November 27, 2006

Interview with the Coach - Nov 27

Notes from an interview w/ Killer on the TEAM 1200/ Buzz and Glenn Kulka this morning.

The 67s came off a road swing this weekend through Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie, winning both games in shootouts. They started out on the right foot in Sudbury, coming back from being down 3 goals after the first period. It gave everybody a lift, which carried over into the game in the Soo. They didn't panic when the got down by two goals, and came back with four straight of their own.

It's good for the young kids on the team to experience that. The veterans were all very satisfied with themselves. When you're losing, there's always a negative reaction and you can feel it in the [dressing] room and on the bus. Growing up is the most important part of the game.

Killer thought all of the defence played well, and after Grimaldi was thrown out of the game in the Soo they really stepped it up. He thought maybe they should get Grimaldi thrown out of games earlier if that's the way they're going to respond. :) The league will review Grimaldi's hit from behind and decide whether it warrants a suspension.

When asked, the coach didn't think reffing was a part of either game this weekend [i.e. didn't have an effect on the outcome]. There were no penalties called in the first period in the soo, and they "got away" with some 5-on-3s (i.e. didn't allow PP goals). He is concerned that there are some "hooking" penalties being called when all the player is doing is lifting the guy's stick. He doesn't think that the clutching and grabbing is creeping back into the game like it is in the NHL, but lifting the stick is just checking and checking is part of the game. Kilrea said he only yelled at the ref a couple of times this weekend.

He said Morrison is on top of his game right now, winning 2 shootouts. He'll play on Tuesday against Kingston, and Flueler will get a start next weekend when the team plays three games in three days. In the shootout, Killer thinks it's best to start with your best players instead of holding them back because you might not get to use them. The game dictates who goes. (Ed.'s note: He went with Biduke, Couture, McGinn and Liscomb both nights. McGinn and Liscomb both scored both nights)

Couture is playing in the Canada-Russian series tonight in Oshawa, and then will meet back up with the team in Kingston on Tuesday night. (Ed.'s note: Interesting stat -- Kingston also won both their games on the weekend in shootouts! Also, Couture finally got his first goal of the season Saturday, deflecting a point shot by Joslin in the second period.)

Ottawa has two or three games in hand on the leaders in their division. They've battled back to stay in the mix. For Killer though, he looks at it as being 11 points out of first place. They'll have an opportunity to close the gap tomorrow night.

Coming up this weekend, a home and home series with Oshawa, and then back to the Civic Centre on Sunday to take on Windsor. Both those teams have been struggling as of late. Hopefully the 67s can capitalize and get themselves back to competing for the top of the division.

November 20, 2006

Interview with the Coach - Nov 20

Notes from an interview w/ Killer on the TEAM 1200/ Buzz and Glenn Kulka this morning.

Kilrea saw 3 games this weekend, then came back to Mississauga for the game on Sunday. Several GMs followed him to the game as well to see the players that Ottawa was offering. Killer said that they all played so badly that they couldn't get the trade done. In response to a question about the players being a little antsy about the possibility of getting traded, he said that no one is playing well enough to say that they won't be traded.

The team played well on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday felt like the first day of training camp, they played so badly. He thought that maybe some of them want to move because they're not playing well enough to stay.

Is Kilrea concerned about Flueler? Yes, they thought he would be improving by this point. But the first period on Sunday wasn't his fault. The defence stood around and watched as Mississauga put the puck in the empty net on several cross-crease passes. The defence haven't been playing well in front of Flueler. But he battled back in the second and third periods.

Killer thought the blue line would be solid this year, but none of them have been playing well. The only exception is that Cuma is emerging into a star.

This weekend, Sudbury and the Soo are tough rinks to play in after sitting in the bus for so long. Then they have to come back and go to Kingston on Tuesday. The schedule's a little loopy this year. The need to put some extra thought into it next year.

November 19, 2006

The Running of the Bulls: 5 – 3 for Belleville

Game two in this weekend’s home and home series between these two teams. We took a leisurely drive through Westport (had lunch) and then on to Belleville where we had our pre-game meal at the Winchester Arms. Nice pub but their calamari is way too expensive for what you get.

Belleville scratches for today: Blunden, Killing, and Tipoff (sounds like a law firm for the mob) . Kevin Lalande started again in net.

