February 17, 2007

Good Game In A Losing Cause: Bulls 4 – 2

Belleville came into Ottawa leading the Division and hoping to end a 3-game losing skid. They were shut out twice last weekend ( 7 – 0 by Saginaw and 3 – 0 by Oshawa) and lost in a shoot out with Toronto on Wednesday. They had 69 points before today’s game (18 points ahead of Ottawa) and had the lowest goals-against in the division (186). Belleville had also won 4 of the 5 previous games against Ottawa.

Belleville player notes: scratches Marc Cantin, Aaron Snow, Edward Pasquale. Kevin Lalande started in net.

Ottawa player notes: Julian Cimadamore and Logan Couture were today’s scratches. Brady Morrison got the call.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Kiriakou, Lahey
Liscomb, Methot, Bailey
Cowie, Lindsay, Alphonso
Nesbitt, Ribeiro, cameo appearance of another forward

In the 3rd period I’m not sure there was a line change per se or just some confusion in the line changes but it briefly looked like the centers on the top two lines swapped.

Defensive pairings: mostly Joslin - Vojta, Grimaldi – Beard, Cuma – Demers with Sean Ryan thrown in the mix from time to time.

The 67s started the game with a lot of energy right off the face off, put pressure on Belleville, Kiriakou had a great scoring chance, play moved up and down a few times, Grimaldi laid a good hit on Cory Tanaka, more up and down the ice. All this and more until the first whistle of the period at 7:54 into the game when the first penalty was also called. This one went against Tyler Cuma for hooking. So the PK units of Kiriakou, Cowie, Vojta, Joslin and Bailey, McGinn, Demers, Grimaldi limited Belleville to 1 shot in the two minute advantage. At the 12:20 mark of the game, Belleville’s Eric Tangradi made a neat move to get by Julien Demers for an excellent scoring chance – NOT! Brady made the big save to keep the game tied at zero. Ottawa finally broke the deadlock at 15:25 while on the 2-man advantage for 49 seconds. Cuma and Grimaldi switched points and in a neat passing play Bailey, Grimaldi to Cuma, Tyler one-timed it over the shoulder of Kevin Lalande for his third goal of the year. Ottawa had a couple more chances on the back end of that 5-on-3 advantage but they couldn’t get the goal.

After 20 it was Ottawa 1 – Belleville 0 with shots on goal 9 – 8 for Ottawa

Three minutes into the second period, Scott Cowie received a nice feed in the slot from Alphonso from behind the net and had it past Lalande for his 7th of the year. Five minutes later, after some scrambling around in the Ottawa end, a centering pass by Belleville went right through the crease along the line (from what we could see). The ref whistled the play and signaled a (potential?) goal and went to have it reviewed. The review confirmed what we all knew – no goal. But it did manage to break up a play that Belleville was building in the Ottawa zone. Up until the 7 minute mark of the game, Joe Grimaldi was having a really good game. Then he tried to do too much bringing the puck out of the Ottawa zone and the forechecking Bulls relieved him of the puck. So his defensive response was to hook the Belleville player which sent him off for two minutes. Our usual PK units actually killed the penalty but at 10:01 Matt Pelech was credited with the first Belleville goal. The puck was redirected; Brady didn’t stand a chance. And Grimaldi was exiled to Coventry for a while (see http://www.answers.com/topic/coventry-state-of-ostracism-or-exile). Then Ottawa got into more penalty trouble when Cody Lindsay was called for interference and Julien Demers was called for high sticking. Belleville had the two-made advantage for 1:09. The boys were doing a really good job of keeping Belleville to the outside and forcing fast passes that were difficult to settle down but Bryan Cameron was credited with the tying goal that deflected and bounced and went over Brady. Not much he could have done on that one. Grimaldi was back on the ice to help close down the second half of the powerplay.

So the second period ended tied at 2 with shots on goal 16 – 15 for Ottawa.

The third period started 4-on-4 as both teams had players serving penalties. Tyler Cuma was nabbed for holding and Belleville was serving a bench minor for strenuously disagreeing with an admittedly very close off-side call. I personally think it was an even-up call as the previous call against Tyler was questionable.

Brady made his first of a number of great glove saves 30 seconds into the period. Nearing the halfway mark, Vojta was called for hooking and it took Belleville just 7 seconds to go ahead. Brady caught the initial shot but didn’t smother it. He wasn’t sure where it went and Belleville’s Shawn Matthias buried the rebound. The momentum had definitely turned in Belleville’s favour. They tightened up defensively with the lead and Ottawa just could not clear the puck or get much going. For his part, Brady was making some stellar saves. Any chances Ottawa got in the Belleville zone were quickly doused by Belleville. With Brady already out of the net for the extra attacker, Belleville drew a penalty with 32 seconds left. Ottawa took a timeout to plan the attack. Bailey took and won the face off and Ottawa tried desperately for the tying goal but Matt Pelech finally got his stick on the puck and from the faceoff circle in his own zone, he cleared the puck into the empty net to seal the game. How to impress your hopefully future boss!

Belleville downs Ottawa 4 – 2 with final shots on goal 26 – 31 for Belleville

Stars for the game:

1. Matt Pelech (Belleville 2 goals and an assist)
2. Tyler Cuma (powerplay goal to start tonight’s scoring)
3. Bryan Cameron (Belleville – the powerplay goal to tie up the game)

Hardest working 67: Jason Bailey

Random Thoughts:

  • GM Alert! GM Alert! NHL General Manager in the house tonight! Rumour was that Darryl Sutter, GM of the Calgary Flames was in the arena tonight to take a look at his 2005 first round draft pick Matt Pelech. So, Matt did what all aspiring NHL’ers do – he had a very good game. Actually, I think pretty much everyone stepped it up a bit. There's a draft coming up doncha know! The Flames aren’t on the road this weekend so Darryl might also be doing some other pre-trade deadline looking about (Atlanta is in town tomorrow. Perhaps another western team looking to make a booster trade for the playoffs?).
  • “Give me your tired, your poor, your slumping teams yearning to get off the schnied” (with sincere apologies to Emma Lazarus). Perhaps that’s unfair but it does seem lately that teams needing a win to turn things around need only to play the 67s.
  • It was a loss but not all that disappointing (notwithstanding the above comment). The team played pretty well and we were very entertained but Belleville isn’t in first place because they are lucky. As they stepped up their game it showed that they were just that bit better.
  • The best line for the last few games I’ve seen has been the Liscomb, Methot, Bailey line. They work really hard and create a lot of chances.
  • Looked like Alphonso was favouring his left arm or hand. Hope it’s not serious.
  • Heard that Tyler Cuma will be heading up to Whitehorse next week as part of Ontario’s team for the Canada Winter Games. Gonna miss him. He made some spectacular second-efforts tonight – as usual. It’s really beautiful country – if just a tad far from everything else. Enjoy it Tyler and make the trip to Lake Laberge to see the location of the cremation of Sam McGee. Pure northern Canadiana. http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/2640/?letter=C&spage=26

Both teams are at it again in Belleville tomorrow evening and then Ottawa returns for a Sunday afternoon date with the Mississauga Ice Dogs who will be well rested after going into Brampton and bombing them 5 – 0 tonight.

Have a good weekend everyone - hope to see you Sunday.

Go 67s Go!

No comments: