December 30, 2007

Another Sunday Shut Out: Ottawa 4 – Erie 0

This is the first of two scheduled games between these two teams. The next one is on February 23rd when the 67s go on a long road trip to play Guelph, Erie and Brampton.

About Erie: They’re not having what one might call a stellar season so far. With only 19 points and 8 wins they are at the bottom of the very strong Western Conference and second from the bottom in the entire league. Today will be their last stop in this long swing through the Eastern Conference. They lost 6-3 in Kingston on Friday and 6-2 in Belleville last night. Their GF of 102 is second lowest in the league and GF of 183 is the highest. Their second top scorer, rookie Ryan O’Reilly is playing with Team Ontario at the Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Erie was also missing Josh Kidd and Mitch Gaulton. Jaroslav Janus was in net.

About Ottawa: Well, Ottawa didn’t have a good night last night in Peterborough. In fact, if the score is any indication, they pretty much got their butts handed to them in a 7 – 1 loss. The only goal was by Jon Carnevale in the first period. I didn’t hear the game (was at the Senators game watching them get THEIR butts handed to them by Alexander Ovechkin!!) so I can’t comment on what went down. But it does not look pretty when looking at the game sheet. Guess this would be what one would call a character-builder for young Chris Perugini. During the game broadcast Buzz Kilpatrick mentioned his post-game conversation with Chris during which he asked what Killer said to him during the timeout (called after a few quick goals). Chris, who was clearly shell-shocked, said that he caught a couple of words but not more than that; he really doesn’t know what Killer said other than it was loud.

Anyhoo – the 67s remain without some key players: Defenseman Martin Paryzek (WJHC), Ryan Martindale (Team Ontario at the Under-17 Hockey Challenge), Logan Couture and Matt Lahey (injuries) and latest word is that Michael Latta was sent home from the U-17 tournament with mono. No idea how long this will last. Let’s just hope that roomie Ryan didn’t pick up the bug. Adam Courchaine was in net again which is how the weekend was planned.

Ottawa Lines:
JMcGinn, Kiriakou, Bailey
Methot, Lindsay, Carnevale
TMcGinn, Cowie, Zamec

Defensive pairings:

Game Summary
Erie started with the relatively bigger jump early in the game. In a string of penalties early in the game (6 in the first 10 minutes) mostly against Ottawa, Erie had a 4-on-3 advantage, a 5-on-3 advantage for 36 seconds, another 4-on-3 advantage and then Ottawa had a 1-man advantage. Throughout this entire non-5-on-5 stretch, Erie managed maybe 3 shots on Courchaine which he handled. During the even-strength play, Erie maintained more pressure than Ottawa. Then Erie had another 5-on-3 advantage for 1:12 and then a 4-on-3 for 49 seconds that they could not convert. By the time the period was past the half-way mark, the shots were 4 – 9 in favour of Erie.

Finally, with 4:07 left in the period, Jason Bailey interrupted Zach Torquato, Tyler Cuma picked up the puck, passed it to Bailey who passed it back to Cuma who then took a shot that Janus saved but did not smother. Cody Lindsay banged in the rebound for the first (and game winning) goal with 4:07 left in the period.

Ottawa was on the PP with one minute left in the period and just 14 seconds into it, Matthieu Methot beat Jaroslav Janus with a wrist shot from the face-off circle. Jamie McGinn and Tyler Cuma got the assists.

It was a period of uninspired hockey with too many penalties and too many turnovers but both goalies kept is relatively close with Adam Courchaine coming out on top which kept the team in the game.

The rest of the scoring happened in the second period. Ottawa started the period a little stronger and the middle of the frame saw some good up and down transition play by both teams but it was Ottawa that came out on top with another powerplay goal as Radim Ostrcil centered the puck for Jamie McGinn and he scored his 20th of the season. Time of the goal: 13:03.

Then Ottawa was back on the PK when Radim Ostrcil was called for tripping. That turned into a third 5-on-3, this time for 53 seconds, when Tyler Cuma put the puck over the glass. The 5-on-3 was easily defended with some hard work by Kiriakou (no shots on Courchaine) and as time was running out the 5-on-4, Kiriakou picked up a rebound from a Courchaine save, carried it up into the Erie zone. His pass didn’t get to Methot who was coming up with him but somehow the puck sprung loose and Matthieu Methot got the short-handed goal for his 11th of the season with the assist going to Thomas Kiriakou.

To close out the period Ottawa had a 4:00 man-advantage when Michael Liambas was called for spearing. While the 67s put up some good pressure and got 6 shots on Janus, they just didn’t have enough left to bury the puck. They had another PP chance at about the half-way mark but they couldn’t convert on that either.

Both teams got a second wind of sorts; Ottawa didn’t back off and kept going for the next goal and Erie was playing for pride and tried to bust the shut out. They had some really great chances with open nets just waiting for the puck but they just could not get the puck to the players in time or could not hit the net.

There was a terrific collision behind the Erie net and the ensuing scrum resulted in Zanetti getting shoved a tad at the end and some words of advice from an Otters player. I noticed that he was a bit of a target after that. Nothing too blatant but attempts to send a message nonetheless. He took it well.

Ottawa played well in front of Courchaine, clearing the puck and picking up rebounds to help preserve the shut out and that’s how the game ended: Ottawa 4; Erie nuthin’. Shots were 42 – 38 for Ottawa.