Ottawa scratches for today: Brody Beard, Pat Daley, Jordan Gallea and Matt Ribeiro. Brady Morrison started in net again. Kilrea was still on the road doing some scouting.

Lines for tonight (more or less):
Alphonso, Couture, McGinn
Lahey, Linsday, Liscomb
Pleckaitis, Kewin, Biduke
Nesbitt, Jukosky, Cimadamore

Defensive pairings:
Grimaldi – Joslin
Cuma – Vojta
Reid – Ryan

Ottawa started with a jump with Jamie McGinn getting a good scoring chance 30 seconds into the game to try and set the tone. But then we made it hard on ourselves by penalties spaced out enough in the period to make it hard to get sustained rhythm going. Liscomb took the first penalty a minute 20 into the period but the PK units did a good job limiting Belleville to three shots all of which Brady stopped. Then it was our turn to go on the PP and we had good pressure for a while but could not convert. With Jukosky off for a hooking call in his defensive zone, recently acquired Aaron Snow scored his 6th goal of the season when he deflected Nick Pageau’s wrist shot from the blue line. Shawn Lalonde got the other assist. Just 23 seconds later, Julian Cimadamore scored his first OHL goal with a shot from the slot. Alphonso and Grimaldi got the assists. The arena announcer had a tough time with the kid's name but to his credit he kept trying. Ottawa had a couple of good scoring chances, one being a hard shot from Cuma that hit Lalande pretty hard but he kept the boys from adding to the score. After staying out of penalty trouble in the last couple of games, Vojta took two hooking calls pretty much back to back late in the period but Belleville couldn’t manage to hit the net much less score. The first period ended with the score tied at one and the shots: Ottawa 11 and Belleville 14.

With 42 seconds remaining in Vojta’s penalty, Belleville started with the man advantage. We won the face off and carried on to kill the penalty. Lalande continued to keep the Bulls in the game with his great stops including one from in close by Logan Couture. Brady did his job too with a great save on a hard shot Subban who had taken a cross-ice pass and was all alone in the circle to Brady’s right. Belleville finally went ahead on their only 5 on 5 goal when Shawn Matthias managed to pick up a rolling rebound and get past Brady on the right side. Later, Ottawa was caught on a 4-on-1 rush bearing down on poor Brady when one of the Ottawa players (Grimaldi??) made a great sliding play to break up the scoring chance. Whew! That had an unhappy ending written all over it until the stellar effort from our guy. With 4:42 left in the period, Tyler Cuma was called for slashing. Twenty six seconds into the PP, Matt Beleskey scored his 12th of the season with a tip-in off Matt Pelech’s shot from the slot. Tyler Donati got the other assist. That put Belleville up by two. With under three minutes left in the period, Elgin Reid was called for high-sticking. The ensuing play resulted in a big scramble in front of Brady including the puck hitting the post and at one time lying in the crease for the taking but Ottawa managed to get out of that without allowing the goal. The period ended with the score 3 – 1 for Belleville and shots on goal: 27 – 19 for Belleville.

There were 8 penalties called in the third period – 4 a side but one against Belleville was a mistake (delay of game for a puck over the glass which everyone saw being deflected off a stick) so the ref evened it up with a lame interference call against Aphonso 36 seconds later. For the scoring, at the 11:59 mark of the period, Elgin Reid pulled us within 1 with assists from Liscomb and Lindsay. But Belleville came right back less than a minute later on with their third power play goal when Tyler Donati beat Brady on the stick side with a fast shot from the slot. Matt Pelech and PK Subban assisted. Belleville pretty much owned the real estate in the slot at that point. Just when I thought it was over, Arron Alphonso managed to get an improbable shot past Lalande while he (Arron) was down on the ice. The play started with a super effort by Couture sliding in the Belleville end to block a pass. The puck somehow got to McGinn who got it to a falling Arron. For some reason Couture did not get the assist. It wasn’t high-light reel pretty but it was a goal and it got Ottawa back to within 1 with about half the period left. There were some great chances by both sides and the goalies did what they are (paid??) to do. Ottawa managed to get a face off in the Belleville zone with 1:06 left in the game and called a time out. Brady was pulled in favour of the extra attacker but Belleville’s Matt Beleskey managed to get the unassisted empty netter with 34 seconds left to ice the game.

The game ended 5 – 3 in favour of the home team Belleville. Shots: 40 – 31 for Belleville.

