November 25, 2007

Just Enough Effort to Win: Ottawa 3 – Kingston 1

No time for an in-depth pre-game set up. Kingston came into the game 9th place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points (4 points behind Peterborough) in 22 games. Their GF was 66 and GA – a whopping 118! Their P10 was 5-5-0-0. In the last week Kingston was shut out by Sarnia (6-0), beat Guelph (5-3) and lost to Brampton big time (5-9) giving up 4 PP goals.

Ottawa was in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points in 23 games.

Ottawa lineup news:
Matt Lahey sat out with a concussion suffered at the shoulder (or elbow depending who you ask) of Niagara’s Scott Fletcher on Friday. Jason Bailey continued his recovery from mono (however he caught it, I sure hope it was worth it!!). Adam Courchaine got the call again.

Kingston lineup news:
They were without Ben Shutron and Kevin Mole both out with injuries. Not-quite-17-year old Anthony Peters was in the net.

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

Defensive pairings:
Ryan/ McCullough

First Period
At just 1:04 into the period, Ottawa found itself on the PK on a very questionable call against Demers for kneeing. The best play of the 2:00 minutes was when Cody Lindsay broke away on nice feed from Thomas Kiriakou for a short-handed chance only for Peters to make a great save. Kingston, with the worst PP in the league, managed 1 shot on goal.

Neither team was generating a lot of scoring chances and just before the half-way mark, the shots on goal were only 4 – 1 for Ottawa.

But at the halfway mark Logan Couture beat Peters through the wickets to put Ottawa on the board. Thomas Nesbitt and Jamie McGinn got the assists.

Having only a one-goal lead, Ottawa was not playing very well and to my untrained eye it seemed that their outlet passes were way too sloppy, missing their intended targets way too much. For their part, Kingston was doing a pretty good job cycling the puck in the Ottawa zone and keeping the 67s pinned.

At the end of twenty minutes, Ottawa had the lone goal and the shots were only 6 – 6.

Second Period
We were expecting to see a slightly more lively 67s squad in the second period as they certainly could not have been too tired after the first.

The whistle-happy refs got the parade going early in the period, first calling Michael Latta for hooking. Then 27 seconds later Kingston’s Cory Emmerton was called for high-sticking so it was back to 4-on-4. Forty-one seconds after that, Paryzek was called for hooking. With 6 seconds left in his penalty, Kingston’s Kevin Christmas was called for interference. In all this up-a-man, down-a-man, 4-on-4 play, no one scored but Logan Couture had a great short-handed opportunity.

Finally, play resumed at 5-on-5 with 13 minutes and change left in the period. But it would not last long as the 67s continued to attract the attention of the referees.

With Cody Lindsay in the box for hooking, Kingston finally got on the board. Matthew Kang was credited with a goal on a puck that appeared to hit an Ottawa skate and get redirected past Courchaine. Big guy Justin Wallingford and Jonathan Sciacca got the assists. Time of the goal: 12:14.

But before the official announcement could be finished, Ottawa got it back when Thomas Nesbitt was able to poke a rolling puck past Anthony Peters to restore the lead. Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn got the assists. Time of that goal: 12:32. Sorry, I was at the other end and could not get a picture.

But the refs were not at all done with their whistles (think they were on commission). First Scott Cowie was called for tripping and then 28 seconds later Captain McGinn was called for goaltender interference when he fell into Peters. The 67s did a stellar job of defending the Kingston advantage for both the 5-on-4 and 5-on-4 play.

It was 2 – 1 for Ottawa after 2 periods and Ottawa held a slight lead in shots: 18 – 16.

Third Period
Ottawa jumped to a two-goal lead just 56 seconds into the period when Thomas Nesbitt scored his second of the afternoon when he beat Anthony Peters short side. Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn got the assists.

And then, just 1:24 into the third frame, all sorts of stuff happened. It was at the other end of the rink so I didn’t see what precipitated it all but from what Schreibs was saying (the Team1200 game caller), some of the calls by the refs were questionable. Matthew Kang interfered on Adam Courchaine. Tyler Cuma took exception and took it up with Kang (Tyler clearly won the tilt). Somehow Peter Stevens got involved too. In the final analysis, Kang got 2 for goaltender interference and 5 for fighting, Stevens got 2 for roughing, Courchaine got 2 for diving (!) and a 10-minute misconduct (I think it was served by Carnevale) and Cuma got 2 for slashing (1) and 5 for fighting. He’s getting to be real feisty these days.