Three stars
1. Adam Courchaine (38 saves for the shut out)

2. Matthieu Methot (2 goals)

3. Tyler Cuma (2 assists)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Radim Ostrcil

Random Thoughts:

  • Given that it was a Sunday game against a team that is much lower in the standings some of us were wondering how the game would unfold. This was the third game in as many days for both teams and Ottawa was on the road last night – not getting in until quite late. Earlier this year, their Sunday games have been not so good even against teams that were playing their 3rd games. However, the last few Sundays have been different. Maybe they have turned the corner on this little problem.
  • Thomas Nesbitt took the warm-up and a couple of shifts early in the game and then wasn’t seen again. He did not return to the bench after the first period. Word has it that he suffered a mild shoulder separation. If all goes well he should be ready to play again on Friday against Brampton.
  • As a result, Killer had only 9 forwards to work with today. According to the Team1200 broadcast team, Jamie McGinn is in a lot of pain with his lower back and had the bench not been so short, he might not have played. I was surprised to see him on the ice for the last few shifts in a game that was already a foregone conclusion. I would have thought that someone might have been double shifted for the last little while.
  • 684km (7 hours) to Erie PA as the google-maps flies. Gonna be a looong ride home.
  • Erie’s starting goalie, Jaroslav Janus started last night’s game in goal and was pulled after letting 6 goals on 48 shots (!). In all, Belleville fired 68 shots on the Erie goalies. It takes a lot of character to get back between the pipes less than 24 hours after an experience like that.
  • With the combination of Ottawa’s win and Niagara’s loss today, Ottawa now has sole possession of 4th place in the conference with a game in hand over Niagara (with whom they were previously tied in points). This feels like unfamiliar territory.

Go 67s Go!

Some pictures from the game:

One of many saves by Courchaine

One of many faceoffs won by Kiriakou

Battling for the puck

What goalies deal with #1

What goalies deal with #2

What goalies deal with #3

What goalies deal with #4

Is this a legal use of a stick?

These guys look pooped to me

December 29, 2007

Another 1-Goal Game: Ottawa over Belleville 4 - 3

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Set-up for the game:

This is the 6th game of the season for these two divisional rivals and all of them have been 1-goal games. Coming into tonight’s game, Belleville had the edge in wins with 3 of the previous 5 games.

About Belleville: they come in atop of the Eastern Conference with 45 points, 2 ahead of Brampton, and on a 4-game winning streak. Two of their key players, forward Shawn Matthias who leads the Bulls both in points and in +/-, and defenseman P.K. Subban, are at the WJHC in the Czech Republic (Go Canada Go!!). Rookie Tyler Randell is on the Team Ontario roster for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge that starts in London Ontario on December 29th. 16-year-old Andy Bathgate was called-up and it will be the first time that Ottawa sees the recent additions Nigel Williams, Jan Mursak and Kyle Tront in Belleville uniforms.

Also missing from the Belleville line-up for the game were Robert Stellick and Matthew Tippoff. Mike Murphy got the call to mind the net.

About Ottawa: Ottawa is currently enjoying its longest winning streak of the year with 4 wins. The 67s were also without some key players for the game. Defenseman Martin Paryzek is back home playing for his national team at the WJHC, and rookies Michael Latta and Ryan Martindale are with Team Ontario at the Under-17 Hockey Challenge. First-round pick Marc Zanetti was called up from his Markham team for the game and wore sweater 10.

Also missing in action was Logan Couture who is still feeling the effects of that big hit early in the game against the St. Mike Majors before the Christmas break. Coach Kilrea figures he should be ready to play next Friday. And Matt Lahey’s shoulder continues to bother him enough to keep him out of the line-up. The team is waiting for the results of an MRI to help figure out what’s going on.

Adam Courchaine got the assignment again. And for the record, Chris Perugini apparently did not have a melt-down a-la Emery (OK – a cheap shot at Emery but he deserves it – what a baby!! suck it up and practice your way back to respectability!! sheesh!).

Ottawa Lines:
JMcGinn, Kiriakou, Bailey
Methot, Lindsay, Nesbitt
Zamec, Cowie, Carnevale
TMcGinn swapped with Zamec for the first period but didn’t see any ice after the first regular shift of the second (at least as far as I can remember)

Defensive pairings:

Game Summary
Belleville started with the first scoring chance of the game with a wrist shot from Andrew Self that Adam Courchaine gloved down just a minute and half into the game.

Mike Murphy returned the favour by denying a great 2-on-1 scoring chance by McGinn and Kiriakou.

After that, there really wasn’t much else for either team for quite a while until Jon Carnevale was denied a goal by a very quick whistle after 8 minutes of play.

Then on the other side of the half-way mark, Jason Bailey picked his own rebound and beat Murphy high with the backhand. Jamie McGinn got the assist.

In the final 6 minutes of the period, Ottawa got rather sloppy with a lot of turnovers in their own end and with 2:26 left they earned their first of 4 penalties when Tyler Cuma was sent off for hooking. The Bulls managed two shots on Courchaine before Jamie McGinn was called for roughing. This gave Belleville a 5-on-3 advantage for 55 seconds during which they managed a couple more shots on Courchaine that he stopped. Ottawa survived the 5-on-3 and the rest of the period down a man.

They started the second period still on the PK for 40 seconds but Belleville couldn’t get anything organized.

All scoring in the second period happened in the first six minutes.

From the previous games against Belleville it appears a pattern has emerged where Ottawa takes the lead and Belleville digs deep to tie it up. And today’s game was the same. After Ottawa had very successfully killed yet another penalty (no shots on goal), Ottawa native Shawn Lalonde scored his 4th of the year with a wrist shot from the left point that found room in the top corner glove side. Cory Tanaka and Andrew Self assisted. This was just 2 minutes and change into the period.

Then Ottawa took the lead again when Tyler Cuma sent a wrist shot to the net. Jamie McGinn picked up a rebound and once Murphy committed himself down low, he roofed it. Jason Bailey and Tyler Cuma got the assists.

But that was sooo short-lived. Nine seconds later, right off the face-off, Belleville’s Kyle Turkiewicz redirected a pass from Andrew Self to tie it up (again!!). Cory Tanaka got the other assist. Arghh!

Cory Tanaka welcomes Marc Zanetti to the OHL.

The line of Zamec, Cowie and Carnevale had a couple of particularly great shifts near the end of the period controlling the puck in the Belleville zone and creating scoring chances. Lots of transition, good defensive plays and saves by goalies marked the final quarter of the period.

Courchaine save on Belesky in the final seconds of the period.

The scoring in the third period was more distributed.

Belleville had a great scoring chance right away when Julien Demers was unable to clear the puck and Jan Mursak was able to pick it up and skate in alone for what looked like a certain goal but Courchaine made an incredibly athletic diving save to keep Belleville from gaining the lead.

Finally, Belleville was assessed their first penalty of the game (they are least penalized team in the conference). Mifflen was called for a hook on Cowie.

Ottawa did a good job of keeping the play in the Belleville zone and getting shots on Murphy and the hard work was rewarded when Jamie McGinn picked up a rebound and popped it in on the short side. Tyler Cuma and Julien Demers got the assists. Ottawa was back in the lead at 2:33 into the final frame.

As Ottawa’s play flagged, Belleville’s second best scorer, Matt Beleskey notched his 23rd goal of the season at about half-way through the period when a rebound went right to him all alone in the slot. Before Courchaine could react, the puck was behind him. The assists went to Eric Tangradi, and newcomer Nigel Williams.

With both teams pressing for the go-ahead goal, it was another great shift by the allegedly third-line that found gold. Jon Carnevale put on pretty much a one-man show, carrying the puck in and getting it back and moving it around and finally scoring his 5th goal on the season on a seemingly innocuous back hand that slid under the outstretched arm of Mike Murphy. Scott Cowie and Adam Zamec got the assists with 6:27 left in the game.

The final few minutes of the game were critical as Ottawa tried to hold on to their one-goal lead and Belleville pushed to tie it up once again. Their efforts were made all the more challenging against the pressing Bulls when Radim Ostrcil was called for checking from behind with just under three minutes left in the game. Ottawa did a great job of keeping the Bulls from taking advantage and a crucial element was the face-offs won by Thomas Kiriakou both on both sides of the blue line. Killer put him in for all these face offs and Thomas did the job. Even with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the Bulls were unable to get a single shot on Courchaine during the PP.

But they pressed hard in the final moments and avoided a couple of empty net goal chances but Adam made the big save on Eric Tangradi in the dying seconds to seal the win.

Ottawa held on and won the game 4 – 3 with final shots on goal of 39 – 37 for Ottawa.

Three stars
1. Jamie McGinn (2 goals and an assist)

2. Jon Carnevale (called back goal, game winning goal and one of the best players on the ice)

3. Andrew Self (Belleville – 2 assists)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Jason Bailey

Random Thoughts:

  • I am continually impressed with the eye-hand coordination of these kids - beyond the normal bouncing the pucks on their sticks. Fairly early in the second period, Adam Courchaine stopped a long shot on net and the puck went pretty much straight up. With a Belleville player bearing down for a juicy rebound, Adam batted the puck out of the air with his stick into the left corner and out of danger’s way. Heads-up and impressive (for me anyway).
  • The 67s have a great batch of rookies this year. They have skills, play hard and are getting results. Jon Carnevale certainly had his best game of the season, including knocking Chris Mifflen to the ice with a good hit in the third period. With the bench still short for the rest of the weekend, he will have more opportunities to showcase his talent and hard work.
  • Good seeing the rest of the team step up strongly in the absence of key players. Killer played with a very short bench – only three lines and it looks like that’s how it will be for the rest of the weekend. They’re going to be pretty pooped once Sunday comes and goes.
  • I much prefer Cowie as a forward rather than a defenseman. He did a really good job centering the third line.
  • Kiriakou also did a very credible job centering the top line. And he won some very critical face offs. It’s too bad we can’t get stats on details like face offs. I find that stuff interesting.
  • We had a live horn section in the arena. It was a great touch. Almost felt like a college football game. Thanks to whoever is responsible for that additional game-day ambience.
  • The 67s have two more games ahead of them; a road game in Peterborough who had Friday night off and then back at home to host the Erie Otters on Sunday afternoon who will be playing their third game in as many days.
  • The WJHC is underway in the Czech Republic and watching the first game against the Czech Republic caused some conflicted feelings. Certainly I was cheering big time for Team Canada but I was also hoping that Martin Paryzek would have a good game. Well, I got both wishes – Team Canada won and Paryzek had a pretty good game.
  • Which brings us to the happy realization that we are only ONE YEAR away from hosting the event here in Ottawa. There was a brief opening ceremony to raise a banner that will stay there until the end of the tournament next year. We reserved our tickets the very moment (and I mean the very moment the package arrived in the mailbox) they became available. Friends and family have already been warned that, if they think I’m a tad hockey focused now, it will be increased by an order of magnitude this time next year.

Go 67s Go!

December 22, 2007

G-Rant in the Room

Here are the videos from G-Rant in the Room that are shown on the big-screen on game days. They're hard to hear in the arena.


December 16, 2007

Major Weather and a Major Win Over St. Mikes: Ottawa Takes It 5 – 0

This afternoon’s set up:

Mississauga is playing their third game in as many days. Their two previous games were at home where they beat Owen Sound 5 – 3 on Friday and were then shut out by Sault Ste Marie yesterday 3 – 0. They are in 6th place in the conference with 35 points, same as Ottawa, but get the nod for having won one more game than Ottawa. Their record is 17-14-1-0, GF 97 and GA115. Their P10 is 7-3-0-0. Their big guns are Senator prospect Kaspars Daugavins with 37 points (19 goals), Casey Cizikas with 28 points (12 goals) and Kris Parre with 25 points (14 goals).

Ottawa has won their last 3 games by the hairs on their chinny chin chins, all one-goal games with two in the shoot out. They too have 35 points in 32 games with a record of 16-13-1-2, GF 109 and GA 114 and a P10 of 7-2-1-0.

This is the first of 4 scheduled matches between these two teams. On paper, these two teams are pretty evenly matched. Missy will want to bounce back from yesterday’s shutout. Ottawa will want to extend their winning streak and show that they don’t sleep through all their Sundays. Both want to head into the break on a winning note. And there’s the standings to boot.