My Thoughts: I know you didn’t ask but since I hold the keyboard, I will offer them anyway. I thought that Ottawa played really well in the last two games against a much better team. Although Ottawa lost both, they were not blown out of either rink and we saw some entertaining hockey. Good goaltending was required by both teams. Belleville seemed faster and checked really well. After a couple of games where Ottawa’s power play seemed to click, they went 0 for 7 in this game including 1:10 with a two-man advantage. On the other side of the specialty team ledger, they took 11 (a few too many) penalties and allowed 3 goals. The larger ice surface makes for a different game and you can see how Belleville has created a team to play well on this surface. One of our party chatted with Pat Daley who commented that this is a tough rink to play in at the end of a road trip. I don’t think Logan is near 100% recovered. He put in great effort but didn’t seem to have the wheels we are used to. Mono is a serious illness and coming back too soon can have long-term results. Reid as a co-captain leaves me cold. Before Belleville scored their go-ahead goal, Grimaldi took a hit in the Belleville end that knocked his helmet off so he went to the bench as required. The play continued for quite a while until the roughing penalty could be called against Belleville. Reid skated right by the helmet at the whistle but did not bring it back to the bench which meant that Grimaldi was stranded on the bench for quite a while longer than necessary. We couldn’t hear the conversation but the two exchanged words later. Grimaldi is getting a ton of ice time and methinks Elgin is having a fit of professional jealousy. Real fine quality in a captain. I have also heard other things that bring Reid’s leadership seriously into question in my opinion. His trade couldn’t happen soon enough for me. A bag of used pucks would seem like an even-up swap. Every rink has one it seems – it Belleville it’s the cymbals guy moving around the rink clashing his cymbals with every Belleville score. We sat near the Ottawa bench in among some Belleville season ticket holders. Everyone was very nice and we had some good hockey chat. One of the locals asked about Kyle Jukosky saying she was sad to see him leave Belleville. I assured her that we were happy to have him on the team and that he was doing well. We all agreed that he plays well above his weight class.

Three stars of the game:

1. Tyler Donati (goal and two assists)
2. Matt Pelech (2 assists)
3. Brady Morrison (35 saves – some really stellar ones!)

Didn’t catch the hardest working 67 from The Team. There were too many for us to call it.

Good effort by the guys. Good luck in Mississauga. They play their next 4 games (including the one in Missisauga) on the road.

Adios folks until the next home game.

November 17, 2006

Arrgh! Lost it in the Last 16 seconds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final shots on goal: 41 – 28 for Ottawa.

Three stars of the game:

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

Hardest working 67: Kyle Jukosky (former Belleville Bull)

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


November 12, 2006

Dogged by a Better Team - Missy wins 6 - 3

The IceDogs come into today’s game after a day’s rest to recover from a stunning 6 – 0 loss to Kingston on Friday. Rookie goalie Andrew Loverock let in 6 goals on 27 shots – one on the power play and one short handed. Their big guns: Jordan Owens (27), Michael Swift (24) and Jadran Beljo (22). On the penalty side: Brent Oliphant (41), Oskar Osala (38) and Stephan Legein (33). For plus/minus, keep an eye on Nathan Martine (+11), Alex Pietrandelo (+10) and Gianluca Caputi (+8). Mississauga scratches for today: Lucas Lobsinger (ill), Cody Bass, and Stevan Monojlovic. An addition for today: Adrian Volpe dressing as the back-up goalie.

Ottawa dropped from 8th place in the Eastern conference on Friday to 10th place coming into this afternoon’s game as Kingston had two wins against strong conference rivals Mississauga (Friday)and Barrie (yesterday). Oshawa got two points in their win against London and Peterborough also came away with 2 points against Brampton yesterday. Ottawa scratches for today: Kyle Jukosky, Arron Alphonso and Elgin Reid. Rumour has it that Joe Pleckaitis is not with the team anymore – not sure if he walked, was released or traded. His absence was not announced as a scratch nor has there been an official announcement.

As for the Ottawa numbers: Leading scorers: Jamie McGinn (20), Jesse Biduke (16) and Brett Liscomb and Arron Alphonso each with 14. On the PIM side we have Joe Grimaldi still leading (?) the pack with 41, followed by Jakub Voyta with 26 and Arron Alphonso with 29. Our plus/minus leaders are Arron Alphonso with +8, Jakub Voyta with +6 and Jesse Biduke with +5. Is there some sort of acknowledgement in order in that Arron is in the team’s top three for points, penalty minutes and +/-?

