January 29, 2007

Interview with the coach - Jan 29

Notes from an interview w/ Killer on the TEAM 1200/ Buzz and Glenn Kulka this morning.

The Plymouth game was tough for the team, but it was probably the best game they played all weekend. Everywhere they went, everybody kept saying that Plymouth was the best team in the League. The 67s played well and probably deserved better than the score (4-1) indicated. The Plymouth goalie (Neuvirth) played well.

The 67s only allowed one PP goal all weekend [Sunday versus Guelph] and that was when they were down 2 men. And there was only 12 seconds left out of an almost 2 minute 5-on-3. Flueler played well. [He was named first star on Saturday]. The 67s had 5 PP goals this weekend [they went 5-for-24]. Maybe they're getting their PP back on track, but they had trouble scoring even strength.

They didn't realize how much they would miss Methot. He's a big body. They'll find out this week when he might be back. Losing Ryan to injury in Saturday's game hurt them. He's been playing well lately. It looks like it's a Charlie Horse. He was walking a little better on Sunday. They'll have to wait to see how bad it is.

Flueler made an important acrobatic save in Sarnia to keep the 4-1 lead. He reached back to grab the puck. [Since the beginning of the season,] Flueler needed to work on being quicker, getting up and getting the puck. He played great. Looking forward to seeing him play this weekend. He's only 18 years old and had never been away from home. His girlfriend and family are all back in Switzerland. At the WJC break, he realized that he came over here to play in North America to get better and get noticed for the NHL Draft. He has a great attitude and is a real booster of the team. When Morrison has a good game, Flueler's the first off the bench to go over and congratulate him. He's a complete team player - growing up fast.

Goaltenders can make or break a team. In the Stanley Cup playoffs for the last few years there's always been a goalie that stole a couple of games. Roy had some overtime wins to win the Cup for the Canadiens. Confidence makes a difference for the whole team. Killer remembered a few Goalies he's known: when coaching with the NY Islanders, he remembered Billy Smith was pretty quiet, didn't want to talk to anyone, nobody banged his pads. When Killer played for the Springfield Indians, "Gump" Worsley would give a zinger right back to you, whereas Marcel Paille would watch and laugh. When the team is talking about what went wrong, they leave the goaltender alone because they feel it more. They're the last line of defence.

Cuma played really well, especially Saturday night. He and Vojta could have been the best players on the ice that night. The trip may have been starting to wear on Cuma by Sunday, though, because he wasn't moving his feet as well. He's earned the ice time he's getting on the top defensive pairing with Joslin. He was out there when they were two men short. He's a super kid. Doesn't say much, but actions speak louder than words.

Liscomb had a "misunderstanding" with Killer. Brett had taken an elbow but Killer didn't see it and thought he just stopped on the play so he confronted him. Killer admitted he made a mistake. Mrs. Kilrea asked about the "incident".

Bailey works every shift -- gives everything he's got. He works hard -- gives of himself. He doesn't just pick on the smaller guys. He was responsible for the winning goal on Saturday. He drew the penalty that led to the goal, and then scored a PP goal himself in the 3rd period.

On Sunday, they played well in all three periods, but they just couldn't buy a goal. They were still in the game in the third period, down 3-1. Bailey was double shifted because of the injury to Alphonso.

When players are confident, goal scorers say the net looks bigger than normal. Just like golfers say they feel like they're putting into a wash tub. It's a big part of success. The team should have gained some confidence from this weekend. They played 3 good teams, and were right in it each game.

Joslin/Couture/McGinn are all going to the All-Star game this week. They're leaving Tuesday and coming back Thursday. There are also some players with injuries, so they may have some rough practices this week. Killer will work on their conditioning.

On his 2000th game as a coach, Killer said that when you start you don't know where it will end. The numbers just add up. He hopes the ceremony doesn't take away from the job at hand. Maybe the player's minds won't be in the game. Toronto St. Mike's will be in Ottawa on Friday night. They've lost 12 in a row, which is dangerous because the streak has to end sometime. They scored 3 goals against Plymouth on Sunday, so Ottawa has to be careful.

January 21, 2007

Ottawa loses 4 -2 in a Very Entertaining Game

This afternoon’s game was the 7th meeting of these divisional rivals. Kingston opened the season and the series with a resounding victory over the 67s with a score of 5 – 9 in Kingston. Ottawa then took charge and won the next 5 games outscoring the Fronts 27 – 9 including a 5 -0 shutout in Ottawa in November. Ottawa came into today’s game riding a two-game winning streak with back-to-back wins over Peterborough. Kingston was coming off a 4-1 win over Brampton on Friday. Ottawa was 1 point ahead in the standings before today’s game with a game in hand over Kingston.

As part of the 40th year celebrations, every home game acknowledges a former 67. Tonight it was none-other than Bruce Cassidy, the Frontenac coach, who was a member of the 1984 Ottawa 67s team that brought home Ottawa’s first Memorial Cup.

Kingston player notes: scratch Kevin Mole, Jesse Biduke (hmmm) and Cory Emmerton (out for a couple of months with a broken leg). Daryl Borden started in net.

Ottawa player notes: scratch Brodie Beard and Matt Ribeiro. Brady Morrison started in goal.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey
Liscomb, Linsday, Bailey
Methot, Cowie, Alphonso/Nesbitt in the third
Cimadamore, Kiriakou, Nesbitt/Alphonso in the third

Defensive pairings: Joslin-Vojta, Grimaldi - Cuma, Ryan - Demers

This game started fast with Kingston laying the body on early. It didn’t take long for Ottawa to respond and that was the tone for the whole game. Ottawa had a really great chance (among many) after the first five minutes when Jamie McGinn led a great offensive rush into the Kingston zone but the pass caught Couture too deep to take a good shot. Ottawa later had a 5-on-3 advantage for about 25 seconds that they could not convert. With Grimaldi in the sin-bin for interference, Kingston had a great 2-1 chance for a short-handed goal that was stolen by a great save by Brady Morrison. But, in the end, Kingston got on the board first with a really sweet goal by Peder Skinner assisted by Matthew Kang and Chris Stewart on an odd-man rush with 2:18 remaining in the period. But Ottawa got it back with 32 seconds left in the period. With Demers sitting out a delay of game penalty for putting it over the glass, Jamie McGinn finished off a couple of great efforts to get the SHG with a little help from his friend, Logan Couture.

It was tied at 1 after 20 minutes; SOGs 12 – 13 in Kingston’s favour.

Ottawa started the second period on the PK with 21 seconds remaining in the delay of game penalty. After killing the penalty, Ottawa took the lead with Logan Couture burying a pass from McGinn who picked up the rebound from a previous shot. Matt Lahey got the third assist. Before the quarter-turn of the second period, Ottawa got another 5-on-3 chance, this time for 1:30 but they were unable to convert it. I didn’t get the SOGs for the PP but it really doesn’t matter. On the flip side of the penalty ledger, Ottawa got a break on one of their PKs when Chris Stewart blew a tire driving in and then Cuma made an uncharacteristic giveaway that resulted in a scoring chance that Brady denied. But Kingston was not to be denied forever and they tied up the game halfway through the period when Nathan Moon picked up a rebound from a good first save and buried it past Brady. Kingston continued to apply the pressure and with about 2 and a half minutes remaining in the period were rewarded for their efforts with another rebound that went to the trailing Peder Skinner who made it good. Kizito and Hughes got the assists.

At the end of the second period, Kingston was up by one and SOG were pretty much even at 25 – 26 with Kingston getting the edge.

The third period continued with fast, hard play by both teams supported by great saves from both tenders. Early in the period, Matt Auffrey blew by Grimaldi and drove in on Brady with a hard shot. Brady made a great save with his left pad. At the other end of the ice, Brett Liscomb got mixed up with the wrong crowd when he got pushed into the Kingston goalie. Out of the ensuing melee both Liscomb and the Kingston goalie were assessed roughing charges. At 6:20 into the final frame, Brady let in what could reasonably be called the only soft goal of the game when a shot from Kolarz managed to squeeze through under the legs of Brady to put Kingston up by two. But there was still a lot of time remaining and Ottawa tried hard to keep playing right to the very end. McGinn worked extremely hard all game – at one point getting pretty much flattened outside the Kingston blue line, getting up and back into the play to get the puck back and get a pretty good shot on goal. Cannot argue with that work ethic at all. With just over 7 minutes left, Ottawa had a flurry of scoring chances, juicy rebounds and fairly open nets but just could not get the puck past the goalie with the hot hand. Killer played the team aggressively when with 3 minutes left, with a face-off in the Kingston zone and Ottawa on the PP, he pulled the goalie for the 6th attacker – adding Jason Bailey to the Crazy-8s with Vojta and Joslin as the Ds. Kingston’s Bobby Hughes made the save of the game when the puck was a sitting duck in the crease and he beat Bailey to it and cleared it out of danger. To round out the game, the officials screwed up yet another call (having missed a couple of doozers earlier in the period) by not picking up Ottawa for too many men on the ice earlier. They finally called it just as a short-handed Ottawa got another one past Borden with what was at that point 7.3 seconds left in the game. The goal was waved-off, the clock was reset to 14 seconds but the refs didn’t take anyone off the ice (so was it a penalty or not – didn’t think the opposing team could decline it) and the game played out.

The game ended with Kingston winning 4 – 2 with Ottawa out-shooting Kingston 46 – 35.

Stars for the game:

1. Daryl Borden (Kingston goalie – 44 saves)
2. Bobby Hughes (Kingston 2 assists)
3. Jamie McGinn (short handed goal, an assist and a whole lotta work!!)

Hardest working 67: Thomas Nesbitt (this kid worked hard – and he got more than a few solid hits in for good measure).

Random Thoughts:

  • This was a great game to watch – outcome notwithstanding. Fast, tons of chances, great plays, end-to-end, no dead-weights, lots of emotion. Exciting to the end.
  • Ottawa’s PP went 0 for 9 opportunities including 2 5-on-3 opportunities. This needs some attention. On the flip side, Kingston went 0 for 6 so the kill was pretty good.
  • Of his 4 penalties for the day, one was actually a good one when Grimaldi took away a Kingston scoring chance.
  • Some factoids about Ottawa’s defense core: before this game, of the top 10 point-getting defensemen in the league, none are from Ottawa, 4 are in the East Division (DelZotto from Oshawa is 3rd, Raftis from Peterborough is 4th , Subban from Belleville is 8th and Shutron from Kingston is 10th). Our highest ranking defenseman is Joslin at 15th with 31 points in 43 games. The Eastern Conference has another top-10er in that Sudbury’s D’Aversa is 2nd. The rest of our defensive core ranks as follows: Grimaldi 21st, Cuma 44th, Vojta 100th, Beard 101st, Gallea 104th, Ryan 116th, Demers 123rd, McDougall 159th out of 179 players listed. On the PIM side, Grimaldi is the 3rd most penalized player in the league with 134 minutes in 40 games. Davie from the Sting leads the pack with 162 minutes in 42 games followed by Pelech in Belleville with 144 minutes in 46 games.
  • Bailey Methot and Demers have been outstanding additions to the team.
  • Both goalies played really well, with the draw obviously going to Borden. He made some great saves and had some great luck too. There was only one goal that Brady really should have saved.

    So, over a week of live hockey withdrawal starts today with the NHL on the All-Star Break and the 67s on the road next week. I don’t see my next live game until January 30th when Washington is back in town to take on the Senators. The 67s have a really tough road trip ahead of them next weekend; playing Plymouth, Sarnia and Guelph who are 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively in the strong Western conference and riding some pretty impressive P-10 stats. Let’s send them all the positive thoughts we can. Keep up the great effort guys – it’s looking great!

January 19, 2007

On a Roll! Ottawa blanks the Petes 4 – 0!

Tonight’s game is the back end of the first home-and-home series between these two teams this year. Last night Ottawa defeated Peterborough in their own barn with a score of 3 – 2.

Peterborough player notes: scratch Mark Pawlowski, Jamie Doornbosch, Branislav Rehus, Brett Theberge, and Brendan Taylor. Jason Missiaen started in goal – jungle drums saying that Brendan Taylor and prospect goalie Trevor Cann were benched for some internal disciplinary issue.

Ottawa player notes: scratch Matt McDougall, Matt Ribeiro, Arron Alphonso. Brady Morrison started in goal. Brodie Beard was in lineup sheet, took the warm up but did not hit the ice. Can't recall if he dressed and sat on the bench. Don’t know the story there. Joe Grimaldi was back after a 2-game suspension earned in the game with Owen Sound.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey
Liscomb, Linsday, Bailey
And the rest of the guys in a variety of combinations from what I can recall.

Defensive pairings: Joslin-Vojta, Grimaldi - Cuma, Ryan - Demers

Lots of action in the first period. Ottawa started aggressively and stayed with it essentially keeping the play in the Pete’s defensive zone most of the time. Thomas Nesbitt opened the scoring at 4:42 with a wrist shot from the slot that beat the very tall (6’7”!) Pete’s goalie on the near side. Matheiu Methot and Tyler Cuma got the assists. Not quite two minutes later, Joe Grimaldi started his wicked ways by getting penalties for roughing and fighting. For reasons unknown, Grimaldi and Walchessen got into it. It was over quickly. The Pete’s power play was short-lived as Kyle Raftis of the Petes was called for hooking. In the ensuing 4-on-4 play, Jason Bailey had a great scoring opportunity as he brought the puck all the way by himself and got a good shot away. The game was getting a bit chippy and I was thinking that it wouldn’t be long until someone got hurt. The Petes were clearly frustrated as the 67s were checking them right out of their socks. Just as it was getting to the last 5 minutes of play, Mathieu Methot showed off his dangling skills as he dipsy-doodled the puck to beat Missiaen to put Ottawa ahead by 2. Scott Cowie got the assist but you can also credit the work of the rest of guys on the ice to win the fights on the boards. The Petes got a chance to get within 1 when Vojta made a bad turnover right in front of Brady. Brady was able to make the necessary save. He was saved later by the post as well.

