he plays.

Don Brennon's write up of the game here: Hot Ryder runs all over 67's and he also wrote about the 67s new Assistant Coach Tim Higgins (oops!).

I know that Kingston and Peterborough are both good offensive teams, but 14 Goals Against in two games is rather excessive. I really wonder whether either of our goalies will be able to claim the number one job this year. Maybe Flueler can develop into a number one goalie for next year. He looked really nervous in the net last night -- late reactions to shots and then overplaying it; difficulty holding onto the puck once he made the save or not knowing what to do with it.

September 15, 2006

Ottawa beats Kingston Again in Pre-Season

The Kingston Frontenacs were in town tonight for their second pre-season game with the 67s. You’ll recall from StatsGuy’s summary, Ottawa beat Kingston last Sunday.

Logan Couture played tonight but we were still without Joslin, McGinn, Grimaldi. Vojta has reported to the Carolina Hurricanes camp (he’s in Group B if anyone is following the camp). We noticed that Cuma didn’t hit the ice. Couldn’t see the bench well enough to see whether he had dressed. Elgin Reid was the captain for the game (foreshadowing an announcement perhaps??). As part of the 40/30 celebrations, the 67s will be bringing back past 67s players. Tonight’s guest was Sean Blanchard who played with the club from 94 to 98 and won the Max Kaminsky Trophy in 1997. This trophy is awarded each year to the most outstanding defenceman in the Ontario Hockey League. Here’s a link to Sean’s hockey profile: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=24077

First Period: The starting line up for tonight was: Sean Ryan and Elgin Reid on defense; Liscomb centre with Couture and Lahey. Flueler started between the pipes. Kilrea played 4 lines for this period: Kewin, Pleckaitis and Daley were on the second line; Kiriakou, Alphonso and Liscomb on the third line; and the rookies Ribeiro, Linsday and Nesbitt on the fourth.

Ottawa started out much better than they did last Friday and generally outplayed the Fronts for the first half although it was not outstanding hockey (it is preseason after all). The first shot on goal didn’t register until almost two minutes had passed. Kingston scored first with 12:27 left to play. The goal by Peter Stevens with assists from Shawn Connors and Robert Mignardi was on a big rebound off Flueler. Ottawa was starting to get sloppy in front of their own net at this point. Then Ottawa managed to get itself into a bit of penalty trouble, including giving Kingston a couple of 5-on-3 opportunities (although the first one was for only 12 seconds). They managed to stay out of trouble and then it was Kingston’s turn for a couple of penalties. Coach tried out the rookie line on the PP to see what they could do. It looks like a pretty good line that will just get a whole lot better. More about that later. With 2:41 left to play in the period, Ottawa evened it up. It seemed like Logan lost sight of the puck but managed to get his stick on it somehow to rate an assist. The puck got to Brett who skated across the goalie and got it past Scamerra with a soft backhand that he probably was not expecting. Alphonso was also credited with the assist. My handwriting is so bad I coulda been a doctor – my notes have some weird notations that might suggest that there was a correction on the assists with Alphonso and Kewin getting credit. I can’t remember.

At the end of the first period, the game was tied at 1 with SOGs also even at 14 (although Ottawa trailed significantly for a while).

Second Period: Ottawa started the period on the powerplay and it took just 44 seconds for the top line to take advantage. Logan made up for a missed net earlier in the period when he took a nice pass from across the crease and sent it to the back of the net. Reid and Beard got assists on that one. Just over 5 minutes later, Ottawa went up by two when Alphonso went right for the net and took a nice pass from Daley (or was it Kiriakou – couldn’t tell in the fog) and banged it past Scammura. While the rookie line didn’t see that much time in the first period, we began to see more of them in the second period. There were a few times when Coach put out 4 rookies (the forwards with Gallea) and one veteran defenseman. He also tried them again on the PP.

Flueler made a couple of really great saves when a Kingston player had a breakaway chance. Flueler stopped the shot but gave up a(nother) big rebound that another Front shot right back at him which he stopped too. That was probably the play of the game.

With 12:42 to play Kiriakou scored with assists from Gallea and Couture. It was pretty crowded and foggy so I really didn’t see how it happened. But it happened and that’s good enough for me. A short time later (about a minute and a half), Matt Lahey scored Ottawa’s second power play goal with assists from Liscomb and Couture.

Brodie Beard took a penalty with 6:56 to go and Kingston scored its second (and final) goal of the night when Fleuler was beat on a screened one-timer straight from the slot. Didn’t stand a chance. Then it was Ottawa’s turn to score on the PP. With 1 minute left to play, the rookies scored Ottawa’s 6th goal and 3rd power play goal of the night. Nesbitt was credited with the goal with assists from Ribeiro and Gallea.

The period ended with Ottawa ahead – 6 – 2 with shots on goal 28 – 24 for Ottawa.

Third Period: Ottawa started the period again on the PP. They didn’t play too well and allowed Kingston a short handed breakaway which didn’t score. With 13:02 left to play, the rookies struck again when Lindsay scored with help from Ribeiro and Nesbitt.

