October 27, 2007

Off the Schneid! Ottawa beats Belleville 4 – 3 in OT!!

Ottawa came into tonight’s game on a 5 game losing streak with a particularly ugly game on Sunday against the Spirit. Fans sure were up in arms after that display.

Meanwhile, Belleville came to town tied with Peterborough and Oshawa at the top of the division all with 17 points and having lost to Oshawa at home on Wednesday.

Ottawa lineup news:
Jordan Gallea, Jason Bailey (mono) and Jamie McGinn (back) were scratches. Thomas Nesbitt was back from his shoulder injury. Matt Lahey dressed and played even though he had been fighting the flu all week. Not sure that was such a good idea – it’s a very good way to spread the germs. Won’t be surprised if we see the whole team go down with the flu now. Adam Courchaine started in net.

Belleville lineup news:
In an interview with their colour commentator before the game (didn’t catch his name), it was noted that this was the first game of the year that Belleville actually sat a healthy player. They had lost a whole lotta player days with injuries already this year. Scratches for tonight: Robert Stellick, Marc Cantin, Michael Neal and Stephan Blunden. Belleville also welcomed Andrew Self who had started the year with the Carleton Ravens but for some reason cut class and returned to the OHL. Guess he wasn’t cut out for academia. Edward Pasquale started in net.

Ottawa Lines:
Martindale, Couture, Latta
Cowie, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Methot, Lindsay, Lahey
TMcGinn, Latta/Lindsay, Carnevale (only saw a few shifts)

Defensive pairings:
Ryan /Paryzek
Wynn/ Ostrcil

First Period:
Killer started the game with the Kiriakou line and as expected he won the face off and Ottawa created an early scoring chance but the play quickly turned and Belleville drew first blood of the game with their first shot on goal. Last week I was going to mention how aggressively Demers pinches in and sure enough he did it tonight and was burned. Matt Beleskey scored his 8th goal of the year just 33 seconds into the game on a shot that just seemed to sneak through Adam. Shawn Matthias and Eric Tangradi got the assists.

With 6:09 gone in the period, Andrew Self was called for hooking and Ottawa was on its first power play. It was a sloppy affair with Ottawa barely getting out of their own zone. No shots on goal.

Before this PP finished, Belleville earned another 2-minute rest in the penalty box when Matthew Tipoff was called for tripping. Ottawa had a brief 5-on-3 (10 seconds) but couldn’t score in that brief period. Then, with 22 seconds left in the second penalty, Matthieu Methot carried the puck up the left wing, went to the net, patient, patient and then fed a waiting Matt Lahey just on the other side of the crease and he made no mistake and flipped it over the leg of Edward Pasquale to tie the game up! Cody Lindsay got the second assist.

By about the half way mark of the period, shots on goal were 10 – 5 for Ottawa and it stayed like that for a while. You could see that Matt Lahey was trying to conserve his energy and he looked pretty pale.

With 4:06 left in the period, Ottawa was on the power play again and this time managed to generate some energy and again, it was Matthieu Methot who carried the puck up the left wing again and his centering pass missed the first 67s (don’t know who it was) but Cody Lindsay beat Pasquale with what looked like a slow wrist shot. Martin Paryzek got the second assist as Ottawa was now up by one on with Ottawa’s second power play goal of the game.

With 2:35 left in the period, Cody Lindsay was called for interference but it was Ottawa that had the best scoring chance when Matthieu Method intercepted a pass and Thomas Nesbitt rung one off the post.

The period ended with the score 2-1 for Ottawa with Ottawa also leading in shots: 14 to 8.

Second Period:
I noticed the ref’s hand going up at the end of the first period but my seat neighbor thought it was the ref just signaling the end of the period. Nope. It was indeed a Belleville slashing penalty on Bryan Cameron. Belleville was paying attention and could see Ottawa’s attempted breakout passes before Ottawa did and managed to intercept a couple of them to interrupt the power play. Ottawa got a couple of shots on Pasquale but nothing of much threat.

Then it was Ottawa’s turn to get into penalty trouble. First, it was Kiriakou nabbed for holding and the 67s were doing a pretty good job of holding the Bulls at bay for the first minute but then Tyler Cuma was called for cross checking. This gave the Bulls a 5-on-3 advantage for 57 seconds. There were some fantastic saves and clears by Courchaine and the defenders but with one second left in the Kiriakou penalty, Kyle Turkiewicz flipped the puck over Courchaine’s leg to get the even goal. Bryan Cameron and Eric Tangradi got the assists. The Bulls had a 4-on-5 advantage for 1:05 but did not do any damage.