Ottawa led by 2 after the first period with SOGs 19 – 7 for Ottawa.

Ottawa started the second period with sustained pressure but Peterborough still had a couple of chances that Brady shut down. Grimaldi put the team into penalty trouble with mindless stupidity (well really, is there such a thing as mindful stupidity??). First he got into a swordfight with Soryal and they both were sent off for slashing. Seconds before his penalty was finished, Vojta got called for hooking. Grimaldi then managed to take a stupid, stupid, pointless penalty for interference to put his team into a 3-on-5 situation for 50 seconds. Fortunately (for the 67s) the Petes couldn't get at all organized and Ottawa killed both penalties. Logan Couture made a really big save when he blocked a shot in point-blank range. It hurt but he stayed in the play until it was safe to get to the bench. Grimaldi didn’t see anymore ice time in the second. Also fortunate for the 67s was that the Petes could barely hit the broad side of a barn door. They did manage to ring another one off the metal but it bounced out rather than in.

No additional scoring in the second period. Shots on goal were 34 – 20 for Ottawa.

Brett Liscomb was called for hooking in the dying seconds of the second period so Ottawa opened the third with 1:57 remaining to be killed (which they did). Grimaldi managed to get himself back into the good graces of the coach and was back on the ice. Brady also started the period in fine form making good saves on some early quick shots. In one scrum Tyler Cuma was very slow to get up. He skated to the bench on his own steam and was soon back in the game. Ottawa finally made good on a power play opportunity in the first five minutes. Derek Joslin fired one from the point that got through for his 6th goal of the year. Jason Bailey and Brett Liscomb got the assists. But the prettiest goal of the night came just 1:22 later when Logan Couture won the face off, Tyler Cuma, through great second effort, was able to poke the puck ahead and Jamie McGinn streaked in on the breakaway to beat Missiaen with a nice backhand shot to make it 4 – 0. Ottawa kept it up for the rest of the period – trying to score the arena some natchos – and trying to protect Brady’s shutout. Ottawa kept pouring shots on Missiaen and he kept making the saves and Brady saved all 8 shots that he faced in the third.

The game ended with Ottawa 4 and the Petes facing a long bus ride home. Final shots on goal: 54 – 28 for Ottawa (that’s 20 shots alone in the 3rd period).

Stars for the game:

1. Brady Morrison (28 saves)
2. Mathieu Methot (goal and an assist)
3. Tyler Cuma (2 assists)

Hardest working 67: Logan Couture

Random Thoughts:

  • Here’s a shout out to our 67s-watching buddy Bob who is gallivanting about in New Zealand for a month organizing bugs (beetles to be precise). It’s hard work – their attention spans are very short and they do not follow instructions well. No matter how nice it might be there Bob, it’s nicer here. We’re saving all the snow for you to shovel when you get back. Bring wine.
  • With tonight’s win, Ottawa now has split the series this year with the Petes with 3 wins each. These two teams meet up again for another home-and-home series in early March.
  • Play of the game – someone chipped the puck up along the boards. No one really knew where it was until it bonked off the top of the ref’s head. Could hear the echo.
  • Grimaldi has some self-control issues to sort out. This is seriously detracting from the goodness that he brings.
  • Positional play – some guys did it really well tonight (Bailey, Methot, Liscomb, Demers come to mind), others not so good (Voyta).
  • The team played a full 60 minutes – this was great to watch. Lots of checking, hard work on the boards, plenty of second efforts, great heads-up play, nice work by Brady, puck-luck.
  • We're on a 2-game winning streak!! Woo hoo!

Kingston’s in town on Sunday. Should be a good game. Hope we see you there!

January 16, 2007

It wasn't worth the 5 hour drive!

We drove down to Kitchener this weekend for a belated Christmas with family which purposely coincided with a 67s visit with the Rangers. We were late getting to the game, but still got there well before puck drop because they were honouring Paul Coffey, former Kitchener Ranger. One of the few highlights of the afternoon was seeing Paul Coffey and then driving by his Nissan dealership.