The match up in specialty teams will be interesting to watch as Mississauga has strong PP numbers on the road (5th overall with 20 goals) and Ottawa having strong PK numbers at home (3rd in the league having allowed only 7 goals). On the flip side, Ottawa’s home PP numbers are middle-of-the-road with 14 goals, against Mississauga’s road PK which is pretty strong (ranked 3rd in the league) having allowed only 13 goals. Ottawa still has the fewest PIMS in the league with 300 in 16 games; Mississauga is smack-dab in the middle with 431 minutes in 19 games.

Lines for tonight (and all 4 lines saw good ice time) were:
Lahey, Couture, McGinn
Biduke, Liscombe, Kewin
Cimadamore, Pleckaitis, Lahey
Nesbitt, Lindsay, Ribeiro

Defensive pairings:
Grimaldi – Joslin
Cuma – Vojta
Beard - Ryan

Another game where Ottawa was beaten by a team that played really well and made the 67s pay for their mistakes. Only one ref tonight and I think it showed but don’t interpret that as a complaint that Ottawa lost by the whistle (or lack thereof).

As with the game on Friday, Ottawa started slower than their opponents. Ottawa started with a PP just 22 seconds into the game but did not manage even a shot on goal. Mississauga managed a shot with the disadvantage. Then Mississauga went on the PP about just under 3 minutes later when Brodie Beard was sent off for hooking. Liscomb was really aggressive on the PK, challenging the player on the point. Ottawa came out of that with only allowing 2 shots on goal. But with just under 7 minutes into the period, the IceDogs scored when Jordan Skellet got a wrist shot from the point past Lukas Flueler. Alex Pietrangleo got the assist. Ottawa had a rough time getting anything organized outside their defensive zone. I really like the play of Tyler Cuma but he racked up some penalty minutes today starting with a boarding call at the 12:38 mark of the game. I should note that by this time Ottawa had not yet registered a shot on goal. The 67s had a good penalty kill with Flueler making a big save, Liscomb making a good interception and Kewin ending the PK with a rush and shot on Loverock. With Joslin off on a hooking call with 8 minutes left to play, Ottawa again came out of a bad situation with some skill and a whole lotta luck. Flueler somehow got all tangled up and way out of position. Thankfully Tyler Cuma and Logan Couture played double duty as stand-in goal tenders. With Jordan Skellet off for high sticking and Kyle Lamb off for elbowing, Ottawa had the 2-man advantage for 1:03. With 6 seconds left in the first penalty, Jamie McGinn scored his 12th goal of the year when he backhanded the rebound off a one-timer from Liscomb to tie up the game. Derek Joslin got the other assist. And that’s how the period ended: tied at one with Mississauga out shooting Ottawa 10 – 9.

Click image for larger

As with Friday, the second period was not much different than the first. Ottawa started slow and sloppy but managed to pick things up in the second half. Again, Ottawa had an early PP opportunity but Mississauga played their PK very aggressively with success. Then it was the IceDogs’ turn with the advantage when Matt Lahey found himself on the wrong end of a tripping call. Mississauga got their only PP goal of the afternoon when Michael Swift roofed it past Flueler with a wrist shot from the circle. Ottawa still had difficulties getting anything organized out of their defensive zone and they were turning the puck over too much. At 11:02 of the period, Mississauga went up by two when Kyle Lamb scored on a delayed penalty against the 67s. Joshua Day and Michael Swift had the assists. The IceDogs made it a 3-goal lead just over a minute later when Oskar Osala beat Flueler with help from Gianluca. At this point it was 4 – 1 for Mississauga.

At the 9:11 mark, Shea Kewin and Brett Oliphant were sent off for offsetting minors (roughing) and Grimaldi for holding. Ottawa had a couple of really good chances for short handed goals, one when Couture stole the puck at the left point and another when McGinn got the puck away from the Missy player. McGinn drove for the net and appeared to me to have the step when he was hooked but Ottawa only drew the penalty and not the penalty shot. Ottawa got another 2-man advantage for 1:02 when Joshua Day and Michael Swift were serving time. Like Friday, Ottawa managed to score on both sides of the penalty pair. First it was Jamie McGinn with his second goal of the afternoon and 13th of the season when he picked up another Liscomb rebound. Couture got the other assist. Then 30 seconds later it was Liscomb in the right spot when Derek Joslin fired one in to have it bounce of Brett’s skate. A review confirmed that it was a good goal (not kicked it). Grimaldi got a point for the assist on that one. Ottawa was back in the game having scored two goals to make it 4 – 3 for Mississauga. The 67s were put to the test at the end of the period when Tyler Cuma earned 2 minutes for cross-checking and another 10 minutes for his display of temper. I should note that these penalties were called seconds after a Mississauga player got a tad too intimate in the crease with Lukas Flueler without any consequences. Lukas and the rest of the team came through with some good saves and some good shot blocks. The period ended with Ottawa down a goal and still being out shot 27 – 20.