But it didn’t take long for Ottawa to get that back when, on yet another power play, Sean Ryan scored his first goal of the season with a shot from the point that beat Pasquale through the 5-hole. Martin Paryzek and Logan Couture got the assists.

By this time Ottawa has outshot Belleville 22 – 12 and has really carried the play. But Matt Lahey was looking like he was running out of gas.

As the period was starting to wind down, Belleville had a couple of great scoring chances that somehow Adam was able to foil and the defenders were able to clear any debris. With just 2:54 left in the period, Ottawa was on the penalty kill again for the 4th time when Scott Cowie was called for holding. Ottawa won the key face offs and held Belleville to one shot on goal.

After 20 minutes, Ottawa again led by one with a score of 3 – 2 and still outshot Belleville 23 – 14.

Third Period
So, what were we going to see in the third period? I fully expected to see Belleville come out fast and hard. After all, they were all healthy and the Bulls were used to playing on larger ice so they ought to have been fit enough for this rink.

Not so much.

Ottawa dominated most of the period although they were unable to get anything past Pasquale. For that matter, they only generated 6 shots on net for the 20 minutes (although I think the boards and glass behind and beside the net took a pretty good beating).

During one of the Ottawa penalty kills, Kiriakou had a breakaway and his shot looked like it hit under the crossbar and bounced out right away. Play continued and I think the penalty was over before the next whistle and there was a chance to review the shot. The result? No goal. But one would have been sweet.

In the final minutes of play, Belleville picked it up a bit and with 1:37 they pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. They were doing a good job of keeping the 67s pinned. Unfortunately, Kiriakou’s clearing attempt at 1:13 went over the glass and he was called for delay of game. This put Ottawa in an especially tough spot as Thomas is their best face off guy and play was still in the Ottawa zone.

The boys were doing a pretty good job of keeping the Bulls along the boards along the back of the net but eventually the puck was sprung to the point to a waiting PK Subban who beat Adam through traffic to tie up the game with 25 seconds on the clock. Nick Pageau and Shawn Matthias were credited with the assists.

The clock ran out and regulation play ended with a 3 -3 tie and shots of 29 – 22 for Ottawa.

Ottawa started the 4-on-4 play with Cowie, Kiriakou, Demers and Cuma. Belleville won the faceoff and carried the play into the Ottawa zone but Ottawa managed to get the puck out AND make a change – getting Couture and Latta on the ice.

And it paid off. Logan Couture missed his first shot but was able to pick up a rebound and backhand it over the shoulder of Pasquale to win the game just 34 seconds into the overtime period. Michael Latta and Tyer Cuma got the assists.

Ottawa takes the two points with a 4 – 3 overtime win against the Belleville Bulls. Final shots on goal: 31 – 23.

Random thoughts:
  • I gotta admit that I really didn’t think this team would win tonight – especially when it went into OT and the play quickly ended up in the Ottawa zone. I was hoping for at least a close game. Well, I am pleased to be proved wrong, wrong wrong. If only we could see this effort more often.
  • What a mob scene at the end of the game. The team worked hard for this win and they deserved it.
  • Belleville plays a different game than the last two teams that were in here. They don’t forecheck as aggressively and don’t hit as much. This is likely why Ottawa could be a bit more effective against them.
  • Gotta give Lahey credit. I don’t know how many of you could come off a bout with the flu and play a hockey game. He did pretty well for a guy just out of sick bay. Getting a goal isn’t too bad either.
  • The team played a much better defensive game and I saw a lot of second efforts out there trying to clear pucks or get to them.
  • Kiriakou had a great game doing what he is supposed to do – getting in the way.
  • Interesting that Gallea didn’t dress even with a shortened bench. Killer has used him as a forward before.
  • Ottawa plays in Kingston on Sunday and even though Kingston has had its problems, Ottawa should not be too confident – Kingston beat Peterborough 7 – 5 tonight at home.

Three Stars – an Ottawa sweep tonight and the Team1200 guys (Scott McArthur and Kenny Walls) were sure they weren’t being homers.

1. Thomas Kiriakou (no points and actually a minus one game but he made a huge difference on the ice)
2. Matthieu Methot (2 assists)
3. Logan Couture (game winning goal and an assist)

Team 1200 Hardest working 67s: Defensive tandem: Tyler Cuma and Julien Demers

Blitzen’s Rate the Anthem: new singer, better result. You could actually hear some fans trying to sing with here. Gonna give her 2 stars.

I won’t be at the next couple of home games so I won’t be posting any summaries. Maybe Sid and or Stats Guy will be able to get a word in edgewise.

Go 67s Go!!

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