It went downhill from there pretty quick.

McGinn - Couture - Lahey
Liscomb - Kiriakou - Bailey
Methot - Cowie - Alphonso
Ribeiro - Lindsay - Nesbitt

Not sure what the defensive pairings were, but the gamesheet lists: Joslin, Beard, Cuma, Vojta, Ryan, Demers. I can't remember seeing too much of Vojta or Ryan. Grimaldi was out for fighting the night before in Owen Sound, for which he received a 2 game suspension. Interesting that they moved Lindsay back to the 4th line. I like that kid a lot, and thought he made a valuable contribution to the second line. Morrison was in nets.

The 67s opened the scoring with a nice feed off the boards from Couture into the slot for Lahey. I think it was their first shot on net -- which sounds promising, but they were down something like 10-0 in shots at that point. Both teams were playing pretty sloppy in the first. They both had their opportunities but weren't able to capitalize on most of them. I thought the refs were letting the Rangers get away with too much in the first period. In the end, though, that didn't really matter because Ottawa never did get anything going on their powerplay. They went 0 for 6 and gave up 2 SH goals to Peter Tsimikalis. Both were simply a result of good forechecking and driving hard to the net. Kudos for Peter. I always liked him as a 67 and was sorry to see him leave. Anyways, Ottawa probably should have been declining PP opportunities on this night.

The first period ended 1-1 after Tsimikalis's first SH goal. Shots were 24-9 in favour of the Rangers. Ottawa was probably happy to get out of the period even. Joslin finished the period in the penalty box for holding. The Rangers powerplay carried over to start the second period, and they wasted no time. Couture won the faceoff at centre ice and the puck went back into the corner to the right of Morrison. Demers took his time getting back there and 2 Rangers came in on the forecheck. By the time Demers got there and shot it behind the net, another Ranger was already there on the boards to cut off the clearing attempt. A quick pass into the slot and the Rangers were up 2-1. Slow, sloppy effort by the 67s and hard forechecking by the Rangers would be a pattern for the rest of the game.

Liscomb scored at 5:51 to tie it up and give the 67s life once more, but then the Rangers came right back 25 seconds later to go ahead again 3-2. That's another pattern we're seeing all too often with the 67s lately. They always seem to be clawing their way back into games, only to give back the quick goals to throw themselves back into the pit. Maybe it's just a symptom of a young team. Basically, that goal pretty much did it in for Ottawa. Kitchener went on to score some more goals, and we left after the second period. It was pretty clear where this one was going. Shots after the second period were 46-19 for Kitchener.

3 stars - a bunch of Kitchener players.

Thoughts on the game: This was Ottawa's 3rd game in 2 1/2 days. Kitchener's team is stacked to compete in a strong Western Conference. The 67s didn't stand a chance. The Rangers are too quick and their breakouts were beating the Ottawa defence all night long. Joslin was maybe the only guy who didn't suck badly. Morrison made some really good saves, but he was left out to dry. I never really noticed Downie out there. At times I thought our first line outplayed their first line. The final shots on net were 64-22. I'm getting really tired of watching this team lose.

That said, the Aud's a great place to watch a hockey game. It's a great environment, fans are involved and loud, the music doesn't tear apart the speakers and make your ears bleed. I highly recommend that everyone try to get there for a game. Just wait until a year when the 67s are a little older and may be able to compete.

January 13, 2007

Battalion over 67s 5 – 2 (again)

The trade deadline was on Wednesday and both teams came into tonight’s game looking a little different from the last time they met (last Sunday). Brampton traded C/L Howie Martin and D Phil Oreskovic to Owen Sound. They didn’t add anyone to their roster in the trade frenzy . For Ottawa’s part, they traded Shea Kewin to Oshawa for a 4th round pick this summer and Jesse Biduke to Kingston for future considerations. They also picked up Mathieu Methot and Adam Courchaine from Barrie for a 3rd round pick this year and an 8th rounder next.

Tracking the discussions on the couple of boards I follow (http://www.ottawa67s.com/bbs/ and http://www.rinkratmag.com/forum/index.php) the consensus is pretty much that Ottawa fans were sorry (some were downright ticked-off) to see Shea go but most realized that it’s a numbers game and that the kid deserved more ice time. Some expressed concern about who will drop the gloves when necessary (an early contender threw his hat in the ring tonight but you’ll have to read on to find out who). Hope Shea does well. Thoughts on Biduke were mixed. In any event, major junior hockey is big business now and these kids are moved around like so much chattel. I hope the overall experience for them is good.

I didn’t catch the Battalion scratches for the game.