For the third time in the game, Ottawa started a period with an early PP opportunity when Chris Lawrence was off for interference. Mississauga managed a great breakaway for a potential short handed goal but Flueler followed the player perfectly to spoil the chance. Then Ottawa got a 34 second 2-man advantage when Alex Pietrangelo was also called for interference. We all thought we had the tying goal in the scramble when it looked like the puck wend in and rebounded out really quickly but the play went on. The Ottawa players didn’t protest at all and a review was not requested. Sid got a really good picture (which I hope gets posted here) where it sure looks like a goal but from the angle it’s hard to be sure.

Click image for larger
It was hard to say w/ the angle and the little LCD camera screen
we had at the game, but looking at this bigger photo it doesn't
look like a goal -- Sid

The wind was taken out of Ottawa’s sails when Jordan Owens scored a pretty short handed goal when he got control of the puck in the neutral zone and then got the backhand through the 5-hole on Lukas to put Mississauga up again by two at the 12:16 mark of the period.

Not long after (well, about 40 seconds later by my notes), Shea Kewin and Brett Oliphant dropped the gloves right off the face off at centre ice. By the numbers (age, weight and height) it would appear that the only difference is that Shea has about 20 pounds on Brett. OHLToughguys.com doesn’t have a rating on these two. Shea definitely got the decision on this one, landing a number of solid shots and getting the take-down.

With under 4 minutes left in the game, Mississauga iced the game when Oskar Osala scored (unassisted) his second of the night.

The game ended 6 – 3 for Mississauga and the IceDogs out shooting Ottawa 38-27.

Ottawa was outplayed and out skated again. The IceDogs moved the puck really well, skated fast, kept moving and played their positions very well. Ottawa got beat by a better team. They need to tighten up their defense and stop waiting for the perfect scoring chances. All their goals came on the PP this weekend (9) – and they still dropped two games (admittedly they got a point on Friday in the losing cause). They need to do better 5 on 5. They can do it – we have faith.

Three stars of the game:

Jordan Owens (Mississauga)
Oskar Osala (Mississauga)
Jamie McGinn

Hardest working 67: Brett Liscomb (again)

Click image for larger

See you on Friday when we welcome the Belleville Bulls for the front end of a home and home series.


(Photos added by Sid 2006-11-13 1500h)

November 11, 2006

Just Outta Range - Ottawa Drops the Shootout

As we always do at this time of year, we started the evening by paying respects to Canadian soldiers past and present. I mostly thought of our folks over in theatre in Afghanistan – hoping that they all arrive back safe and sound. Scary for them and their families.

The Kitchener Rangers arrived in Ottawa to start a three game swing through the east. They are in 6th place in the western conference with 20 points in 18 games. I didn’t catch the scratches for tonight. Their point getters coming into tonight’s game are Matt Halischuk (21), Justin Azevedor (21) and Jakub Kindl (18). For penalty minutes they have Jakub Kindl (48 – with more added tonight), Dan Gyenes (48) and Brian Soso (45). John Murray, their rookie goalie, started in net. On the power play, they are 12th overall in the league with 27 power play goals in 147 opportunities with the advantage. On the kill, they rank 6th overall in the league having allowed 23 goals in the 150 shots they faced when down a man (or two). As for penalty minutes, they stand about 8th when counting which teams have the most.

We finally welcomed Logan Couture back after missing about 10 games because he was ill. Matt Ribeiro was back too after being sick. Matt Lahey and Brodie Beard were also back in action. And we also welcomed the newest member of the team, Julian Cimadamore wearing number 11. Out of the lineup for tonight were Joe Pleckaitis, Pat Daley, Sean Ryan, Jordan Gallea and Arron Alphonso. I didn’t get all the reasons but I think Alphonso is not feeling well. The others or most of them anyway, are likely healthy scratches (we are carrying a pretty full roster at this time).

