February 04, 2007

Much Better Game And A Win Too

Third game of the weekend for both teams but Ottawa had the advantage of staying pretty much at home (their away game was played at the Scotia Bank Place just down the 417).

Owen Sound came into the Civic Centre having already lost their first two games of the road trip: 6 – 3 in Kingston on Friday and again 8 – 5 in Belleville where they also racked up a whopping 30 minutes in penalties. Ottawa didn’t have much to brag about having barely eked out an overtime win against Toronto on Friday and having been smoked by the same team yesterday 8 – 4. Brian Kilrea was so worked up he left the bench after the first period as he was afraid if he stayed someone might have gotten hurt.

Owen Sound player notes: scratches Frankie Santini, Guy Cartociano, Zak Ray and Josh Cato. Former 67s Anthony Guadagnolo started between the pipes.

Ottawa player notes: scratches Julian Cimadamore, Sean Ryan and Mathieu Methot. Lukas Flueler started in goal.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey/Bailey in the third
Liscomb, Cowie, Bailey and then Liscomb, Lindsay, Alphonso in the third
Cowie, Kiriakou, Alphonso/Lahey in the third
Ribeiro, Kiriakou, Nesbitt

Defensive pairings: Joslin-Vojta, Grimaldi – Beard, Cuma - Demers

Ottawa started with a 3-on-2 rush before the first minute was up but Guads made the save. It was a pretty easy one as Lahey (I think) pretty much hit him straight on. It wasn’t long after that Ottawa took its first penalty when Brett Liscomb missed a check and stuck out his foot to trip the Owen Sound player. The PK units (Cowie, Kiriakou, Vojta, Joslin and Couture, McGinn, Grimaldi, Cuma) didn’t allow the Attack so much as a single shot on goal. In fact Owen Sound didn’t get their first SOG until 9:50 into the game. Ottawa got its first PP when Brett Liscomb was held by Anthony Soboczynski (I grew up in Edmonton and know how to pronounce that name – can you??). Then 29 seconds later, Elgin Reid was called for cross-checking Jamie McGinn in Owen Sound’s corner. That gave Ottawa a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:31. Owen Sound won two of the three draws during that period and managed to clear the puck down ice and kill a lot of time. Ottawa was not able to capitalize on the PP but they did manage to get 4 shots on net. Then Logan Couture was assessed Ottawa’s second penalty of the game for tripping and Jason Bailey replaced Logan on the PK unit. Bailey’s fast and aggressive and it paid off when he chased the puck as it was cleared by Ottawa and he managed to keep it in the Attack zone to get the face off there with 19 seconds left in the penalty. With only 1:46 left in the period, Brett Liscomb took his second penalty of the afternoon, this time for slashing. Owen Sound managed to get 4 shots on Flueler before the period ended but our big guys kept them all out.

The period ended scoreless with shots 12 – 11 for Ottawa.

Brett Liscomb had to cool his jets for the first 14 seconds of the second period. Ottawa won the face off and easily waited out the clock. It wasn’t long until Flueler was tested again, this time by a fairly pointblank shot by Howie Martin. Lukas got his shoulder in the way to keep the Attack off the board. Owen Sound really kept up the pressure in the second period. But Ottawa was playing strongly in their zone. Cody Lindsay got hurt blocking a shot but was soon back on the ice. Ottawa couldn’t seem to get it together offensively in the early going but their hard work finally paid off when Jamie McGinn picked up a rebound and scored his 34th goal of the year. Couture and Beard got the assists. Elgin Reid earned his second time out for roughing. Not entirely sure what happened in front of Lukas but Grimaldi ended up in the net and Elgin in the hoosegow. Harrumph – not even a shot on Guads to show for the man advantage! With just over two minute left in the period, Thomas Kiriakou put Ottawa up by two when he picked up a turnover in front of Guadagnolo and beat him upstairs. He was unassisted on his 8th goal of the season. Owen Sound got its fourth penalty of the game when Michael Farrell was sent off for high sticking. Owen Sound’s Scott Tregunna notched a short handed goal on a play that started with Lukas Flueler coming out of net to pass the puck up the nice but it was intercepted and in the ensuing mess Cody Lindsay turned it over to Tregunna with 40 seconds left in the period.

After two it was Ottawa up by 1 (2-1) and shots were 22 – 28 for the Attack.

Just for a change, Ottawa started a period with a man advantage albeit for only 10 seconds. Just over seven minutes into the period, bad boy Brett was called for his THIRD penalty of the game for hooking. Owen Sound was putting pretty good pressure on Ottawa and, perhaps in desperation, Vojta knocked the net off its moorings and was assessed a delay of game penalty. There was some discussion on whether a goal had been scored before that happened but nothing came of it (goal-wise that is). So the Attack had a 2-man advantage 1:22. Given that they had given up something like 4 power play goals yesterday and none so far today, they certainly were flirting with fate up until now. The PK units were Kiriakou, Grimaldi and Joslin with Couture relieving Kiriakou at some point. What a great job they did of killing the 2-man advantage. Kiriakou was aggressive in Owen Sound’s zone, Grimaldi and Joslin did a great job of getting the puck and clearing it well out of the zone. I don’t think Flueler even had to make a save at all during the penalties. It was really great to see. As the period wound down, Flueler had to make a few more really great saves to protect the lead. Then with 2:13 left in the period, Julien Demers caught Howie Martin with a huge clean hit inside the Ottawa blue line. But Owen Sound rookie Wayne Simmonds thought it otherwise and tried to start something. All he managed to start was some time in the penalty box for roughing. Owen Sound eventually got the play into the Ottawa zone and Guads was pulled for the last minute or so. But they were unable to tie it up when the buzzer sounded at the end of the game.

The game ended 2 – 1 for Ottawa (all goals in the second period) with Owen Sound outshooting Ottawa 43 – 31.

Stars for the game:

1. Lukas Flueler (42 saves)
2. Thomas Kiriakou (game winning goal and great penalty killing)
3. Logan Couture (goal and an assist)

Hardest working 67: Julien Demers. Have to agree with Schriebs, this kid plays with poise and calmness far beyond his young age. And just wait until he gets good!

Random Thoughts:

  • Ottawa looked pretty lackluster during the warm-up. I have no idea if you can judge the potential of a game from the warm-up but I watch anyway and pretend there is something prescient about them. As the warm-up was winding down, Elgin Reid passed a puck to Brodie Beard who was just coming up to the centre line and he passed it back. Awwww – how cute!
  • Speaking of Elgin Reid, season ticket holders – take a look at today’s ticket and notice whose mug is on it. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.
  • First time we noticed a goalie stand on the blue line for the anthem – Lukas Flueler.
  • Today’s bad boy was Brett Liscomb who took 3 of the 5 Ottawa penalties. He is second on the team with PIMs. Joe Grimaldi played in clean today (or at the very least got away with anything that he might have done wrong – there was only one ref today and he missed a lot for both teams).
  • It was a fun game to watch. Up and down the ice, some really good saves by both goalies (and the goal posts to help out Guads in the first period). Some good hits. Some really good second efforts. Best of all – we won!!
  • Kiriakou and Vojta played really well. So did Joe. So did just about everyone. A good all around effort this time.

Have a good week everyone – see you at the game on Friday. Let's hope that we see this version of the team (with the added benefit of an effective power play let's hope).

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