Ottawa changes: Gallea and Cimadamore were scratched. Correction - Gallea was sent down (not sure where) and Cimadamore and Ryan were the scratches. In the growing trend of bringing local boys onboard, newly acquired Mathieu Methot dressed and wore jersey number 63. Jakub Vojta and Lukas Flueler were back from their respective national teams for the World Juniors and dressed. Julian Demers who was supposed to be here for just one game was back in the lineup. Brady Morrison was between the pipes.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey
Liscomb Linsday, Bailey,
Methot, Kiriakou, Alphonso
Cowie, Ribeiro, Nesbitt (didn’t see much ice time – maybe one shift or two per period)

Defensive pairings: it actually varied during the game. I only noticed Vojta out there for one shift and from then on Killer played with a short defensive bench so everyone was pretty much paired with everyone else at some point during the game.

Both teams started the game with a quick pace and Ottawa had a number of really good scoring chances. Just 1:30 into the game, it sure looked like Methot had scored his first goal as a 67s when Kiriakou dug the puck out of the corner and got it to Methot right on Brampton goalie Killeen’s doorstep. Methot went upstairs and started celebrating. It was waived off by the referee and when play stopped over a minute later, the review decision was that there was no goal. From the Team 1200’s review of the tape, they thought it hit the underside of the crossbar. But their opinion does not count as far as the official score sheet goes.

Ottawa got its first PP opportunity shortly after that and although they kept up some really good pressure, had some good chances and got three shots on net, they could not bury the puck. It should be noted that neither team was able to change lines during the two-minute span. They musta been some pooped when they finally got to the bench. Not long after fending off the 67s, Brampton got the first goal of the night when Luke Lynes beat Morrison through the 5-hole. At this point shots on goal were 10 – 5 in Ottawa’s favour and Ottawa had held the momentum. I think Brady was caught snoozing.

Ottawa got its second PP chance at 11:03 and couldn’t take advantage of it either. Brampton played a very aggressive PK and forced Ottawa to keep moving the puck. With just 2 minutes to play, Brady made a stellar save on a point-blank shot (didn’t get the jersey number) to keep the 67s in the game. Ottawa then came back and tied it up when Grimaldi fired one in from the point and among the people it bounced off, Jamie McGinn got in the way (in a good way) to have the puck bounce off him and in the net. It looked a little like pinball to me but, pretty or not, it’s still a goal. Couture got the second assist on the goal.

The first period ended in a tie at 1 with SOGs: 17 – 10 for Ottawa.

The second period started without a lot of fanfare. I noticed that McGinn was really throwing his weight around. Actually there seemed to be a fair amount of hitting going on. The only time that I recorded the 4th line out there, Ribeiro was called for high sticking. Ottawa did a great job of killing the penalty and allowed only 1 SOG. At one point McGinn stole the puck to create an offensive threat. On the next PK however (Methot off for hooking), it wasn’t successful. It took Brampton less than 30 seconds to take advantage when Cody Hodgson maneuvered into the slot and beat Morrison through the 5-hole through traffic. It is possible that Brady was screened on the shot. No matter, Brampton was back in the lead. With under 5 minutes left in the period, Jason Bailey was tagged for interference. In the ensuing play, Brampton got called for hooking to even it up and then got tagged again for too many men (boys?) on the ice. Ottawa played the remaining 1:04 in the period with a 2-man advantage but could not score.

After two, it was 2 – 1 Brampton and SOGs were 28 – 18 for Ottawa.

Ottawa started the third period with 27 seconds remaining in the 5-on-3 but couldn’t do anything with it or the dying seconds of the one-man advantage. Ottawa had a fantastic chance but alas the stars were not aligned with our boys. A shot (sorry don’t know who’s) rang off the post and Killeen was able to make a great save on the rebound. A minute later, Grimaldi pinched up on a play but was then caught – allowing Brampton an odd man rush. Luke Lynes scored his second of the evening when he picked off the corner upstairs to beat Brady.

And now the news that you have all been waiting for (drum roll)…who would step up and be the tough guy for Ottawa now that Shea is gone. (cue the dramatic music). Well it’s non-other than that hard working pesky guy – Brett Liscomb!! I have no idea what set it off but about 5 minutes into the period, between the Brampton goal and the boards and behind the play, Brett starts into a shoving match with Tomas Strynci. Now, according to the roster information on these players, Brett checks in at 5’9” and 186 lbs and Tomas checks in at 6’1” and 195 lbs. Christmas impacts on weight aside (only us old farts worry about that stuff) this is one where the Gulliver rule should apply (see a previous blog on this concept). Well they both get into it and I don’t think anyone lands a serious blow, Strynci gets the call for getting Brett to the ice first but Brett gets the call for taking him on in the first place. Moving on…about half way through the period the 67s seem to get new life largely on the effort of Arron Alphonso. This kid worked real hard to make something happen. Finally, 7:40 left on the clock, Jason Bailey makes it a game when he gets one past Killeen on the short side from a sharp angle. Now we got hope!