Our numbers coming into tonight’s game look like this: 3 highest scorers – Jamie McGinn (16), Arron Alphonso (14) and Jesse Biduke (14). On the penalty side we have Joe Grimaldi (39), Arron Alphonso (29) and Jakub Vojta (26). Our PP ranks 16th overall having scored 19 goals in 123 man advantages. Our PK ranks 13th having allowed 23 goals on 114 shots on net with a man disadvantage. As for PIMS, we still have the fewest in the league.

Lines for tonight (and all 4 lines saw some ice time) were:
Lahey, Couture, McGinn
Biduke, Jukosky, Liscombe
Cimadamore, Pleckaitis, Kewin
Nesbitt, Lindsay, Ribeiro

Defensive pairings:
Grimaldi – Joslin
Cuma – Reid
Beard - Vojta

It wasn’t the outcome that we all hoped for but it certainly was entertaining at the end. The beginning was pretty rough but the guys kept at it and made a game out of an impending disaster.

The refereeing was much much looser than last week. I’m sure the Ranger fans will call foul as the specialty units of Ottawa made all the difference tonight but the refs also let alot go. It was our opinion that the Rangers tended to go in elbows-high and get away with it. But what goes around comes around and there was a price to pay eventually.

In the first period the 67s were outplayed, pure and simple. That they came out of the period down just a goal is a testament to the work of Brady Morrison and some good defensive play. They played most of the period in their defensive zone and couldn’t manage to get organized to launch a sustained attack on the Rangers. The Rangers scored their first goal against our third line three-quarters through the period when Yves Bastien managed to squeeze one under Morrison. Risk and Pepe were credited with the assists. The period ended with Kitchener with the lone goal and shots on goal 9 – 15 in favour of the other guys (thanks Brady for keeping us in the game).

The second period was not much different than the first. Ottawa started with a brief (20 second) power play but they just could not get organized. The passing was especially lousy. It didn’t take long for the strong play of Kitchener to take advantage of the weak play of Ottawa. Four minutes into the period Kitchener went up by 2 when Jakub Kindl caught Brady out of position on a rebound. Mike Duco and Justin Azevedo were the helpers. Then, at almost precisely the halfway mark of the period, Matt Halischuk, on a great heads-up play wrapped around the goal to beat Morrison. Mike Duco and and Justin Azevedo assisted on that one too. The hits were going up but Ottawa was still being out-skated, out-checked, and clearly outscored. It looked pretty grim. But…a ray of hope. Two and a half minutes after Kitchener’s third goal, Ottawa scored its first goal on the power play when Brett Liscomb, parked just outside the crease, received a nice pass from Jesse Biduke and beat goalie John Murray. The period ended with the Rangers up by 2 but the telling statistic is that Ottawa only managed 4 shots on goal in the period (and scored on one of them!!). In comparison, Kitchener had taken 17 shots on Brady (good work keeping us in the game buddy!!).

The third period – well this was just wild from a scoring perspective! It was happening so fast and furious that the official announcements were way way behind the play. And I think the official score sheet is wrong. From my record, all Ottawa points came on the PP (Kitchener’s PP unit was kept off the scoreboard all evening). OK - Ottawa came into the period down 3 – 1. They quickly came within 1 just 1:24 into the period when the crazy-8 line clicked. Just 20 seconds into a power play, Matt Lahey beat Murray with a little help from his friends McGinn and Couture. Twenty-one seconds later Kitchener re-established its two-goal lead when Justin Azevedo notched his third point of the night with help from Halischuk and Duco (anyone getting the feeling that this is a dangerous line??). The score at this point is Kitchener 4 – Ottawa 2. Kitchener then made it 5 – 2 at the 5:51 mark of the period on a Mike Duco goal when Grimaldi coughed up the puck in his own defensive zone. Then the wheels fell off for Kitchener. They managed to get themselves into a world of penalty trouble and Ottawa’s PP clicked in solidly. Follow closely, it is complicated. At 7:19 into the period, Adam Zamec was sent off for tripping. Then 24 seconds later Jakub Kindl was sent off for interference. This created a 5-on-3 advantage for Ottawa for 1:36. Before the first penalty expired, Brett Liscomb tipped in a Grimaldi shot from the point. Couture got the second assist. That retired the Zamec penalty. The score is 5 – 3 for Kitchener. We’re now playing 5 on 4. Matt Lahey made it 5 – 4 at 9:04 on the remaining power play!! Jamie McGinn and Brett Liscomb got the assists. Thirty-four seconds later, and before the official announcement was made, Kitchener made it 6 – 4 when Mike Duco scored with help from Yves Bastien and, yes you got it, Justin Azevedo. At 11:52 of the period, Kitchener’s Brian Soso was sent off for checking from behind quickly followed by a call 4 seconds later on Jakub Kindl for delay of game when he launched the puck over the glass from his defensive zone. The 67s were not to be denied. Killer pulled Morrison for the 6th attacker against 3 defenders. Jesse Biduke made it worth it when he scored on the first half of this penalty pair with assists from Matt Lahey and Joe Grimaldi. The score is now 6 – 5!! This retired the Soso penalty and still left Ottawa with a man advantage. Morrison was put back in goal. Logan cemented his impact of his return with a great feed to McGinn who tied the game up at 13:44 of the third period! Grimaldi got his third point of the night with an assist on this tying goal. That would make it 6 power play goals in the game. That’ll help the confidence (not to mention the stats!!).