In the ensuing PP, Cory Emmerton wired a shot for the top shelf but the goal post made the save!

Kingston was coming on strong with the fore check and did a good job of keeping Ottawa pinned. But they cut their chances short when Josh Brittain was called for a high-stick on Cuma. Since it drew blood, he got a 4-minute time out. 37-seconds into that PP, Kingston took another penalty when Justin Wallingford was called for slashing Jamie McGinn. So with 7 minutes left in the game, Ottawa had a great chance to snuff any idea of a comeback by Kingston with a 2-minute 5-on-3 followed by a few more seconds of 5-on-4. Time to go for the throat!........not!

Ottawa had a few chances but simply could not get organized against the worst PK in the league. Give Peters credit for making a few good saves too. But Ottawa simply could not deliver the final blow to Kingston’s ambitions.

With 1:20 left in the period and the face off going to be in the Ottawa end, Kingston called a timeout. When it was over, Peters was on the bench for the extra attacker.

Ottawa had a couple of great chances to score on the open net but were unable to (McGinn had his stick lifted on one) but Kingston could not do any damage either.

So, the final result was Ottawa 3 and Kingston 1. Shots were 27 to 22 in Ottawa’s favour.

Three stars – a top line sweep:
1. Thomas Nesbitt (2 goals and an assist)
2. Logan Couture (goal and 2 assists)
3. Jamie McGinn (3 assists)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Tyler Cuma

Blitzen’s rate the anthem singer: 7 – 10. Too slow, waay too slow. But otherwise not bad

Random Thoughts:

  • Couture, Cuma and Emmerton (the only Kingston player) head up to Sudbury for the ADT Canada Russia Challenge – game two tomorrow night. I wonder how they will get there.
  • The 67s played just hard enough to win against Kingston. The result would have been quite different against pretty much any other team in the league. Some moments of really good play interspersed with too many moments of slumpyness.
  • Nesbitt may have found a new home on the top line.
  • Cuma had an outstanding afternoon – one of his stronger games.
  • Doesn’t look like Jamie lost any teeth. Not sure what the damage was from his facial encounter with the puck on Friday but whatever it is, it isn’t visible from the outside.

Some other pictures for your (hopeful) enjoyment. I took over 300 pictures – I’m gonna torture someone with a few of them!! I didn’t have time for any editing so they are what they are. I’m still figuring this camera out.

I like this one just because of the Oops on the boards

Go 67s Go!

November 24, 2007

Ottawa 4 – Niagara 2

No time for a clever title and I didn’t have time to do a pre-game set up. Coming into the game Niagara was 5th in the conference with 25 points and Ottawa was 6th with 20. But Niagara was on a 5-game losing streak and having missed a few players due to injuries.

Ottawa was home again for the weekend hoping for a better record than last week.

Both teams had players on the roster of the ADT Canada Russia Challenge game that was played yesterday in Kitchener. So team mates one night and rivals the next were: Luca Caputi, Stefan Legein, Alex Pietrangelo, and Matt Corrente for Niagara and Logan Couture, Jamie McGinn and Tyler Cuma. The OHL team won the game. Team OHL won the game. Couture, Caputi and Legein all contributed assists. Legein, Piertrangelo, Couture and Cuma will play the second OHL game in Sudbury on Monday.

The Buzz (not referring to Buzzy-Boo-Bear from Team1200)
Alex Pietrangelo is expected to go high in next year’s NHL draft – currently pegged in the top 5.

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

Niagara lineup news:
Scratches for tonight: Stephan Ceccanese, Vladimir Bessonov, Jay Gilbert, Chris Van Laren, Jason Bergeron (injury) Aaron Snow and goal tender Lucas Lobsinger (injury). Andrew Loverock was in net. Matt Corrente was returning to the ice after serving an 8-game suspension.

