November 19, 2007

Stung Again: Ottawa 1 – Sarnia 3

Sorry it’s late. I had prepared all this pre-game stuff before the game. I lost my game notes so the actually summary will be rather short.

Here is how the teams compared going into the game (according to the OHL site this morning which obviously has not been fully updated with all the results from the weekend):

Sarnia stats:
  • 6th place in the Western Conference, five points behind 5th place London Knights and 7 points up on the Sting

  • Played 22 games so far and have a record of 13-9-0-0 for 26 points and a winning percentage of .591, GF 81 and GA 67

  • Steven Stamkos has 38 points on 21 goals (11 on the PP), and 17 assists and ranks 6th in the league

  • Justin DiBenedetto has 31 points on 14 goals (8 on the PP) and 17 assists and ranks 17th in the league

  • Ryan Wilson has 28 points on 1 goal (on the PP) and 27 (!) assists and ranks 28th in the league

  • The worst +/- on the team is -6, the best +6 (Stamkos)

  • Goalie Tomie Karhunen’s conference rankings: 11th for GAA (2.95), 9th for Save % (.912) and 3rd for wins (12). He has played 19 of their 22 games and has faced 1139 shots

  • Specialty teams on the road: ranked second best in the conference on the PP having had 51 advantages and scoring 14 goals third best in the conference (something wrong with this figure because if you add up all the individual stats for PPGs the number is much higher. I must do more research on this for the future). Sarnia’s road PK is ranked 3rd having allowed 10 goals against on 73 shots.

  • Recent history: have won both road games this weekend: 5 – 3 over the Petes on Thursday and 6 – 0 against the Fronts on Friday and Stamkos was the first star for both games

Ottawa stats:

  • 6th place in the Eastern Conference, 4 points behind the Niagara Ice Dogs and 1 point up on the Petes

  • Played 21 games so far and have a record of 9-10-0-2 for 20 points and a winning percentage of .476, GF 73, GA 83 (excludes the results of Friday’s game – the revised numbers should be GF 83 and GA 86)

  • Logan Couture has 28 points on 9 goals (3 on the PP) and 19 assists and ranks 24th in the league

  • Jaime McGinn has 21 points on 10 goals (3 on the PP and 2 SHG) and 11 assists and ranks 52nd in the league

  • Martin Paryzek has 16 points on 1 goal and 15 assists and ranks 86th in the league

  • Goalie Adam Courchaine’s conference rankings: 17th in GAA (3.43), 16th for Save % (.897) and 15th for wins (6). He has played 15 of Ottawa’s 21 games and has faced 911 shots.
  • Specialty teams at home: Ottawa ranks 9th in the league for home PP having scored 14 goals on 65 opportunities with the advantage (again, this number does not reconcile with the total individual PPG stats); the home PK ranks 8th in the conference having allowed 9 goals on 50 shots.

  • Recent history: Ottawa lost on the road this week in Belleville and then laid a serious goal scoring beating on Guelph on Friday – winning 10 – 3. 12 different 67s got points in that game.

The Buzz (not referring to Buzzy-Boo-Bear from Team1200)
These teams played each other on October 13th. Ottawa had the lead twice in the first period and then Stamkos got into gear to tie it up, assist on the eventual GWG (on a PP) and score another goal. The Sting won 5 – 2. Chris Perugini was in net for Ottawa.
Steven Stamkos is currently the number 1 ranked player for the NHL draft next June. Local media and others were all a-twitter with the opportunity to see the kid in action. He certainly is putting up the numbers.

Ottawa lineup news:
Chris Cowie and Jason Bailey were today’s scratches. Adam Courchaine started between the pipes.

Sarnia lineup news:
Lost my notes but I recall that Devin Didiomete is serving a 5 game suspension and is eligible to return to the ice on November 23. You may recall that Devin was the subject of AJ Jakubec’s famous lawmower call during his tilt with Julien Demers. The boys at Team1200 prepared this tribute (and used the photos I sent them from the game):

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Iy39e22yN6E (I haven't figured out how to embed a video from youtube).

Ottawa Lines:
JMcGinn, Couture, Lahey
Methot, Latta, Lindsay
TMcGinn, Kiriakou, Zamec
Martindale, Lindsay, Carnevale

Defensive pairings (in no particular order):
Ryan/ Ostrcil

I’m going to dispense with the period-by-period summary and get to a game wrap up.
This was an entirely different game from Friday. To my untrained eye, it seemed that Sarnia was faster and had the skills to play at that speed while Ottawa did not. Plus, the Sarnia goalie had a great night making all kinds of saves.

Ottawa was plain old flat in the first period. With Tye McGinn in the penalty box for hooking, Ottawa was doing a fairly good job of killing one of the best power play teams in the league but with just 4 seconds left in the penalty, Matt Martin scored his first of the night with assists going to Steve Whitely and Steve Ferry.

Ottawa had its own power play chances, including a 5-on-3 advantage for about 1:53. Ottawa spent way too much time passing the puck around and did not press into the defenders. And, admittedly I’m no coach, but what is with this obsession with slap shots. By the time the puck is steadied and the player winds up, all the defenders, including the goalie, has a chance to get into position. There is absolutely no element of surprise. Not only did the 67s not score, if memory serves correctly, they only got one shot through to Tomi Karhunen. Ottawa had a total of 6 power plays in the first period and could not convert at all. Matt Martin scored his second of the game at around the halfway mark with assists going to wunderkind Stamkos and Justin DiBenedetto.

The team seemed to find its collective legs a bit more in the second but Sarnia was able to match anything the 67s came up with. They kept the 67s to the outside and anything that got through was easily stopped by Karhunen. The 67s were keeping up with the shots and I believe they actually started leading in shots but there were very few real scoring chances. With under two minutes left in the period, Martin Paryzek fumbled the puck behind his own net and the resulting scramble left Stamkos all alone in front of the net to receive and tap in a pass from line mate Justin DiBenedetto. Mark Katic got the second assist. And this put the 67s deeper into an already deep hole. Courchaine didn’t have a chance on that one.

Ottawa was in tough and tried to generate some action but the Sting were doing a really good job on the fore check and keeping Ottawa from mounting much of a sustained dangerous attack. On the occasions that they did get through, Karhunen was there to shut it down, including this outstanding save on Jamie McGinn.

It looked like the Sting were well on their way to their second shut out in a row when Michael Latta played the spoiler and scored with 29 seconds left in the period when he steered a Mathieu Methot shot into the net. Thomas Nesbitt got the second assists. And Stamkos was on the ice to get the minus tally.

Final score: 1 – 3 for Sarnia, shots on goal: 30 – 25 for Ottawa.

Three stars:
Tomi Karhunen (Sarnia goalie – 24 saves)
Matt Martin (Sarnia 2 goals)
Michael Latta (goal to spoil the shut out)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Mathieu Methot

Go 67s Go!

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