Ottawa had a couple of great chances to put the game away but the game ended in a 6-all tie. Shots on goal at the end of regulation were 29 – 41 for Kitchener.

The overtime period was just wild exciting! Good thing the old ticker is pretty strong ‘cause it was running hard! Credit to Kitchener – they played most of the overtime period on the PK s they managed to get themselves two penalties in the period and still end the game in a tie. Ottawa had some great chances but just could not bury the puck. Final shots on goal 35 – 42.

So we went into the shoot out. Here’s how it played out:
Kit – Mike Halischuk - X
Ott – Logan Couture - X
Kit - Nick Spaling - score
Ott – Jesse Biduke - score
Kit – Victor Orekovich - score
Ott – Jamie McGinn X

Kitchener takes it in the shoot out – 6 – 7!

Three stars of the game:
1. Logan Couture (3 assists according to the score sheet but it may be wrong)
2. Justin Azevedo (Kitchener – goal and 3 assists)
3. Mike Duco (Kitchener – 2 goals and 2 assists)

Hardest working 67: Brett Liscomb.

Good work guys - see you Sunday.

November 04, 2006

Beached Whales! Ottawa Wins 3 – 2

The evening started with a couple of notable moments. The club played a nice video of Kilrea’s hockey career to acknowledge his 1,100th win last Sunday. The whole thing was pretty low key ‘cause I expect that that’s what he wanted. Then some guy (didn’t catch the name) presented Jamie McGinn and James Neal with jersey’s to acknowledge their selection to the OHL team in the Canada – Russia series. And finally Dennis Hull, a member of team Canada in the 1972 Canada - Russia series (as well as other teams but let’s face it – the 72 series was important!) was on hand for the ceremonial puck drop.

Another visit from a team from the far reaches of the league. It’s about 11 ½ hours from Plymouth Michigan to Ottawa and the Whalers were here to start a pretty tough weekend road trip. Ottawa tonight, Belleville tomorrow evening, Kingston Sunday afternoon and then back on the bus for a 9 hour trip home.

Plymouth was missing Jozef Sladok, John Armstrong and Zack Shepley tonight and dressed Brett Bellemore. Their big guns coming into the game were Evan Brophy (20 points), James Neal (19) and Dan Collins and Tom Sestito both with 11. As for the guys who get in the most trouble, they were Jared Boll (49 PIMS), Chris Terry (24) and Ryan McGinnis (22). Plymouth had the second best penalty kill on the road in the league having allowed only 10 goals on 73 shots on net. As for their power play on the road, Plymouth ranked 20th in the league having scored 7 goals on 64 advantages. And by my reckoning they were about 7th overall in the number of PIMS.

We were still missing Couture and Ribeiro(given another week to recover), Beard and Daley. Our top point getters were Jesse Biduke, Arron Alphonso and Jamie McGinn all with 14 points. PIM leaders for Ottawa: Joe Grimaldi (37), Jakub Voyta (24), Derek Joslin and Elgin Reid both with 19. Ottawa had the 4th best PK at home in the league having allowed 6 goals on 46 shots. Our PP at home was 13th in the league having scored 9 goals in 49 advantages. The 67s had the least PIMS in the league going into tonight’s game.