Final score: 7 – 2 with shots on goal 42 – 35 for Ottawa.

Thoughts: It was great to see Logan in uniform again. At first I thought that he might not see too much ice time just ease into the game but it seemed that he certainly saw enough time. With a shortened bench, Liscomb saw lots of time. We didn’t see Kewin back on the ice after the first period. I didn’t see any injury so perhaps….. The line of rookies is looking pretty good for a fourth line. Kilrea gave them lots of ice time for power plays and we saw some of them on the PK too. It will be really interesting to see them develop over the season. They will keep some of the second year players sharp and looking over their shoulders I think. Flueler looked calm in the net but he sure does give up some really juicy rebounds. Until he learns how to stop doing that the team is going to have to play really well to get to them before the opposition. Flueler played the entire game and speculation around me is that Morrison will get the call for the entire game on Sunday (against Belleville??). It was a significant improvement over last Friday’s game. The passing was better, the anticipation was better and there was a little more jump in my opinion. And the points came from a number of players tonight which is a good sign. All in all a pleasant Friday’s entertainment. Attendance was announced as 5672.


September 10, 2006

4-3 Ottawa @ Kingston, Sunday, Sept 10

Exhibition Game #2

I was driving home from the cottage today and figured since I'd be going through Kingston around 2:00 anyways, I should stop in and watch the 67s take on the Frontenacs. Thanks to OHL Arena Guide for directions to the rink and general info.

Parking was $2 and the general admission pre-season ticket price was $6. Attendance was good -- I'd say 50-60% of the Memorial Centre was filled. Walking in the front door, you take a couple steps in and you're standing in the Kingston player's bench. Weird. The trainer turned and gave me a dirty look so I figured I wasn't supposed to be there, but no, that's actually how you get to the stairs to get up into the stands. It's a small arena (compared to Ottawa) with about 10 rows of seats all the way around. I like the view from about 10 rows up, so I stood behind the seats on the upper concourse instead of sitting in the stands. Good view of the action from there.

I was late getting in, so I missed about half of the first period. I looked up at the scoreboard and was surprised to see that it was already 3-1! For the visitors! That was especially surprising because the 67s seemed to be very offensively challenged on Friday.

Ottawa's 1st three goals:
Lahey (Kiriakou, Alphonso)
Lahey (Kewin, Cuma)
Kiriakou (Lahey, Alphonso)

Flueler started in net for the 67s. He let in another goal to finish the period up 3-2. Flueler made the save, but it kind of bobbled around and bounced behind him, off his calf, and then trickled in the net. More bad luck than anything. The scorer was the same guy that scored the first Frontenac goal, but I can't remember who it was. Kingston tied it up in the second -- a nice tick, tack, toe passing play on the PP to the guy in the slot who slid it just inside the post. I don't think that one was really Flueler's fault either. I'd give Flueler just an 'average' rating for the night.

Midway through the second, Fleuler came out and Morrison went in. Morrison had a spectacular game! By the end of the game, the Fronts had over 50 shots on net, and Morrison faced most of them. He pulled off a shutout for his half of the game. I think he's going to be battling for that starting position. It should push both goalies to be better.

Kiriakou (from Reid and Vojta) scored the go-ahead goal on the PP. There was a scramble in front of the net and Kiriakou spun around and wristed the puck into the net. That would be it for goals. Ottawa wins the game 4-3. There were a ton of penalties called in the game. I think the refs were getting paid by the penalty. They were mostly even for both sides until the last half of the third period. Either Ottawa was trying to lose or the refs were trying to even the score because the 67s started a parade to the penalty box, including a couple of 5-on-3s. Morrison stood on his head and saved the game for them a few times. I'd give him the first star of the game.

The Ribiero-Lindsay-Nesbitt line impressed me again today. They've got energy and speed, and seem to 'click' already as a line, moreso than any of the other lines. If they keep improving, they may see more and more ice time and may even become the second scoring line we need! Lindsay is being groomed as Killer's #2 PK guy, after Kiriakou. Lindsay even got some 5-on-3 PK time. On another occasion, the 67s iced the puck on the PK, and Nesbitt went racing down the ice afer it. The Kingston goalie half-heartedly tried to play it behind the net but ended up just leaving it there, so Nesbitt got to it first and played it smartly out in front to Lindsay. Lindsay had an empty net to shoot at because the goalie was still trying to get back, but a Frontnac defenceman got in front of the shot and made the 'save'. Still, it was a great opportunity created by hard work. As the season wears on, they'll start capitalizing more on those opportunities. Veterans take note!

The Lahey-Kiriakou-Alphonso line played really well, notching all 4 of Ottawa's goals. Alphonso smacked a few guys around with some big hits, and knocked one of the Frontenac players into the Kingston bench. No real fights -- Liscomb and Kewin were involved in a 'tussle' in front of the 67s net and just got roughing penalties for it. Beard didn't play. I saw Jeff Hunt there with a bunch of kids in 67s jerseys.