Ottawa lineup news:
Ottawa is still sitting Matt Lahey with his shoulder injury. Martin Paryzek is at home in the Czech Republic looking forward to his WJHC opening match against Team Canada. Adam Courchaine got the call.

Mississauga lineup news:
Kaspars Daugavins is in Europe as a member of the Latvian WJHC team. Dylan O'Neil, Jeff Barletta and Jason Cassidy were scratches today (for reasons unknown to this blogger). Nepean native Chris Carrozzi started in goal.

Ottawa Lines:
Bailey, Couture, JMcGinn (until Couture was knocked out of the game)
Methot, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Zamec, Lindsay, Latta
TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale

Defensive pairings:

Game Summary
Well, we put emergency provisions in the truck, dug the Sorrels out of the basement, locked into 4-wheet drive and broke trail up Bank Street to the Civic Centre for this afternoon’s game. Us and about 600 other true Canadians. Ahhh – winter is really here! (thankfully we have a snow blower to deal with a driveway that can park 6 vehicles).

Mississauga started with a jump – for all of about 2 minutes, getting the first rush and a shot on Courchaine that was denied. Then Ottawa took over. And they pretty much held court for the period although they were unable to score early. Ottawa had some shots on goal but the Majors just were not generating anything useful.

With about 15 minutes gone in the period, Tim Billingsley caught Logan Couture with his head down at center ice and nailed him hard. When he finally got up, he headed right for the dressing room – didn’t stop by the bench. In the meantime, Jason Bailey sought to avenge this insult on his assistant captain colleague but nothing much resulted. For his efforts Jason earned 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting and 10 minutes just because. Billingsley got 5 for fighting.

Ottawa did a really good job of keeping the Majors from getting anything organized. The Majors ended up with an icing call and from the ensuing face off in their own end, Thomas Nesbitt, with three Majors to keep him company, fed the puck to Jamie McGinn who was left all alone in front. He stuffed it blocker side to put the short handed goal (and what would turn out to be the game winning goal). That was with 4:10 left in the period.

As the clock was winding down for the first period, the referee signaled a delayed penalty against Mississauga. Courchaine skated to the bench and Jamie McGinn headed right for the front of the net where he picked up a rebound and again beat Chris Carozzi, this time glove side with 17 seconds left in the period. Zach McCullough and Thomas Kiriakou got the assists. Ottawa dominated that period, out shooting the Majors 14 – 3.

Jason Bailey spent a good chunk of the second period finishing his sentence in the sin bin and Logan Couture didn’t return so Kilrea had to juggle his lines. For the start of the period, I thought I saw Carnevale up with Lindsay and McGinn. St. Mikes was starting to get more shots on Courchaine but Adam was turning them all away. I thought that the referees were taking their time whistling some plays dead when Adam gloved the puck so he put it back in play several times.

As with the first period, all the scoring happened in the last 5 minutes of the period. Jamie McGinn notched his natural hat trick and 17th goal of the season just 44 seconds into the high sticking penalty by Zac Rinaldo. After Adam Courchaine stopped a Majors short handed opportunity, Tyler Cuma took possession and got the puck into the corner. Jason Bailey shot the puck around boards and Julien Demers pinched in to get it back in the corner where Jason Bailey got the puck to McGinn at the side of the net and he knocked the puck behind the goalie.

And again, in the dying seconds of the period, Thomas Kiriakou scored his 8th of the year on an odd-man rush by beating the Majors player to a puck that was cleared from the Ottawa zone. Matthieu Methot assisted on that one.

With two in the books, Ottawa still had a solid lead in shots on net: 26 – 16.

After a good penalty kill early in the period, including a good short handed opportunity by Methot, Ottawa didn’t play so well. Mississauga started getting their shots on Adam and Adam did his thing. But it also seemed that Mississauga was sufficiently snake bitten as they just could not get anything behind Courchaine. In one particular potential gift with Courchaine waaay out of position, Julien Demers was there to keep the puck out of the net. And then there was the good give-and-go between Cizikas and Sparre but Courchaine made the great to preserve his shut out. Finally, there was the iron. Nuthin’ doin’. Could not buy a goal.

In keeping with a theme, the final goal of the game was scored in the final 5 minutes of the game. A power play goal at 15:08 to be precise. With Justin Larson off for high sticking, Julien Demers scored his 4th of the season beating Carrozzi short side with a shot from the left point. Tyler Cuma and Ryan Martindale assisted.

St. Mikes finished on the power play but were unable to ruin Courchaine's shut out.

That’s how the game ended: 5 – 0 for Ottawa with final shots even at 33.

Three stars
1. Jamie McGinn (a short handed goal, a goal on a delayed penalty and a power play goal in a natural hat trick. Yup – that pretty much qualifies for a first star)
2. Adam Courchaine (first OHL shut out with 33 saves)
3. Julien Demers (goal and an assist)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Te Tyler Cuma (again)

Random Thoughts:

  • The referees today were local linesmen who were converted to refs as the scheduled OHL refs could not make it from Toronto – flight problems.
  • Ottawa certainly dominated today but I don’t think they were seriously challenged by a tired Mississauga team. As mentioned, it was their third game in as many days while the 67s rested yesterday. But it was still good to see them play a strong Sunday game.
  • Notwithstanding the above, this was an important win today. They vault from 7th place in the conference to 4th place tied with Barrie (!) and Niagara with 37 points but getting the nod due to having played fewer games
  • The 67s goalies have been particularly strong of late. Adam made several key saves today which was really good to see after the brief problems from Friday. He wasn’t sufficiently spooked to keep him from leaving the crease. And he earned his first OHL shut out. Congrats Adam.
  • Nice to see the team picking up their play and breaking on a winning streak – including some really tight games.
  • Congratulations to all the fans that braved the weather to be there. You could hear the laughs when the official attendance was announced at 7184. Now that was hard evidence that tickets sold does not equate to attendance. I would hazard a guess closer to 600 – 700 max.
  • Wonder if Eugene was here to see his team. He’s in town. Would be a tough day for someone softened by the Caribbean climate of Barbados.

