September 30, 2007

On The Right Side of Shoot-out This Time

A beautiful fall Sunday afternoon and we’re sitting with a reported 6851 other dedicated 67s fans to see this early rematch between these two teams. You will recall that Ottawa beat Kingston last week in the first of 8 regular season matches scheduled for these division rivals this year.

Kingston is starting the season pretty roughly having lost 3 of their first 4 games including a shelling yesterday in Belleville – a 11 - 2 loss (ouch!!). So far they have scored 8 goals and allowed 25. Between that and the 5 – 4 loss to Ottawa last Sunday, I fully expected Kingston to be loaded for bear today even though this is their third game in as many days. This would be the second time we meet these guys coming off a stinging loss.

Speaking of last Sunday, Justin Wallingford was ejected and assessed a game misconduct for his nasty cross check on Logan Couture. It was my, perhaps mistaken, understanding that this automatically meant at least a suspension and review by the league. In checking out the rosters from Kingston’s games since, Wallingford has been in the lineup for both games. I’ll need to study the rules a bit (if they were available online!!).

Ottawa changes:
Ottawa scratches for today: Matt Lahey (injury), Matt Ribeiro, James Craig, Radim Ostrcil (injury) and Matt MacDougall. Chris Perugini got the call for goal.

Kingston changes:
Scratches for today: Kevin Mole (injury) and Justin Wallingford (!). Jason Guy was put in goal.

Ottawa Lines:
JMcGinn, Couture, Latta/Nesbit in the third
Methot, Lindsay/Latta in the third, Bailey
Cowie, Kiriakou, Nesbitt/Carnevale in the third
TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale/Bailey in the third

Defensive pairings:

First Period:
It took a while for either team to get going but by the time 5 minutes had gone by, Kingston managed 4 shots on Perugini and Ottawa didn't get anthing through. But it was Ottawa that got on the board first when the second line finally clicked on the scoreboard for the season. Thomas Nesbitt passed it to himself off the boards on his way down the ice, managed a backhanded shot and Thomas Kiriakou buried the rebound. Sean Ryan got the second assist.

Ottawa got the first of three power plays of the period when Ben Shutron was called for roughing at 11:07. Kingston did a good job keeping the pucks from getting to Guy but he did have to make a couple of good saves on the two Ottawa shots that got through. Cuma laid a solid hit on Matthieu Kang right at the Kingston blue line.

Just as the first penalty ended, Kingston was assessed with a second penalty as Peter Stevens was nabbed for interference. This time it was the top line that put Ottawa ahead when Michael Michael Latta took a pass from Logan Couture and beat Guy. Jamie McGinn got the second assist. Time of the goal: 14:55.

The energy of the period had changed by this point. Previously, it was Kingston that was playing stronger but now it was Ottawa taking the play to them. They just seemed to anticipate where the puck was going to disrupt any flow Kingston tried to start. Their efforts paid off with a third penalty with Jonathan Sciacca getting caught interfering on Jon Carnevale. Ottawa only had two shots on Guy but they were both solid. Methot’s shot from the point was so hard and fast, Guy got his glove up but was unable to close it and the puck ricocheted into the corner.

After 20 minutes the score was 2 – 1 for Ottawa and Ottawa led in shots on goal: 14 – 8.

Second Period:
Two and a half minutes into the period, Ottawa was assessed its first penalty of the day when Keith Wynn was called for elbowing. It took less than 30 seconds for the Frontenacs to tie the game up. The Ottawa PK unit of Kiriakou, Cowie, Demers and Cuma, usually a very aggressive and successful PK unit, were unable to clear the puck from in front of the net and Nathan Moon was able to beat Chris Perugini. Andris Dzerins and Cory Emmerton got the assists.

Kingston played very strong and you couldn’t tell that this was their 3rd game in 2 ½ days. The 67s 4th line of TMcGinn, Martindale and Carnevale were holding their own though. Minutes 4 to 7 of the game showed us some of the best hockey we have seen in a while with both teams getting some good scoring chances, both goalies making some great saves and Tyler Cuma stunning Josh Brittain with a solid hit. Cuma lost his lid but I think Brittain took the worst of it.

Before the game hit the half-way mark, the shots had climbed to 18 – 16 (still in Ottawa’s favour) – Kingston was turning up the pressure.

At the 8-minute mark, Kingston finally went ahead when Bobby Mignardi walked right in from the half-wall and beat Chris top shelf with a backhander . No one from the 67s dealt with him.

On the back half of the period, it was Ottawa’s turn to get into some penalty trouble. First Matthieu Methot was called for roughing. The 67s ran a fantastic PK; Kingston was not able to mount anything remotely challenging with the man advantage. Then Methot managed to get called again, this time for interference. The PK was strong again with limiting the Fronts to just one shot on goal.