Ottawa Lines to start the game:
Couture, JMcGinn, Lahey (yes – that’s Jamie at centre)
Methot, Latta, Nesbitt
Martindale, Kiriakou, Zamec
TMcGinn, Lindsay, Carnevale

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

First Period
The game started getting physical right away with Michael Latta getting stood up pretty firmly by Matt Corrente at the Niagara blue line on the first play of the game. Ottawa quickly got its first PP of the night when Luca Caputi was called for playing with a broken stick (pretty good catch by the ref). Niagara played their PK pretty aggressively and didn’t allow Ottawa to get organized at all. The IceDogs sprung Legein on stretch passes but the puck slid off his stick to foul up his scoring chance. At the end of two minutes, Ottawa didn’t manage a single shot on goal.

The 67s were not playing well defensively and in the first five minute the shots were 6 – 0 for Niagara. Courchaine kept them out of the net.

Then it was Niagara’s turn on the PP when Carnevale was called for tripping. Niagara used 4 forwards on their PP but the 67s did a good job of defending – only allowing 1 shot through.

Then, for some reason that was not obvious to us, Nesbitt and Chris DeSousa dropped the gloves and went at it. There were some solid shots by both but the call goes to Thomas Nesbitt. They both were sent off for 5 minutes to feel shame.

Both teams were trying to open it up with long stretch passes and both teams were playing strong defense to breakup scoring chances. But I thought the person running the shot clock was being a tad stingy with the count.

It seemed that one play that the IceDogs tried consistently was for Legein to cheat up ice to wait for a stretch pass – even on the PKs. Ottawa caught on pretty quickly and was doing a good job of anticipating the pass and breaking up the play.

Ottawa finally broke the ice at 12:03 in the period when Cody Lindsay slide a pass through the crease and pretty much hit Jon Carnevale’s stick for the re-direction into the net. Tye McGinn got the second assist.

Then Matt Lahey had his game seriously shorted when, in the process of breaking up a Niagara breakout, Lahey was trying to scoop up a pass that was not quite right on and Scott Fletcher decked him with an elbow to the head. Lahey was kneeling on the ice with his head in his hands for a while. Patafie (the 67s team trainer) went to the ice and it took a while to assess the damage and get Matt up. It looked like he had a nasty nose bleed (at least) and he left the ice – and did not return to the game. Fletcher was assessed 5 for the hit to the head and a game misconduct. I think this generates a review by the league.

So Ottawa went on its second PP of the night – a 5-minute advantage with 6:55 to go in the period. Zamec was set up at least twice right in front of the goalie, one of which was an absolute gift that he could not get his stick on and another that he missed by not paying attention. About 2 minutes into the 5-minute PP, the whole PP appeared to break down – like Ottawa just couldn’t sustain the attack. But Ottawa finally made good on the advantage when Adam Zamec, from behind the net, found Cody Lindsay alone in slot and Lindsay found the back of the net. Mathieu Methot got the second assist on Ottawa’s second goal of the game.

Ottawa was still on PP but didn’t do any damage.

With 1:09 left in the period, Alex Pietrangelo was called for high sticking and Ottawa was back on the PP. Again, the IceDogs managed to make a quick transition by getting control of the puck and springing Legein for a breakaway. Julien Demers did a solid job of playing Legein and essentially moving him and the puck out of harm’s reach.

The first 20 minutes ended with Ottawa up by two (2 – 0) but slightly out-shot (10 – 13).

Second Period
This is when my seat neighbor noticed that McGinn was taking all the face offs. Kept watching and sure ‘nuff, he was. Things that make you go hmmmmm. We also noted that Lahey had not returned. So both teams continued the game with a shortened bench (Fletcher having been ejected and Lahey with an injury).

Ottawa also started with a 51 second PP as Pietrangelo continued to serve his sentence for an unauthorized use of his stick. Well, the period had hardly started when Niagara’s Nathan Swift and out own Thomas Nesbitt had a little set-to. Looked pretty even but Nesbitt gets the call as he eventually dropped Swift. For the record, Michael Swift is one of the IceDogs overagers (already 20 years old) and he took on a 17 year old. In the spirit of full disclosure, Nesbitt has a couple of inches on Swift and about 25lbs (if you believe the roster information). Both were sent off for 5 for fighting.