That’s the last game before the Christmas break. The boys will be heading home for some quality time with their families. The next game is on December 28th when Ottawa will be hosting the Belleville Bulls. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I should be back from out west for the game. It’s my travel day so circumstances may conspire against a timely arrival in Ottawa. I was hoping to catch a game of the returning Edmonton Oil Kings (their last year was when I was in high school) but they will be on the road.

Hope that the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors have a safe and uneventful trip home.

Here’s wishing a wonderful and safe Christmas to everyone.

Finally, Merry Christmas from a few of your favorite 67s players!!
(be patient – it might take a few seconds to load)

Go 67s Go!

December 15, 2007

Much Much Closer than it Needed To Be: Ottawa wins 6 – 5 in the Shoot Out

Let me set you up for the game.

Coming into the game, this is Peterborough’s second game in as many nights as they lost to the Plymouth Whalers 5 – 2 in their own barn. They sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points in 31 games, their record being 12-18-0-1, GF of 84 (37 on the PP) and GA 122 (49 allowed during PK). They are also the second most penalized team in the conference with 731 penalty minutes which works out to about 23.5 minutes a game. With all that practice at killing penalties one might think they could be better than 15th in the league. Peterborough is also the youngest team in the league and they dress 5 16-year olds.

Ottawa comes in after a 2 – 1 shoot out victory in Belleville on Wednesday night where Courchaine put in a strong performance and Couture and Zamec made good in the shoot out. The 67s remain in 7th place in the conference with 33 points in 31 games, their record being 15-13-102, GF 103 (35 on the PP) and GA 109 (34 during the PK). Their PP is 15th in the league while their PK is 10th. The total goals for Ottawa in their last two wins: 3.

This is game 3 of the 8 scheduled games between these two clubs and Peterborough has won both previous contests by one goal. Peterborough is riding a two-game losing streak while Ottawa puts a two-game winning streak on the line. One of these will be broken tonight (now there’s a profound insight – I should get paid for this stuff!).

Ottawa lineup news:
Matt Lahey still out with his shoulder and Martin Paryzek is back in the Czech Republic having been invited to try out for their WJHC team. Adam Courchaine started the game.

Peterborough lineup news:
Players John Armstrong and Bobby Davey and Assistant Coach Darren Keily are serving suspensions for pretty much losing it when their team was getting seriously whupped by the Oshawa Generals on December 7th (10 – 0), and Justin Soryal is serving his first of two games for essentially being a huge jerk at the game last night. Also, one of their top guns, Zach Bogosian sat out with a nasty hip-pointer. Finally, Arturs Kulda is off to join up with the Latvian World Junior Team. Former Ottawa 67s, Pat Daley is the Pete’s 3rd best scorer with 23 points (17 goals). The goalie for tonight, the really big 17-year old Jason Missiaen (6’7” and 200lbs!!).

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

Defensive pairings:

Game Summary
Well, this game turned out to be closer than it needed to be. Peterborough played with 5 key players out of their line-up, including two of their top three scorers. In the pre-game interview with Buzz Kilpatrick, Vince Malette admitted that they were not in the best of positions to be in but he also said that all season he has been encouraging his team to always play hard. And that they did.

Peterborough started the game fairly strong including a solid power play. Although they were unable to score, they managed to keep the 67s in their end for most of the two minutes and got 4 shots on Courchaine. The hard work paid off when, just after the PP ended, Yves Bastien opened the scoring on an odd-man rush beating Courchaine glove side. Jack Walchessen and Zach Harnden got the assists

And they continued dominating the 67s as they quickly doubled up on shots: 8 – 4.

But ya know, it‘s not just about quantity, it’s about quality and on just their 6th shot on the night, Logan Couture made a nice move around a Pete defender and beat Missian high on the glove side to tie up the game. Ottawa D-men Julien Demers and Tyler Cuma got the assists.

But Ottawa could not sustain and Peterborough kept playing with intensity. Too many turnovers and passes that were going no where. Peterborough was just out-skating and out-playing Ottawa but just like Vince Malette said in the pre-game interview, sometimes hard work does not get rewarded and it certainly happened that way in the first period.

With just 29.8 seconds left in the period, Thomas Nesbitt scored his 7th goal of the season when he sniped one between the blocker and pad and gave Ottawa a one-goal lead. Thomas Kiriakou got the assist for starting the whole thing with a neutral-zone interception.

This is how a goalie feels getting scored on with just 30 seconds left in the period. Like the air was let out of his tires.

The referees were not so good tonight. Among the missed calls was an early second period stick to the head of Jamie McGinn that knocked his helmut off – no call. In fact, when the play continued down into the Peterborough zone, Thomas Kiriakou was nailed with a very questionable interference call. The Ottawa penalty killers did a dandy job keeping the Petes to the outside. No shots got through.

Less than 10 seconds after the penalty was over, Matthieu Methot scored his 9th of the season when Radim Ostrcil fed the puck to Cody Lindsay who carried it over the blue line and fired a shot on Missian that was stopped but Matthieu Methot was there to bang the puck home as it sat in the blue paint just waiting to be rescued. Ottawa was now up by 2! Time of the goal: 3:12 of the second period.

Then Ottawa turned it on. They kept up the pressure and kept putting the shots on Missian (that he kept saving). In the dying seconds of their first power play opportunity of the game, Peterborough had managed to clear the puck from their zone. Zach McCullough’s breakout pass connected beautifully with Cody Lindsay who skated in on the breakaway and roofed it to make it 4 – 1 for Ottawa! Time of the goal 7:21.

So far, this period had been all Ottawa. By the half-way mark of the period, Peterborough had managed only 1 shot on goal.

But, despite having been out-played for most of the period, this young and depleted Petes team was not giving up…not at all. They came to life in the final 5 minutes of the period, putting pressure and shots on the 67s. Finally their hard work was rewarded with 3:37 left when Pat Daley beat Courchaine with a shot that came from against the grain. Chad Lowry and Kenzie Sheppard got the assists. This cut the 67s’ lead in half.