Forward lines:
Never did see Pleckaitis (odd man out)???

Defence (can't really remember the pairings):

September 09, 2006

A New Season Begins!

Welcome back everyone. Hope you had a good summer. Mine was pretty busy – didn’t golf nearly as much as I had hoped to and far worse than I thought I should. We spent three weeks in Austria at the same time that the U-18 tournament was going on in the Czech Republic. We entertained thoughts of getting to a game or two but couldn’t get organized. Would have been fun.

Sid and StatsGuy invited me back to do the game summaries this year so, unless there is a strong flashback from the readership out there, I will try to take it on this year.

Tonight was the first pre-game of the season. I didn’t take any notes – need to get my ice-eyes back and get used to the new guys. So this summary is based entirely on my (not photographic) memory and a couple of fairly indecipherable notes scratched on the roster that was handed out at the game.

The Belleville Bulls came to town to help start the season. Good thing it was only a pre-season game. The good news is that there’s lots of room for improvement. The bad news is that some of the vets will need to do some of the more serious improving. Lotta rust out there.

Both teams had some of their strongest guys out of the line up for one reason or another. Most of the guys were guys away and NHL camps. Logan Couture did not dress tonight presumably to keep healing. For those of you who may not know, Logan was injured in preparation for the U-18 tourny. I couldn’t find an article directly about the injury but here’s a link that makes reference to it: [link]. Jamie McGinn didn’t dress nor did he go to the Shark’s camp. Apparently in Tuesday’s practice he had a collision with a line mate and ended up with a concussion. The doc said he couldn’t fly so he’s grounded here in Ottawa. Gotta feel for the kid – he must have been really looking forward to the NHL team camp. Derek Joslin is at the St. Jose camp. Jakub Vojta is a Carolina draftee but he played tonight. Perhaps their camp starts later. And Joe Grimaldi has gone to the Islander’s camp (not sure making this team would be a good thing!).

For the Bulls, we didn’t see Matt Belesky (Anaheim), Shawn Matthias (Detroit) nor Levin Lalande (Calgary). Or at least I don’t think we saw some of these guys. I didn’t do a roll call. I know for sure that Lalande didn’t hit the ice tonight.

Our starting lineup was Sean Ryan and Elgin Reid on D, Alphonso and Kewin as forwards and Liscomb at centre. Brady Morrison started in net.

Overall, Belleville outplayed Ottawa from pretty much start to finish. There were a few moments of promise from the barber poles but they were generally few and far apart. Well, perhaps the there were more of these moments in the third period but by then it was pretty much a done deal. It seemed that Belleville’s passing was better, their break out was better and they generally were seeing the ice better than our team. In the first period, Ottawa spent a lot of time in front of their own net and the few times they got out, they needed to dump the puck so they could do a line change. Don’t really score a lot that way.

I was hoping there would be a score sheet tonight so I didn’t take any notes but if memory serves me correctly Belleville scored an even handed goal, a short-handed goal and a powerplay goal all in the first period. The short handed goal was from a bad bad misplay by Elgin Reid on the point. He missed the pass and the Belleville player got the puck behind him and made the goal on Morrison.

Ottawa finally got on the score board in the second period when rookie Matt Ribeiro got one past the Bull’s rookie goalie Edward Pasquale. That would stand as the lone Ottawa goal for the night.

Half way through the second period and right after the goal, Coach sent in our new goalie Lukas Flueler. If you’ve been following any of the training camp threads on the 67s site you will know that he’s not a tiny lad. In fact he seems to fill the net quite nicely. He made a few good saves but finally the Bulls got one past him. It was a nice goal even if it was for the other guys.

The 67s had a whole lotta powerplay opportunities but they could not convert any of them. They even managed to squander a couple of 5-on-3 opportunities. Their PP was pretty lousy. Generally speaking, the 67s didn’t get caught making too many infractions but of those that they made, Shea Kewin was the leading offender with at least three if I recall correctly.

The team did seem to play better in front of their net which is good. But it would be better if they didn’t spend so much time in front of their own net. Elgin Reid did not have a good night at all. Killer was noted saying that they will have to depend on their defense while the forward lines mature. If one were to judge solely from tonight’s game, we will really need to count on our goalies. And our crazy-8s line. Yikes!

The rookies did pretty well by my reckoning. I thought Mike Ribeiro had a good night. Tyler Cuma looked pretty raw but seemed to keep his feet moving. I was less impressed with many of our more senior returnees.

It was announced that attendance was 4250. The arena looked reasonably occupied for the first pre-season game of the year that fell on a rather nice day (sever thunderstorm notwithstanding). We’re all working out the kinks of getting back into hockey mode and we can all look forward to improvements to our team and our own participation as fans.

There’s another home pre-season game next Friday, the ticket pickup for season ticket holders on the 25th and the home game opener on the 29th. Thus begins this year’s dream (hallucination??) for junior hockey greatness. Hope you stick with us and the team for the ride!