Back to the PP – nothing of note beyond the tilt happened.

No sooner were we done with that, then Niagara was on the PP with Cody Lindsay off for a very questionable call for hooking.

Note that all of the above action took place within the first 1:30 of the game!

Well, the team did a dandy job on the PK and the dogs didn’t get a single shot through!

Then it was Ottawa back on the PP (the refs were calling everything that moved!!) on a Niagara tripping call. Ottawa managed a couple of shots on Loverock but again, the scary scoring chance came with the IceDogs once again springing Legein and generating a 2-on-1 breakaway. The pass was too far and the scoring chance was defeated.

Finally we got some 5-on-5 hockey and, with 6:15 gone in the period, Jamie McGinn batted a rebound out of the air to put Ottawa up 3 – 0. Logan Couture and Thomas Nesbitt got the assists.

I don’t often speak of the non-scoring plays of the defensemen. Well, Radim Ostrcil was having a good time of it, especially in the second period when he was giving Stefan Legein no room to move. In a matter of a few minutes, I saw him lay a couple of good, solid, fair hits on Legein to let him know that they had his number.

At the mid-way point of the game, we finally got the eruption we were expecting. I could not see it clearly from my seat but it appeared that Matt Corrente cross-checked Methot deep in the Niagara zone. Cody Lindsay didn’t think much of this and took action. Fully imbued with the team spirit (and probably itching for something to hit), it looks like Michael Latta decided a little cross-check tit-for-tat was in order and Niagara’s Chris DeSousa had some rough love for someone. Everyone paired off but nothing more happened. The combatants were sent to their respective corners to cool their jets. 4 in the boxes - all off-setting minors.

Then Radim Ostrcil was called for tripping and Ottawa was back on the PK. The IceDogs managed a couple of shots but were unable to score.

Then, with 7:14 left in the period, behind the Niagara net, Tyler Cuma and Andrew Merrett decided to dance. As far as the fight itself goes, it was an uneventful draw. As far as the impact goes, the IceDogs won this hands down as both were assessed 2 for roughing, 5 for fighting and 10-minute misconducts. With Cuma off the ice for 17 minutes, Ottawa clearly paid the higher price. They had to evict some players out of both penalty boxes to make room for the more recent arrivals.

Ottawa continued to stymie Niagara’s efforts to get back in the game and after 40 minutes it was 3 – 0 for Ottawa with the shots 18 – 23 for Niagara.

Third Period
Niagara was determined to get back in this game and came out strong in the third. Before a minute had passed, Stefan Legein broke out for a scoring chance but Courchaine made the save! But when Adam Zamec failed an easy chance to clear the puck, Chris DeSousa put the IceDogs on the board with assists from Barry Sanderson and Alex Pietrangelo. Zamec found himself immediately pinned to the bench – right in the middle of the shift as Jon Carnevale was sent out to replace him.

Niagara continue to press hard with an aggressive fore-check and Ottawa continued being unable to clear their zone. With 4:58 gone in the period, Barry Sanderson shoved a loose puck through the legs of Courchaine to make it a one-goal game. He was unassisted on the goal.

Yikes – now we were getting nervous – all the momentum was with Niagara and they were keeping Ottawa fairly pinned. Ottawa run up a long string of icing calls (good thing they are still allowed to make changes on an icing call) and Courchaine made some spectacular saves – including one off his mask that damaged the mask. Repairs could not be made quickly so he had to use Chris Perugini’s mask instead.

Ottawa had its chances to press and McGinn paid the price with his face. Pressing in the Niagara zone, (I didn’t catch the name of the player) the Niagara player attempted to flip the puck up out of his zone. It just so happened that Jamie McGinn’s face was right in the way and he went down like a ton of bricks. Again, Patafie was on the ice tending to another bleeding 67s player. It took a while to assess the damage and get Jamie up on his feet. He went straight to the dressing room and Zamec returned to the ice for an opportunity for redemption (borne more out of need that out of forgiveness). Before the faceoff took place, the players were looking for something on the ice. McGinn’s teeth perhaps? (ouch!!).