So now we turn to the final chapter of this little drama on ice. The story so far has young team without its big guns playing a plucky game against a relatively healthy and complete divisional rival. They drew first blood, then allowed four goals but dug deep to get one back near the end of the second frame. Oooohh – what twist in the plot awaited the faithful fans (and anxious coaches)?

Well, a whole lotta “what the heck happened here” happened! It all started relatively normal with one team sitting on a two-goal lead and the other one wanting to change that. Both teams were working hard and getting shots on the other goalie.

Then, in what has to be acknowledged as the brain cramp of the game (if not the month), with 8:49 left in the game, Adam Courchaine made a terrible, terrible mistake. He went behind his net to retrieve the puck and made a blind pass to…..no one! A Petes player was right there and before Adam could recover, the puck was over the line. The sound of collective deflation filled the arena. Call-up replacement Josh McQuaid accepted this first OHL goal gift. He should at least send Adam a Christmas card or a thank you note.

Courchaine was obviously seriously rattled by this awful miscue as Peterborough tied up the game on the very next shot on goal 11 seconds later. Mike Ryan got his first goal with an assist going to Liam Heelis. This game was now tied with 8:39 left to play.

Do ya think that this turn of events gave the Petes a bit of a lift? Hell ya!

Kilrea did the right thing and put Chris Perugini in net.

The drama was building, the plucky team that could actually did Рthey tied the game. How was the home team going to respond? Well, they were a little rattled at first but, like the clich̩ says, your best guys gotta be your best guys and our top line did just that. With 7 minutes left in the period, Logan Couture recovered the puck off a blocked shot from Jamie McGinn and deftly stick handled it until Missian was committed and beat him with the back hand on the glove side. Tyler Cuma got the other assist.

Then Ottawa got a power play and played strong – getting 6 shots on Missian to give themselves a bit of a cushion but none found the back of the net.

Then, like all good stories, the tension kept building. With only 1:41 left in the period, the guy who opened the regulation scoring, made it a pair of bookends with the final goal of regulation. Yup, Yves Bastien got his second of the game and 5th of the season beating Perugini to tie it up once again. Jack Walchessen, Zach Tatrn got the assists.

And that’s how regulation ended: Tied at 5 with Ottawa outshooting the Petes 42 – 32.

Off to overtime! The best scoring chance of the 4-on-4 five minute scrimmage came when Jamie McGinn’s attempted pass to Cuma on the point was intercepted by the most dangerous Pete of the game, Yves Bastien who was off to the races all alone (or more precisely to the net). Jamie and Cuma made for hot pursuit and Cuma made a dive for the puck. This might have held up Bastien a bit but he was still able to get a shot at Chris who came up with the game saving save!

Nothing was resolved so it was time for the shoot out:

Branislav Rehus X (save by Perugini)
Jamie McGinn SCORE!
Pat Daley X (hit the post)
Logan Couture SCORE!

And that’s how it ended. Ottawa winning again for the second game in a row in a shoot out.

OK - find Perugini in this picture - look closely - he's the short guy on the left trying not to get crushed by his team mates. 5'9" - right! Regardless, he's all goalie!

Final shots on goal (not counting the shoot out) 43 – 34 for Ottawa.

Three stars
1. Logan Couture (2 regulation goals and one in the shoot out - and a solid game)
2. Cody Lindsay (a goal and an assist - could he look any unhappier?? Somebody find his puppy real quick and get it back to him!)
3. Yves Bastien (2 goals and a few mighta-been's)

Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Tyler Cuma

Blitzen’s rate the anthem singer: I’m giving up. I will simply reconcile myself that one of my favorite game-day experiences, being able to sing along and enjoy the national anthem, is no longer part of the Ottawa 67s game day experience. I’ll get my fix at the Senators games. heavy sigh!

Random Thoughts:
  • Ottawa wins three in a row – two in the shoot out, all one-goal games. Now that’s keeping it close.
  • As I prepared the set-up for tonight’s game, it occurred to me that this was a perfect set up for Ottawa to under perform and the other team to play over their heads.
  • Clearly, despite the loss, the Petes go away with the moral victory. Down 5 key players, on the road, and a young team against a fairly complete and healthy team, they work back from a 3-goal deficit and take the game all the way to a shoot out and get at least one point for their efforts. No shame in that performance.
  • It seemed that Pat Daley logged a lot of time.
  • It also seemed that Ottawa dominated in the face off circle.
  • Bailey on the top line, himmm. Jury still out on that for me. I think I liked Nesbitt there better but I gotta admit the production seems to have gone up. I liked the chemistry between Bailey and Kiriakou on the second line.
  • There was a moment in the overtime period where our defensemen were up and the forwards were covering the points! Get back to where you belong!!
  • Great job by Chris Perugini coming in late in the game, holding the fort, making the great OT save as well as the shoot-out save.

See you on Sunday!

Go 67s Go!

Riley Junior dropped by for a visit.

Winning another faceoff

This guy's knees almost go to the cross bar!!

December 09, 2007

All It Takes is One! Ottawa over Owen Sound: 1 - 0

Today’s game is the third for Owen Sound on their swing through the Eastern Conference. They started the road trip well, winning 5 – 1 on Friday over a Kingston team that is really struggling on many fronts (no pun intended) this season. Then they had a complete reversal of fortune in Belleville where they were shut-out 6 – 0 by the Bulls. They currently sit in 9th spot in their conference with 26 points, behind Saginaw and Guelph that also have 26 points but have games in hand. Their record is 12-17-2-0, GF 95 and GA 122. Their big guns are Chris MacKinnon with 30 points (12 goals), Matt Carter with 26 points (17 goals) and David Kolomatis with 25 points (5 goals). They only have 3 players on the plus side of the +/- and the highest among them is +2.

