This afternoon’s game was the 7th meeting of these divisional rivals. Kingston opened the season and the series with a resounding victory over the 67s with a score of 5 – 9 in Kingston. Ottawa then took charge and won the next 5 games outscoring the Fronts 27 – 9 including a 5 -0 shutout in Ottawa in November. Ottawa came into today’s game riding a two-game winning streak with back-to-back wins over Peterborough. Kingston was coming off a 4-1 win over Brampton on Friday. Ottawa was 1 point ahead in the standings before today’s game with a game in hand over Kingston.
As part of the 40th year celebrations, every home game acknowledges a former 67. Tonight it was none-other than Bruce Cassidy, the Frontenac coach, who was a member of the 1984 Ottawa 67s team that brought home Ottawa’s first Memorial Cup.
Kingston player notes: scratch Kevin Mole, Jesse Biduke (hmmm) and Cory Emmerton (out for a couple of months with a broken leg). Daryl Borden started in net.
Ottawa player notes: scratch Brodie Beard and Matt Ribeiro. Brady Morrison started in goal.
Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey
Liscomb, Linsday, Bailey
Methot, Cowie, Alphonso/Nesbitt in the third
Cimadamore, Kiriakou, Nesbitt/Alphonso in the third
Defensive pairings: Joslin-Vojta, Grimaldi - Cuma, Ryan - Demers
This game started fast with Kingston laying the body on early. It didn’t take long for Ottawa to respond and that was the tone for the whole game. Ottawa had a really great chance (among many) after the first five minutes when Jamie McGinn led a great offensive rush into the Kingston zone but the pass caught Couture too deep to take a good shot. Ottawa later had a 5-on-3 advantage for about 25 seconds that they could not convert. With Grimaldi in the sin-bin for interference, Kingston had a great 2-1 chance for a short-handed goal that was stolen by a great save by Brady Morrison. But, in the end, Kingston got on the board first with a really sweet goal by Peder Skinner assisted by Matthew Kang and Chris Stewart on an odd-man rush with 2:18 remaining in the period. But Ottawa got it back with 32 seconds left in the period. With Demers sitting out a delay of game penalty for putting it over the glass, Jamie McGinn finished off a couple of great efforts to get the SHG with a little help from his friend, Logan Couture.
It was tied at 1 after 20 minutes; SOGs 12 – 13 in Kingston’s favour.
Ottawa started the second period on the PK with 21 seconds remaining in the delay of game penalty. After killing the penalty, Ottawa took the lead with Logan Couture burying a pass from McGinn who picked up the rebound from a previous shot. Matt Lahey got the third assist. Before the quarter-turn of the second period, Ottawa got another 5-on-3 chance, this time for 1:30 but they were unable to convert it. I didn’t get the SOGs for the PP but it really doesn’t matter. On the flip side of the penalty ledger, Ottawa got a break on one of their PKs when Chris Stewart blew a tire driving in and then Cuma made an uncharacteristic giveaway that resulted in a scoring chance that Brady denied. But Kingston was not to be denied forever and they tied up the game halfway through the period when Nathan Moon picked up a rebound from a good first save and buried it past Brady. Kingston continued to apply the pressure and with about 2 and a half minutes remaining in the period were rewarded for their efforts with another rebound that went to the trailing Peder Skinner who made it good. Kizito and Hughes got the assists.
At the end of the second period, Kingston was up by one and SOG were pretty much even at 25 – 26 with Kingston getting the edge.
The third period continued with fast, hard play by both teams supported by great saves from both tenders. Early in the period, Matt Auffrey blew by Grimaldi and drove in on Brady with a hard shot. Brady made a great save with his left pad. At the other end of the ice, Brett Liscomb got mixed up with the wrong crowd when he got pushed into the Kingston goalie. Out of the ensuing melee both Liscomb and the Kingston goalie were assessed roughing charges. At 6:20 into the final frame, Brady let in what could reasonably be called the only soft goal of the game when a shot from Kolarz managed to squeeze through under the legs of Brady to put Kingston up by two. But there was still a lot of time remaining and Ottawa tried hard to keep playing right to the very end. McGinn worked extremely hard all game – at one point getting pretty much flattened outside the Kingston blue line, getting up and back into the play to get the puck back and get a pretty good shot on goal. Cannot argue with that work ethic at all. With just over 7 minutes left, Ottawa had a flurry of scoring chances, juicy rebounds and fairly open nets but just could not get the puck past the goalie with the hot hand. Killer played the team aggressively when with 3 minutes left, with a face-off in the Kingston zone and Ottawa on the PP, he pulled the goalie for the 6th attacker – adding Jason Bailey to the Crazy-8s with Vojta and Joslin as the Ds. Kingston’s Bobby Hughes made the save of the game when the puck was a sitting duck in the crease and he beat Bailey to it and cleared it out of danger. To round out the game, the officials screwed up yet another call (having missed a couple of doozers earlier in the period) by not picking up Ottawa for too many men on the ice earlier. They finally called it just as a short-handed Ottawa got another one past Borden with what was at that point 7.3 seconds left in the game. The goal was waved-off, the clock was reset to 14 seconds but the refs didn’t take anyone off the ice (so was it a penalty or not – didn’t think the opposing team could decline it) and the game played out.
The game ended with Kingston winning 4 – 2 with Ottawa out-shooting Kingston 46 – 35.
Stars for the game:
1. Daryl Borden (Kingston goalie – 44 saves)
2. Bobby Hughes (Kingston 2 assists)
3. Jamie McGinn (short handed goal, an assist and a whole lotta work!!)
Hardest working 67: Thomas Nesbitt (this kid worked hard – and he got more than a few solid hits in for good measure).
- This was a great game to watch – outcome notwithstanding. Fast, tons of chances, great plays, end-to-end, no dead-weights, lots of emotion. Exciting to the end.
- Ottawa’s PP went 0 for 9 opportunities including 2 5-on-3 opportunities. This needs some attention. On the flip side, Kingston went 0 for 6 so the kill was pretty good.
- Of his 4 penalties for the day, one was actually a good one when Grimaldi took away a Kingston scoring chance.
- Some factoids about Ottawa’s defense core: before this game, of the top 10 point-getting defensemen in the league, none are from Ottawa, 4 are in the East Division (DelZotto from Oshawa is 3rd, Raftis from Peterborough is 4th , Subban from Belleville is 8th and Shutron from Kingston is 10th). Our highest ranking defenseman is Joslin at 15th with 31 points in 43 games. The Eastern Conference has another top-10er in that Sudbury’s D’Aversa is 2nd. The rest of our defensive core ranks as follows: Grimaldi 21st, Cuma 44th, Vojta 100th, Beard 101st, Gallea 104th, Ryan 116th, Demers 123rd, McDougall 159th out of 179 players listed. On the PIM side, Grimaldi is the 3rd most penalized player in the league with 134 minutes in 40 games. Davie from the Sting leads the pack with 162 minutes in 42 games followed by Pelech in Belleville with 144 minutes in 46 games.
- Bailey Methot and Demers have been outstanding additions to the team.
- Both goalies played really well, with the draw obviously going to Borden. He made some great saves and had some great luck too. There was only one goal that Brady really should have saved.
So, over a week of live hockey withdrawal starts today with the NHL on the All-Star Break and the 67s on the road next week. I don’t see my next live game until January 30th when Washington is back in town to take on the Senators. The 67s have a really tough road trip ahead of them next weekend; playing Plymouth, Sarnia and Guelph who are 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively in the strong Western conference and riding some pretty impressive P-10 stats. Let’s send them all the positive thoughts we can. Keep up the great effort guys – it’s looking great!