Ottawa continued with some unnecessary icing but there were also some really good transition plays. McGinn made it back to the bench with 4:21 left in the period. With 1:15 left in the period and another faceoff in Ottawa’s zone due to an icing call, Niagara called a time out and when play resumed, Loverock was on the bench for the extra attacker.

Ottawa lost the faceoff but eventually was able to get the puck out and with the extra effort, Thomas Kiriakou made it across the blue line and back handed a shot that found the empty net with 48 seconds remaining. Tyler Cuma got the assist.

So, Ottawa survived a resurging IceDogs team to hand onto a 4 – 2 win. Final shots were 31 – 37 for the Dogs.

Three stars:
1. Adam Courchaine (35 saves and a number of them were brilliant game savers)
2. Cody Lindsay (goal, assist and a couple of good tilts)
3. Barry Sanderson (Niagara – goal and an assist)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: akk! I forget!! Edit: Thanks to Elizabeth for telling me that it was Thomas Nesbitt who was recognized as the Hardest Working 67s!

Blitzen’s rate the anthem singer: Full marks!! It was a constable from a Belleville (?) detachment. His mike was not working but his voice still carried. We might have all gone deaf had his mike worked. Many in the audience sang with him. He can be invited back!

Random Thoughts:

  • During the warm-up the IceDogs looked entirely indifferent to the exercise. I could imagine more enthusiasm for a dental appointment.
  • The club had live musicians play to the pre-game video. I thought they were great and it worked really well. Nice touch.
  • In the third period, it looked like the 67s were panicking a bit when trying to clear the zone. They must have iced the puck 8 times unnecessarily. A half-second more to slow it down and ensure a sustained exit out of the zone might have worked.
  • The IceDogs were just a half-second, half-step away for some really solid scoring chances. For the break-aways that they got, thank goodness Courchaine had a solid night.
  • Our defensive game suffered when Cuma was in the penalty box for 17 minutes. Niagara scored both goals during his time out. Not that he would have been on the ice the whole time, but 17 minutes is a long time to lose him both on the ice and the adjustments that are necessary to fill the gap. So don’t do that again please. You’re a smart kid – apply them brains next time some third liner wants to take you on.

Next game on Sunday against Kingston.

Go 67s Go!

November 21, 2007

ADT Canada Russia Challenge

Took a trip across the river to watch the second game in the Canada Russia ADT Challenge. This game was played Bob (Robert) Guertin Arena in Gatineau.

The Russia Selects team won the first game of the series 6 – 4 in Chicoutimi on November 19th. Check out the game summary here.

Tonight’s game was an entertaining match. This should be the game sheet from tonight.

The Russia Selects outplayed the Team QMJHL in the first period but it was still a tightly played period. Team QMJHL scored twice on 7 shots on goal while the Russia Selects had 8 shots turned aside by Bernier. The tables turned in the first half of the second period where the QMJHL team essentially had the Russians pinned in their end for a good chunk of the first half. But the Russians got their goals back – one on a power play and the other at even strength less than a minute later (I sound a lot like Bob Cole…"a guy from the other team did something and then another guy from the home team did something else.” I am not familiar enough with all the players to have noticed who did what when. After 2 periods the game was tied and the shots were 18 – 15 for the QMJHL team.

Both teams flagged a bit in the third period but as the time wound down, they wound up. Both teams were working hard for that winning goal. The refereeing got terrible – the usual third period rule book in play. So the play got a bit chippier and as one would expect a scrap broke out. We didn’t see the play that started it all but before the play could be whistled, Brad Marchand was hit relatively hard at his blue line and the fight was on with pretty much all the players looking for a dance partner. When it was all over, Team Select had 3 in the box – one of them having earned a 4-minute rest, and the QMJHL had 2. Team QMJHL couldn’t get anything going for most of the first half and then they took a penalty to shorten the chance.

There were a few good scoring chances for both teams but the game ended in a tie. The ADT format goes straight to the Fusillage (shootout) rather than play an overtime period.