As for Ottawa, coming into this afternoon’s game they still sit 7th in the conference with 29 points in 29 games and a record of 15-13-1-2, GF 100, GF 108. They trail Mississauga by 2 points and are ahead of Peterborough by 4. Our big guns are Logan Couture with 39 points (14 goals), Jamie McGinn with 29 points (13 goals) and rookie defenseman Martin Paryzek with 20 points (1 goal). They have 6 players on the right side of the +/- stat and the best is +11 (but the worst is -16).

Ottawa lineup news:
Scratches for the night: Matt Lahey still out with his shoulder and Martin Paryzek is back in the Czech Republic having been invited to try out for their WJHC team. It was Chris Perugini’s turn to keep the pucks out of the net.

Owen Sound lineup news:
Scratches: Brad Humberstone, Ondrej Pekarik, Grant McGee, Peter Mrksic and Scott Stajcer. Tyler Beskorowany got the call between the pipes.

Ottawa Lines (for the most part – a bit of tinkering in the third):
JMcGinn, Couture, Latta
Bailey, Kiriakou, Methot
Zamec, Lindsay, Nesbitt
TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale

Defensive pairings:

The Game
How to summarize a 1-0 game? I can’t go through a period-by-period summary. From a hockey perspective, Ottawa did not play well. For a team that was well rested, they didn’t play like it. They have a habit of dropping their effort to match their opponents. Too many turn-overs, too many icings, no finish. But, from an entertainment perspective, it was fun to watch if you like up and down play, scoring chances, and great saves.

Unlike the game on Friday, this one started with shots on net early – especially Owen Sound. Ottawa took its first of 5 penalties early in the game with Bailey getting sent off for high sticking at 4:25 in the period. Owen Sound couldn’t even get out of their zone for the first minute of the penalty and managed only one shot on Perugini while Ottawa had two on Beskorowany. The first period was relatively quick with few whistles. With 2:21 left in the period, it looked like the Attack had scored on a dribbler but a video review revealed that the puck had not actually crossed the line when the whistle was blown.

There were quite a few scoring chances by both teams but the goalies made the big saves. Ottawa iced the puck a lot in the second period – a combination of just whacking it out of their zone and missing long lead passes. Chris Perugini had Chris MacKinnon’s number all afternoon including this great pad save on a breakaway in the dying seconds of the second period.

The bad turnovers continued in the third period and the great saves by Chris continued to save the team’s collective bacon. Meanwhile, Owen Sound was doing a pretty good job of keeping Ottawa to the outside so that their shots on goal were not all that threatening.

With 2:21 left in the game, still tied at 0, Owen Sound called a time out. Not sure what the coach was trying to accomplish.

With play in Ottawa’s end, Tyler Cuma gained possession, passed to McGinn who fed Couture skating up the left side. At about the face off circle, here’s what Logan saw:

Somehow he threaded the needle and beat the Big Beskorowany short side:

Time of the goal: 18:45

Owen Sound pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but Ottawa kept them at bay.

Ottawa won the goaltender’s battle 1 – 0. Chris Perugini saved all 41 shots for his second straight win and I think his first shut-out in the OHL. Final shots on goal were 29 – 41 for Owen Sound.

Three stars
1. Chris Perugini (for obvious reasons!!)

2. Tyler Beskorowany (28 of a possible 29 saves) Thanks for coming out to acknowledge your selection Tyler.

3. Logan Couture (the game winning (and only) goal)
Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Julien Demers

Blitzen’s rate the anthem singer: We’ve seen her before too – I’ll call her the yodeler. She has a lovely voice but should sing the anthem straight up. She gets a 3.

Random Thoughts:

  • You could not tell that Owen Sound was playing its third game in as many days.
  • Conversely, you couldn’t tell that Ottawa had been resting since their home game on Friday night. Ottawa has a problem with their energy levels on Sundays.
  • All the lines got ice time; none of them distinguished themselves.
  • Logan notched his 4th GWG of the season.
  • Couture made some great defensive plays including a goal-line save in the third.
  • Battle of the goalies: Beskorowany: 6’5”, 197 lbs, 17 and a half years old; Perugini: 5’9” (ya – right, maybe with his skates on), 140 lbs, a year younger. All Beskorowany had to do was get in the way; Chris had to actually work!
  • Ottawa takes 3 of a possible 4 points this weekend. Even though they lost, I liked the way they played on Friday better than today.
  • See you next week.

    Go 67s Go!

    Another game stealing save by Chris!

    December 08, 2007

    Not Quite Enough: Ottawa Falls to the Bulls 3 – 4 in OT

    The Belleville Bulls came into the game 3rd place in the conference (they were in second place in points but since the top two spots go to the teams in first place in their respective divisions regardless of their points, Barrie gets second place with 36 points). Record: 17-8-2-1, GF 107, GA 78 (fewest in the conference), P10 6-3-1-0. Their big guns are: Shawn Matthias with 53 points (17 goals), Detroit’s 2006 second round pick; Matt Beleskey with 39 points (19 goals), Anaheim’s 2006 4th round pick; and Eric Tangradi with 36 points (15 goals), Anaheim’s 2007 second round pick. Shawn Matthias and D P.K. Subban have been invited to the Canadian WJHC training camp.

    Ottawa came into the game on a two-game losing streak after posting two impressive back-to-back wins against Oshawa last weekend. They took too long to get their legs under them in the game in Niagara last Sunday (it WAS their third game in less than 48 hours including riding the bus from Ottawa to Oshawa to Niagara). Last night they lost 2-3 in Peterborough. In the pre-game show chat with Buzz Kilpatrick, Coach Kilrea said that the best player on Thursday was Adam Courchaine and that the team did not play well in front of him. When they take too many penalties, it’s too hard on their penalty killers. As for the WJHC try-out camp, we have all heard the unhappy news that no Ottawa 67s was invited. Another character building moment. Chin up guys!

    Ottawa lineup news:
    Scratches for the night: Matt Lahey with a sore shoulder and Radim Ostrcil with sore ribs from a cross-check in the Petes game. Once again, Adam Courchaine got the call.

