March 09, 2007

Petered Out: Ottawa 4 – Petes 1

Tonight was the backend of a home-and-home series with Peterborough that started last night. The bad karma that infected the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday must have hitched a ride on the 67s bus to Peterborough as the 67s blew a 3-goal lead and lost in the shoot out. Tonight Ottawa was seeking to redeem themselves while Peterborough was hoping to get a streak going that would secure a playoff spot. Before the ceremonial puck drop, Jeff Hunt presented Tyler Cuma and Cody Lindsay with watches to acknowledge their contribution to Team Ontario’s gold medal in the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse last Friday. Congratulations gentlemen!

Peterborough notes: scratches for tonight were Breton MacKinnon, Mark Pawlowski, Justin Soryal, and Kris Krolouski. Trevor Cann started in net but was wearing jersey number 30 and did not have his name on it.

Ottawa player notes: Sean Ryan, Jordan Gallea and Aaron Alphonso sat out. Lukas Flueler got the start between the pipes.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Liscomb
Bailey, Kiriakou, Methot
Lindsay, Cowie, Lahey
Nesbitt, Cimadamore, Ribeiro

All 4 lines saw ice time commensurate with their status (i.e. all saw time in each period but not equally. Obviously the top line would see much more time than the 4th line but the 4th line saw time in each period).

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

Ottawa started by taking the game to the Petes and keeping the pressure on. It took the Petes 3 and a half minutes before they even registered their first shot on goal. The scoring started while Peterborough’s Branislav Rehus was off for hooking. Just 13 seconds into the ensuing powerplay Trevor Cann fanned as he tried to clear Logan’s rebound but unfortunately he put the puck right on Brett Liscomb’s stick and Brett snapped it past him. That was Brett’s 22nd goal of the year. Keeping up the pressure resulted in another great scoring opportunity just a couple of minutes later when Thomas Nesbitt got the puck to Scott Cowie who was all alone at the top of the crease but Cann made one of several stellar saves to keep the Petes in the game. Ottawa kept it up, working hard on the boards, cycling the puck well and Mathieu Methot wired a hard shot that hit the cross bar. Going the other way, Harnden and Rizzi had an odd man rush but Lukas Flueler stacked the pads to stone Rizzi.

Notching his 11th goal of the year, Derek Joslin put Ottawa up by 2 with a blistering shot from the blue line on Ottawa’s second powerplay of the night. Logan Couture and Joe Grimaldi got the assists.

Then Ottawa’s PK units got some exercise as Jason Bailey and Thomas Kiriakou had consecutive penalties in the second half of the period. The PK units of Cowie, Kiriakou, Joslin, Vojta and Couture, McGinn, Grimaldi, Beard kept Peterborough from getting any shots during the Bailey penalty. And the same units, with Liscomb substituting for Kiriakou, limited the Petes to only one shot on goal. And that includes time when Voyta didn’t have a stick and appeared to be hurt. Job well done! As the period wound down, Trevor Cann continued to keep the Petes in the game with two great saves as Ottawa looked good to go further ahead. The period closed out while Ottawa was on the penalty kill as Mathieu Methot needed to reflected on his cross checking infraction.

After 20 minutes the score was 2 – 0 for Ottawa and Ottawa out-shot the Petes 21 – 7.

Ottawa started the second period with 57 seconds remaining in Methot’s penalty. The penalty kill team continued to keep the Petes in check and did not allow any shots to get through to Flueler for the full two minutes spanning the two periods. But in a bit of a breakdown by Ottawa, Branislav Rehus was allowed to wander into the crease and his backhand shot to beat Lukas upstairs. This allowed Peterborough to get back in the game. Briefly. But any momentum they might have gained was quickly lost when Logan Couture was brought down on a cross check by Riley Brand. The two-minute man advantage resulted in only two shots on goal neither of which made it past Cann. But, not long after that penalty expired, Logan Couture was credited with poking the puck over the line in a scrum in front of (on top of??) Trevor Cann. That was his 23rd goal of the year. McGinn and Liscomb got the assists.

The game was fast-paced with good offensive pressure by Ottawa. Peterborough’s speedy Yves Bastien beat Jakub Vojta to get a shot on Lukas only to get stoned. Lukas continued to make some really good saves as Peterborough managed to get a few decent scoring opportunities.

At the end of the second period, it was 3 – 1 Ottawa with the shots on goal 38 – 16 in Ottawa’s favour.

So, the question on the minds of many folks, me included, was…could the boys hang on to the lead for the next 20 minutes. I sat through the same anxiety last night at the Sens – Leafs game and there’s only so much pressure this ol’ heart can take.

The Petes changed goalies; the third period started with that rather tall rookie, Jason Missiaen (pronounced like “mission” by The Voice, Dave Schreiber). The kid will be 17 in May and is currently listed as 6’7” and 178 lbs. Glad I’m not feeding him!

Only a minute and change into the period, Brodie Beard did some masterful work to carry the puck into the offensive zone and pass it to Mathieu Methot who beat Missaien on the short side. Maissiaen didn’t even move. Think he’s still looking for it. That was Mathieu’s 20th goal of the year and his 9th as a barber pole. This gave Ottawa some extra breathing room.

Credit the Petes for trying to make a game of it. For a while they were keeping the pressure on Ottawa in the Ottawa zone but Ottawa continue to control the game. The Petes had a couple of PP opportunities but the 67s limited them to only 3 shots on goal which Flueler handled with ease. Despite Peterborough’s attempts to make the game more physical, Ottawa continued to dominate.

The game ended with Ottawa’s redemption: a 4 – 1 win with final shots on goal 47 – 31 (when I checked the score sheet, the shots were different but I wrote down the shots from the clock in the arena.)

Stars for the game:

1. Logan Couture (goal and 2 assists)
2. Jamie McGinn (an assist and tons of great work)
3. Mathieu Methot (the goal that sealed the deal)

Team 1200 Hardest working 67: Brett Liscomb

Random Thoughts:

  • Nice to see full 60 minutes of committed team play. Executed consistently would make this a dangerous team. Spoilers if done consistently during the playoffs.
  • Liked the line combinations tonight. Liscomb's energy and grit are good additions to top line.
  • I like Kiriakou. From my vantage point he’s a hard fore-checking forward who uses his body well to protect the puck. He may not be the biggest guy on the team but tonight he was hard to move off the puck.
  • Good work by the specialy teams; a couple of PP goals always feels good and all the better when the PK units limited the opposition to maybe 4 shots on goal, none of which scored, in 9 PP opportunites.
  • Ottawa has the day off before the Barrie Colts come to town. Barrie will also be well rested after their 8 – 6 victory over Kingston tonight.
  • Did I mention how great it was to see a full team effort for the full 60 minutes? Cannot be over rated.
  • I note from the blog statistics that there are a number of readers spread around the world. Please drop us a line and tell us about being a 67s fan living abroad. We'd love to hear from you.

Have a good weekend everyone and hope to see you on Sunday.

Go 67s Go!!

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