The format is 5 players and:

Russia Selects:
26 Mikail Milekhin X
18 Dmitry Sayustov X
11 Vadim Golubtsov X
17 Marat Fakhrutdinov X

28 Claude Giroux X
16 Mathieu Perreault X
17 Brad Marchand SCORE
44 Kevin Veilleux, SCORE

Team QMJHL takes it in the shoot out.

Players of the game:
Russia Selects: #24 Alexander Vasyunov
Team QMJHL: #17 Brad Marchand

The Bob is a great arena. We had seats right behind the timekeepers so we got to watch some of the production. Didja know that they keep the spare pucks on ice? Literally – in a bucket of ice. I did not know that but it makes sense when you think about it.

Too bad it was a relatively poorly attended game – no where near a sellout – maybe two-thirds full. But those that were there made enough noise.

I wonder if any of the 67s took the game in – especially Cuma, McGinn and Couture who will be taking part in the OHL challenges (not all the games). (Oops - I now see that all three are playing in game 1 and are likely already in Kitchener. Cuma and Couture are also scheduled to play game 2 in Sudbury on Monday).

The next game is tomorrow night (November 22) in Kitchener. I think the Russia Selects might be a tad tired from the travel tonight.

I seem to recall that this series was in jeopardy of being cancelled as it seemed the Russia was not sending competitive teams over. It is quite a commitment to take a number of elite players from their teams for a few weeks to play in a series that really does not mean much except for scouts and scoutees. I’m not sure what quality of team Canada would ice if the shoe were on the other foot. But I would say that the team that was iced today was every bit up to the task – this game could have gone either way. Very entertaining for this group of fans.


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!

November 17, 2007

Ottawa 10 – Guelph 3!

You read it right sports fans. There was some seriously inclement weather inside the Civic Centre and the Guelph Storm bore the brunt of it.

Both teams came into the contest pretty evenly matched on paper:

both in 7th place in their respective conferences
Guelph: 19 points after 20 games with a record of 8-9-3-0, GF 72 GA 73
Ottawa: 18 points after 20 games with a record of 8-10-0-2, GF 73 GA 83

Lots of talk about Guelph’s big NHL draft prospect Drew Doughty. While most folks are saying that Sarnia’s Steve Stamkos is likely to be the number 1 NHL draft pick next summer during the Buzz on Hockey before the game some commentators were suggesting that if anyone might challenge for that number one spot, it could be Drew Doughty. Tim Murray (Ottawa Senators Assistant General Manager and former (?) scout) and others were in the building tonight taking a look at Doughty and others. For our part, there are two Ottawa 67s who are reasonably ranked OHL players by the Central Scouting Rankings. In addition to the current crop of potential draftees, the scouts also had a chance to see some of the kids who are still a year or more away from their draft eligibility. And I'm sure the scouts liked some of what they saw.

Ottawa lineup news:
I have not read anything official but it is my understanding that Jordan Gallea has been sent down to the Nepean Raiders. I see his name on their roster. I don’t have any information on where Matt McDougall is but it is also my understanding that he has been sent down somewhere. I welcome any readers to share the facts with the rest of us.

Again, not confirmed, but it is my understanding that Keith Wynn has read the tea leaves and has chosen to retire (what an odd concept for someone so young). With the acquisition of Zach McCullough and the current crop of guys on the blue line, I have been told that Keith realized that his days were numbered.

We wish the best for all these young men where ever their paths take them. It’s tough slogging and the chances of making it big are pretty low.

Jason Bailey is still out recovering from mono but it seems that his return is imminent. Scott Cowie was a healthy scratch. Young Perugini got the call in net.

Guelph lineup news:
Having missed the last two home games, I was pretty busy catching up with the folks around me so I really didn’t pay a whole lotta attention to what was happening with the Guelph roster. Here’s what I believe to be the situation: Corey Syvret (injury), Patrick Moran, Brandon Buck, Kyle Steckley, Jamie Arniel, Travis Gibbons, and Matt Kennedy were all scratches. Thomas McCollum started between the pipes (this one I know to be true)

Ottawa Lines (I only kept track for the first period – if there were changes, I completely missed them):
JMcGinn, Couture, Lahey (the Crazy Eights - more on that later)
Methot, Latta, Lindsay
TMcGinn, Kiriakou, Zamec
Martindale, Lindsay, Carnevale

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

First Period:
The game started with Guelph winning the opening face off (I know it may be weird but for some reason I am preoccupied at the start of the game with which side wins the opening face off. I am really really trying not to be superstitious.). But a mere 40 seconds later Ottawa was on the PP with Nathan Martine being sent for a timeout for interference. The only real scoring chance was a short-handed one by the Storm. Guelph successfully defended the 2:00 advantage.