    Belleville lineup news:
    Scratches were Shawn Lalonde and Stephan Johnston. Mike Murphy started in net.

    Ottawa Lines (for the most part - there were a couple of temporary changes):
    JMcGinn, Couture, Nesbitt
    Methot, Kiriakou, Bailey
    Zamec, Lindsay, Latta (I may be wrong on who centred that line)
    TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale

    Defensive pairings:
    Cuma/ McCullough
    Ryan/ Cowie

    First Period
    It started with both teams taking their time organizing any scoring chances. After the first 5 minutes, the shots on goal were only 2 – 1 for Ottawa but finally, just over the halfway mark, Jason Bailey notched his second of the season (having just returned to the ice last weekend) when he buried a cross-ice pass from Matthieu Methot. Zach McCullough got the second assist. And it rained teddy bears! Quite a few teddy bears! It took a while to clear them up.

    Kudos to the Ottawa fans for their generosity.

    Here’s a record breaking teddy bear toss at the home of the Portland Winter Hawks:

    Now that's a whole lotta teddy bears!

    Three minutes later, Thomas Nesbitt surprised the Belleville goalie when his pass from the corner hit the post and ended up under Murphy. They went for a review - decision was no goal. They shoulda asked me (looks like a goal to me):

    Both teams started playing a bit sloppily, then Nesbitt and Subban were sent off for offsetting slashing penalties (slashing and roughing respectively) and the ensuing 4-on-4 play didn’t change anything although Ottawa had a couple of great scoring chances at the very end.

    The period ended with the only goal coming from Ottawa and shots on goal 12 – 2 for Ottawa.

    Second Period
    Lots of scoring in the second period. It all started when Matt Beleskey was sent off for charging Paryzek. Ottawa really wasn’t getting anything organized and as the seconds ticked down, I noted that they hadn’t had a shot during the man-advantage but at the very last second Jason Bailey beat Murphy down low to notch his third of the season and second of the night. Matthieu Methot and Martin Paryzek got the assists.

    Not long after Beleskey was back on the ice, Belleville was back on the PK when Marc Cantin was sent off for kneeing. For all their offensive effectiveness at even strength, they could not get organized at all with the advantage. After two minutes each team had a shot on goal, neither scored.

    Then it was Ottawa’s turn to get into a bit of penalty trouble against a team with a good power play (10th in the league). With back to back penalties to Chris Cowie (interference and cross-checking), Ottawa had its work cut out for them. And they did a very good job. In the first penalty, Belleville didn’t get ANY scoring chances which Ottawa had a couple. During the second penalty, Belleville had one shot but didn’t score. A great effort by the team.

    Unfortunately, their luck ran out. You could sense the momentum shifting to Belleville as they seemed to find their game. At 11:44 of the period, Stephan Blunden notched his first of the year with a nice fake wrap around on Courchaine. Kyle Tront and Nick Pageau got the assists. This goal really energized the Bulls and only 33 seconds later, Matt Beleskey beat Courchaine blocker side to tie the game up. Keaton Turkiewicz and PK Subban got the assists.

    Ottawa got that one back and restored their lead less than 2 minutes later when the second line struck again. They kept the pressure on Belleville and it paid off when Matthieu Methot scored his 8th of the year with assistance from Thomas Kiriakou and Tyler Cuma.

    But it would not stand. With only 33 seconds left in the game, Matt Beleskey beat Courchaine for his second of the night and tied the game for the second time. PK Subban got an assist.
    Third Period

    At the end of two periods, Belleville had fought back from two one-goal deficits to tie the game at 3 with Ottawa outshooting Belleville 26 – 11!

    Third Period
    Belleville came out strong and managed to keep Ottawa in their own end for a good portion of the period. Both goalies made some great saves including this glove save on Tye MGinn.

    Lots of transition, lots of scoring chances on both sides but at the end of regulation, the game was still tied with shots 37 – 23 for Belleville.

    The game opens up quite a bit with 4-on-4 hockey and these two teams put on a good demonstration. I don’t think there was a whistle during the whole time the OT was underway. Play moved up and down the ice but neither team got real scoring chances until the one that ended the game. With 1:08 left in the game, Matt Beleskey got his hat natural hat trick to end the game. Shawn Matthias and Goeff Killing got the assists.

    Ottawa gets a point but loses in OT to Belleville: 3 – 4, final shots were 38 to 24.

    Three stars
    Some confusion here – the announcement in the arena matches the game sheet but does not jive with the post-game discussion by Buzz and John from Team1200. So, according to the boys on the radio, the 3 stars are:

    1. Matt Beleskey (natural hat trick which were two tying goals and the game winner)
    2. Jason Bailey (2 goals and high energy)
    3. Matthieu (2 assists)

    According to the score sheet and the arena announcement:
    1. Jason Bailey
    2. Matt Beleskey
    3. Matthieu

    I personally think that the first order is the correct order – a natural hat trick that includes the GWG has to rate the first star.

    Team 1200 hardest working 67s: Tyler Cuma (hmmm – not sure I agree with this one. I didn’t think this was one of Tyler’s better games. I thought he got caught out of position or out skated more than I would expect from him. But what the heck do I know??)

    Blitzen’s rate the anthem singer: We’ve seen this lass before. I’ll give her a 7.

    Random Thoughts:
    It was a good game to watch. Lots of energy, lots of transition, scoring chances, good saves and equal amounts of ooh ahh moments. Too bad Ottawa lost. They could do a better job of picking up players who park themselves in front of the net but all in all, a good effort on the ice.
  • The Bailey, Kiriakou, Methot line was on fire and Killer was doing his best to keep them on the ice.
  • There are a couple of players that are just not fast enough. Cowie got turned inside out more than once.
  • Loud Belleville contingent.
  • Did Subban play for like, 60 minutes? Seemed like he was always on the ice. Guess the coach wants to clock his minutes before he leaves for camp.

    See you on Sunday.

    Go 67s Go!

    Chris Perugini as the scholar of the month.

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