Ooops – maybe not. Before the arena announcer can announce the official on the goal, Luke Lynes gets his hat trick when he is left all alone and beats Brady – through the 5-hole (again!!). Brampton is back with a 2-goal lead. Brampton ices the game with a power play goal by John Hughes with just over 3 minute left to play and while the 67s try to keep playing hard, it’s just not a happening thing.

The game ends with Brampton beating Ottawa yet again with a score of 5 – 2 despite Ottawa getting 36 shots on goal versus Brampton’s 27.

Three Stars of the game – a Brampton sweep (can’t accuse our guys of being homers):

1. Luke Lynes (hat trick)
2. Patrick Killeen (34 saves and some of them pretty darn good ‘uns)
3. The score sheet says Justin Levac but I’m pretty sure it was Cory Hodgson (goal and 2 assists. Apparently this kid has already been tagged as a possible high pick for the 2008 NHL draft).

Hardest working 67: Jason Bailey

Random Thoughts:

- Alphonso was sporting a new look – Chrome Dome. Does he need to adjust his helmet?
- Ottawa was just a step behind, a second too late, or a bounce away from making some really great plays. It was like their connective tissue disconnected.
- I think I know why so many hockey players also play golf. The swing on a slap shot looks the same as for golf. From the number of fanned shots tonight, if it were a golf game it would have been a whole lotta mulligans or at least thin shots. Indoor golf school boys – I go to the Kevin Haime school at the OAC. Their pros are very good.
- Despite the occasional brain cramp I gotta say I like Grimaldi on the point. But he drives me nuts on the attempt at a breakout. With all his fussing around, the other team has enough time to go to the bench to get a drink of water and discuss their defensive strategy. Oh for the days when Mark Mancari would come streaking at full speed carrying the puck from behind his own net.
- Apologies to Jason Bailey for getting his name wrong last weekend.
- Welcome to Mathieu Methot.
- Best line tonight in my opinion was the second line – lots of hard work.
- Top line seemed to have its issues – Lahey was assessed a timeout by the coach.
- McGinn was hitting pretty much anything that was moving and some stuff that wasn’t.
- Vojta who?
- Brampton played a strong defensive game and their goalie was hot.
- Was not Brady’s best night out. But who do we have in reserve? Flueler will need a chance to show his stuff but it’s scary (what’s with Swiss goalies this year? Was there some sort of national plebiscite regarding goalie performance that we missed?).

Saturday January 13th is Hockey Day in Canada. Hope you are planning something to celebrate our national pastime (and occasional obsession). For our part, we are going to the Senators – Habs game. It should be a doozy - Montreal bouncing back from the flu and Ottawa seemingly getting into its new identity as a team that can grind out wins without its star centres (ya ya I know about the game against NYR – a blip).

Let's send our boys positive thoughts - their weekend only gets tougher. They play Owen Sound tomorrow where former co-captain Elgin Reed went (didn't dress on Thursday - will be interesting to see his ice time with the new additions to the team) and Kitchener on Sunday where some of the players will see their former team mate Peter Tsimikalis and former Petes foe Steve Downie.

Go 67s Go!

January 06, 2007

Three-Petes: Petes over Ottawa 5 – 4 in the Shoot Out

Well, three-peat might not be quite right since Ottawa did eke out a win last week to break up the string of wins that the Petes currently enjoy over Ottawa but THREE-PEAT was the theme of the day as Team Canada took gold for the third year in a row and the World Junior Hockey Championship and from the same opponent, Russia, in each of those years. If you didn’t get to see the game, it would be worth catching a re-broadcast.

Well, I’m back after my Christmas hiatus to tell you all about 67s hockey. It took some adjusting being back so close to the ice and after watching the national junior team play. Now that is a whole different tempo. A rather depleted Peterborough team rolled into town looking to bounce back from last week’s loss. Ottawa was looking to get back on a winning streak.

Petes out of the lineup tonight: Pawlowski, Downie, Soryal, Ryder and Krolouski. Trevor Cann started in net.

Ottawa scratches: Flueler, Biduke, Vojta, Gallea, Alphonso. Added to the roster tonight was Nepean native Julian Demers wearing sweater 24. Brady Morrison was between the pipes.