Bit by bit Ottawa started getting its game day mojo going. First, Logan Couture had a pretty good chance when he carried the puck around the back of the Guelph net and was nearly successful with the wrap around. Then, with Ottawa on the PK (Martindaleoff for boarding) Methot had a good chance for a short handed goal on a feed from Kiriakou and Logan had another chance with a short handed breakaway but could not settle the puck down for a good scoring chance. Great PK – no shots got through to Perugini.

Before the halfway mark of the first period was reached, Matt Lahey potted one from the bottom of the face-off circle to put Ottawa on the scoreboard. Logan Couture and Martin Paryzek got the assists.

Less than 2 minutes later, Adam Zamek scored his first of the night and third of the year with assists going to Tye McGinn and Thomas Kirakou. At this point, Sarnia coach, Jason Brooks, pulled McCollum as Ottawa had scored twice on 5 shots on goal. Little did he know what awaited his team. bwa ha ha ha ha (that's the scary part of storms)

With Matt Lahey off for tripping, Ottawa generated yet another short handed opportunity when Methot (?) had a breakaway and put the puck up into the mask of St. Jacques.

Crediting the third goal for the night is a bit of a mystery. We all agree that it happened on an Ottawa PP at 16:29 of the period while Joe Underwood was serving his sentence for tripping. According to the in-house announcers and the Team1200 announcers, the goal was credited Adam Zamec although the official score sheet gives credit to Tye McGinn with assists going to Julien Demers and Adam Zamec. Individual stats aside, Ottawa went up 3 – 0 in quick order. This is when the spousal unit turned to me and said “Oh no!” clearly expressing his concern that the early success may cause the team to sit back.

Well, the Storm did manage to get one back (against our 4th line !!) when Denis Hollenstein scored with less than two minutes left it the period. Peter Holland got the only assist.

Not to be undone, Jamie McGinn responded with his 9th goal of the season with less than a minute to go in the period. Julien Demers and Logan Couture got the helpers.

At the end of the first period, the score was 4 – 1 for the good guys and shots on goal were 11 – 10 for Ottawa.

Second Period
Given the way this game was unfolding, my note taking (never one of my strong skills) deteriorated substantially and Theognete and I did a lot of chatting during the game.

There were only (!) three goals in the second period. The first one was a beauty short handed goal. Cuma was serving his penalty for cross checking and on the kill Logan Couture poked the puck past Drew Doughty on the point. Jamie McGinn joined the rush. Logan passed to Jamie, Jamie passed it back and Logan potted the short handed goal to make it 5 -1 for Ottawa at 2:20 into the second period.

Same PK, same players, different side of the rink. Logan again poked the puck past Doughty on the point, chipped it off the boards and was going after it. Doughty’s response was to trip Logan and end (mercifully) the Storm power play. Ottawa managed 3 shots on goal with the advantage but as the penalty ended, signals got crossed on the Guelph bench and too many players ended up on the ice so Ottawa was back on the PP. Ottawa went up 6 – 1 on Adam Zamec’s second official goal of the night. Thomas Kiriakou got the assist.

During the second half of the period, I’m not sure if Ottawa eased up a bit or Guelph found some life, or a bit of both but the momentum shifted a bit towards Guelph. For all their efforts though, they only managed one PP goal with 26 seconds left in Lahey’s roughing penalty. There was a lot of activity in front of Perugini and the puck went off the upper body of Tim Priamo and he was able to knock it down into the net.

After 40 minutes the score was 6 – 2 for Ottawa and the shots were 24 – 23 for Ottawa.