Lines for tonight – well this was pretty meaningless given that there was probably about 6 minutes of 5 on 5 play tonight. But, for brief moments, the lines might have looked something like:

Lahey, Liscomb, McGinn
Alphonso, Kiriakou, Biduke
Jukosky, Pleckaitis, Kewin
Nesbitt, Lindsay, Gallea

Defensive pairings:
Gimaldi – Joslin
Cuma – Reid
Ryan - Vojta

Well, it certainly wasn’t pretty but it’s still 2 points. Referee David Gauthier started as he meant to go on and called the first penalty of the game a scant 22 seconds into the game. The game sheet notes that it went to Grimaldi but for some reason my memory wants to suggest it was Alphonso. En tout cas, (anyways) the 67s were on the penalty kill early. They did a pretty good job – registering 2 shots on goal to Plymouth’s one shot on goal. Then, with the man advantage, Elgin Reid put Ottawa on the board with his second goal of the season with a one-timer from the point that went through the 5-hole on Plymouth goalie Jeremy Smith. Shea Kewin and Joe Pleckaitis got the assists on that one. Then the penalty parade started in earnest. Plymouth isn’t near the top of the league in PKs for nothin’. Ottawa had a couple of 5-on-3 advantages in the first period but were unable to bury their shots. Their goalie also made some great saves. Did I mention that he’s a rookie? If he keeps this up (he is the 4th ranked goalie in the league), he’s gonna do really well.

At about the half-way mark, Plymouth tied it up on a short handed goal when Brady Morrison played the puck into the corner but there weren’t any 67s there (a line change??). Plymouth’s James Neal was there to get it by Morrison with the assistance of Evan Brophy. That didn’t last long. A mere 14 seconds later, Jamie McGinn scored his 9th goal of the season and the game’s only even-strength goal when he beat Smith over his shoulder on the short side with a shot from the edge of the right face-off circle.

At about 3-quarters through the period, Shea Kewin took a mighty exception to how a Plymouth player (Ryan McGinnis??) treated Joe Pleckaitis and wasted no time in expressing just how vexed he was. No dancing, no posturing, just wham bam and suddenly both are on the ice. Hard to call it but I would give it to Kewin just for the surprise element. They were both sent off for fighting but Kewin earned a 10-minute misconduct for instigating the whole darn thing. On the up side – message sent. The period ended with Ottawa up by 1, ahead on shots on goal (12 – 7) and on the PK (Biduke off for hooking)

The second period was just plain weird. Plymouth could do no right (10 power plays given to Ottawa!) and Ottawa couldn’t do a darn thing with all the advantages. There were, what, at least three 5 on 3 opportunities for Ottawa. Do ya think they could score on, oh I don’t know, maybe ONE OF THEM! Didn’t happen. Who do they think they are – the Ottawa Senators! Between the excellent penalty killing of Plymouth and the outstanding goal tending of Smith (were there any rebounds??), it just didn’t happen for the barberpoles. I actually think that the PK units were getting tired! Neither team scored in the second. Shots on goal after 2: 27 – 10 for Ottawa.

The third period started with 4-on-4 but I was secretly wondering when Plymouth was going to tie it up. It just seemed like they had a tad of the momentum. Oh me of little faith – just 1:14 into the period, Brett Liscomb, on a great demonstration of individual effort, on a PK, picked up the puck in the neutral zone, drove for the net and pushed it under Smith for what turned out to be the game-winning goal! Jamie McGinn got the assist. The rest of the period saw Ottawa on the receiving end of the ref’s attention with 8 penalties (resulting in 7 PP opportunities for the Whalers). Plymouth was finally able to score on the PP but they needed the un-credited assist of an Ottawa player (went off an Ottawa stick).

Plymouth tried to make a game of it right to the end, pulling Smith with 1:06 to go but it was not to be.

Ottawa won the game 3 – 2. Final shots on goal 34 – 20. Well done gentlemen. It's looking good!

Three stars of the game:

1. Jamie McGinn (goal and an assist)
2. Jeremy Smith (Plymouth goalie with 31 saves – kept the team in the game!)
3. Joe Grimaldi (just a whole lotta really good defensive work – good job!)

Hardest working 67: Thomas Kirakou

The team gets a week’s rest and time to prepare for Kitchener next Friday.

See ya next week.