Lines for tonight:
McGinn, Couture, Lahey
Liscomb Linsday, Bailey,
Cowie, Kiriakou, Kewin
Cimadamore, Ribeiro, Nesbitt

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

The first half of the period didn’t really produce much excitement even with Ottawa getting an early power play during which they managed 3 shots on Trevor Cann. With Julian Cimadamore off for his second penalty of the night, Tony Rizza put Peterborough on the board first at 10:27 into the period. I think this might have been on Peterborough’s 5th shot on net at this point. About 6 minutes later Justin Bailey tied it up when he tipped in Joslin’s shot from the point on an Ottawa power play. Cody Lindsay got the second assist. There was some sort of delay at this point, not sure if it was to review the goal but in the meantime, those of us sitting in section 21 were bleeding from our ears from the volume of the music. Now, I may not be a teenager anymore but I am a child of the 70s and I still enjoy loud music but that was way too loud even for me. That was a very painful interlude. Back to the game. The Petes kept up the pressure and with 24.5 seconds left in the period, they managed to draw a penalty on Justin Bailey for hooking.

The first period ended in a tie at 1 with SOGs: 18 – 10 for Ottawa.

Ottawa started the second period with 1:36 to kill in Justin’s penalty. The PK units of Cowie, Kiriakou, Joslin, Cuma and Liscombe, Lindsay, Grimaldi, Beard did a dandy job; the Petes didn’t even get a shot on goal. The Ottawa PK units were pretty strong in the second period, keeping Peterborough off the board for three other man-advantages. At 8:34 of the period, Julian Demers notched his first OHL goal on Ottawa’s power play with a shot from the top of the face-off circle. Grimaldi got the helper. That put Ottawa ahead by one. Then less than a minute later, Ottawa went up by two with Justin Bailey’s second goal of the night and his fourth of his short season. Line mates Lindsay and Liscomb assisted.

After two periods it was Ottawa 3 – Peterborough 1 with shots on goal: 34 – 15 for Ottawa.

The third period started with some fast early chances but Ottawa just could not bury them. I think Trevor was thinking about what might have been had he made the national team and he was channeling Cary Price. Also, the rest of the Petes were playing like the Senators of late with both teams being depleted of many top players and rest of the team stepping up. With Sean Ryan serving a delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass, Brendan Taylor scored on a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play to bring the Petes within one. Less than 30 seconds later, Brett Liscomb restored the two-point lead when he buried a rebound past Cann. Lindsay and Demers assisted. Well, the announcer hadn’t even caught up on the first Ottawa goal when the Petes made it a one-goal game again. Tony Rizzi was left all alone in front of Brady when Brendan Taylor passed to him from behind the net.

Ottawa kept the play in the Peterborough zone for pretty much the rest of the period but were unable to get anything more past Cann. With just under 6 minutes left in the period, Justin Caruana tied it up with a goal a sharp angle. Brady should have had that one. Ottawa had a 28 second 5-on-3 opportunity but were unable to convert on the power play chance.

Regulation ended in a tie at 4 with Ottawa dramatically outshooting Peterborough 53 – 25.

Into overtime. Nothing too dramatic. Ottawa had a 32 second power play hold-over from regulation but were unable to score. Both teams managed 3 shots on the tenders with nothing getting by.

The Shoot Out:

Rehus goal
Rizzi no goal
Daley no goal
Lock no goal
Taylor no goal
Raftis no goal
Harnden goal

Liscomb no goal
Couture no goal
McGinn goal
Lahey no goal
Lindsay no goal
Bailey no goal
Nesbitt no goal

End of the story: 5 – 4 Petes in the shoot out. SOGs: 56 – 28 in Ottawa’s favour

Stars for the game:

1. Justin Bailey (2 goals)
2. Tony Rizzi (2 goals and an assist)
3. Julian Demers (goal and an assist)

Hardest working 67: Cody Lindsay (I may have this wrong)

Random Thoughts:

- Crazy-8’s aren’t so crazy lately.
- 56 shots on goal and not that much to show for it. Cann was good but even with all those shots I didn’t see him having to work all that hard. We missed a lot of rebound opportunities.
- First time to see Bailey – he’s quick. Currently on a four-game point streak.
- First time to see Demers – Vojta who?
- Not Grimaldi’s best night out. But liking what we have as D in the upcoming years. I’m thinking we should trade some older assets now to get more future potential. Trade deadline is next week and I think that Kilrea would have already done it if he were doing it.
- What’s up with Biduke? Hasn’t dressed in a long time from what I can recall. And he’s still on the roster.