Third Period (or the second half of eternity for Guelph)
There were a lot of penalties handed out in the third period, most of them in the last 4 minutes of the game. But it opened with a very questionable delay of game call when Julien Demers put it over the glass. I think the refs were trying to give Guelph a fighting chance. It didn’t work. I don’t think the Storm even got close to the net.

Although they weren’t doing any damage, Guelph did manage to keep Ottawa pinned in their end for much of the period. But when Ottawa broke loose – look out!

Ottawa’s 8th goal was the result of hard work and good timing. Ryan Martindale fought through two Storm troopers and put a hard shot on goal from the face off circle. St. Jacques made the save but served up a juicy rebound to Cody Lindsay who was all alone and scored the easy goal. Tyler Cuma got the second assist.

Guelph had a chance to get a short handed goal of their own when Ottawa coughed up a two-on-one breakaway. I don’t know who the player was but Chris Perugini stoned him.

Then another result of hard work gave Adam Zamec yet another goal – this one an unassisted shorty. He picked the pocket of the Storm player in his own zone, moved around the guy and beat the now shell-shocked St. Jacques.

Adam Zamec was clearly on a role. Five and a half minutes later, he scored his official hat trick for the night. Tye McGinn and Zach McCullough got the assists. Thomas Nesbitt was a sharp teammate and got the puck from the linesman.

Matt Lahey made it a nice round 10 with just over 5 minutes to go in the period. Jamie McGinn and Julien Demers got the assists.

And then it started getting a tad scrappy. A Storm player took offense at a perfectly clean and legal check along the boards. Michael Latta and Tyler Melancon mixed it up and were shown the door – the door to the dressing room that is. Radim Ostrcil got 2 minutes for roughing. Then Julien Demers and Tyler Carroll got tangled up. Demers got 5 and Carroll got the instigator, fighting, 10 minute misconduct and a game. If I’m not mistaken, this will cost him one game automatically and perhaps a league review.

Guelph finally scored one more but the refs really blew it. There was a bit of a goal mouth scramble and the replay clearly showed that Chris had his hand over the puck which should have drawn a whistle. But the ref was watching and not reffing and Derek Brochu was left to whack it from under Chris’ glove and into the net. Peter Holland and Joe Underwood got the assists.

But it wasn’t even a moral booster. When the Storm was over and the debris cleared, it was Ottawa 10 and Guelph 3. Shots were pretty even – 30 – 32 for Guelph.

Random thoughts:
  • What a game by the 67s. Were they really that good or was Guelph that bad? I think the boys were that good. They really seemed to click tonight. And it was a solid effort for the entire game – they kept trying to score right to the end. I hardly expect to see this sort of scoring output regularly but the effort would be great to see consistently. It seems that the new guys are turning out to be great additions. Adam Zamec has already exceeded his entire scoring output from last year. 12 different players got points tonight!
  • Can’t remember where I heard it but didja know that there was an NHL Crazy Eights line? I’m pretty sure I heard reference to it either during the HHOF induction ceremony (yes I watched it) or during some game I was watching. My reaction was “no way – WE have the Crazy Eights line”. Well, research shows that it was the Philadelphia Flyers: Lindros (88), Fedyk (18) Recchi (8).
  • Drew Doughty did not have the type of game that he would want scouts watching. Ended up with his butt stapled to the bench in the third.
  • Cuma, on the other hand, seemed to have a good game. As did many other 67s players.
  • There were a few fights that I didn’t report on – none of them noteworthy really.

Three Stars – an Ottawa sweep.
1. Adam Zamec (3 goals and an assist)
2. Tye McGinn (goal and 2 assists)
3. Chris Perugini (27 saves)

Team 1200 Hardest working 67s: many choices but they gave it to Jamie McGinn.

Blitzen’s Rate the Anthem: in the “where are they now’ category, the very first Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm was tonight’s anthem singer and he got it right! Pay attention all you would-be anthem singers. He gets a 9 out of 10 (the crabby judge knocked off a point for not singing the bilingual version of the anthem). He is most welcome to come back and share his great voice in leading us in the national anthem.

See you on Sunday. It will be another late post as we will be celebrating our nephew’s birthday right after the game.

Go 67s Go!!