After 2 periods Ottawa was down by 1 (2 – 3) with a one shot edge on Kingston (24 – 23)

Third Period:
Kingston started the period very aggressively – carrying the play for a good long time. They put the pressure on Chris with 10 shots in less than 8 minutes. Chris Perugini turned them all back and the rest of the guys cleaned up any leftovers.

Killer changed his lines up: Latta moved back to centre the second line; Nesbitt moved to the top line in his place; Carnevale moved up to the third line and Jason Bailey double shifted on the fourth line for the one or two shifts that it played.

With 6:40 spent in the third period, Jonathan Sciacca earned his second trip to the penalty box when he called for hooking. This time it was the second line with Paryzek and Ryan anchoring the blue line making the difference. Matthieu Methot’s wrister beat Guy from the high slot. Jason Bailey and Martin Paryzek were the helpers.

Now Ottawa turned it up a bit. They were digging hard and started getting some shots on Guy. Then Ottawa had another power play opportunity when Nathan Moon was called for goaltender interference. The 67s were putting a lot of pressure on Kingston and getting shots to Guy. A scrum in front of Guy on a save resulted in offsetting roughing calls on Lindsay and Shutron and an added slashing call on Couture. Four-on-4 play lasted for 34 seconds and then Ottawa was on the PK for 1:26. The PK was masterful.

With 1:48 left in regulation, Bailey and Stevens received coincidental roughing calls.

At the end of regulation play the score was tied at 3 and the shots were tied at 36.

Finally Ottawa came to life! The starting 4 were Kiriakou, Cowie, Paryzek and Ryan and they rotated with McGinn, Couture, Cuma and Demers. Ottawa really carried the play even though they only got one shot to Guy. Kingston also only managed one shot so with all that effort by both teams, overtime ended in a tie and it was….

On to the shoot out:
For the second game in a row, Ottawa came from behind to tie up the game and was not able to put it away in overtime. So here’s the final drama:

Kingston Jesse Brown X
Ottawa Matthieu Methot X
Kingston Cory Emmerton X
Ottawa Jamie McGinn SCORE!!
Kingston Nathan Moon X

Ottawa takes it in the shoot out!

The final score: 4 – 3

Random thoughts:
  • During the player introductions, the goalie is always named last. Today, the Canadian Tire player hit the ice just in front of Perugini. The kid was a goalie. So as Perugini’s name is being announced, this really small goalie steps on the ice. We all laughed – we know that Chris is not a big guy but we were sure he was bigger than this goalie.
  • Ottawa had a lot of really good scoring chances but they just couldn’t connect, the player couldn’t get the puck to settle or Guy made a really good save.
  • Michael Latta can really handle the puck. Just wait until he fills in – he will be awesomer (I know – there isn’t such a word).
  • Killer rolled all 4 lines sequentially for the first two periods. As noted previously, he made some line changes in the third period and the 4th line didn’t see much action.
  • Speaking of the 4th line, this line of rookies is doing really well. They are getting some good ice time because they deserve it. Well done!
  • Lots of great second efforts this afternoon. A couple of brain cramps but they came more from the veterans (Wynn and Couture for example) than the kids. This team is really exciting to watch when they turn it up.
  • Speaking of which, it was hard to tell which team was playing its third game of the weekend. We were commenting among ourselves that this crew seems to have a bit of same habits of the previous 67s teams in that they tend to adjust their play to their opposition; they step it up when confronted by a tougher team and they take it down a notch when playing a team that could be considered weaker. They don’t quite have the killer instinct for all games.
  • Alright, I had been holding off but I just can’t keep it in anymore. One of my FAVOURITE game day rituals is singing the anthem(s). This is supposed to be a stirring event that gets the fans involved early. That means: singing it in a pitch that most people can sing, singing it normally, and singing it a pace that is not the equivalent of a funeral dirge. It is NOT a good opportunity for singers to “make it their own” and get all fancy. So far, we have had two different people singing the anthem. I am sure they have beautiful voices but, for all that is holy, please do not have EITHER of them back to sing the anthem(s). It was so bad today, I could not hold back my groans. Ugghhh! That bordered on the illegal if not the unpatriotic.

Three Stars
1. Jason Guy (Kingston goalie – 35 saves)
2. Julien Demers
3. Chris Perugini (37 saves)

Hardest working 67s: didn’t get the TEAM1200 call on this one and can't come up with one on my own.

Next home game is next Friday when the Brampton Battalion come to town. Hope to see you there!

Go 67s Go!!

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