February 08, 2008

The One That Got Away: Plymouth 3 - 2 in the Shoot Out

This was the return engagement with the Whalers after last weekend’s Ottawa 7-3 win in their barn. Let's get to some set-up information:

Game Stats

Power Play

Penalty Kill

Top Guns - Ottawa
Jamie McGinnLW41222547+9
Logan CoutureC34172845+11
Thomas KiriakouC51142135-4

Additional Ottawa Player Information: Jon Carnevale is yet another mono victim; Matt Lahey is facing shoulder surgery; Tye McGinn was the healthy scratch.

Top Guns - Plymouth
Chris TerryC51354681+15
Andrew FournierC47293160+2
Wes CunninghamD5164147+6

Additional Plymouth Player Information: Josh Bernis was a scratch; Leo Jenner was in the middle of a 20-game suspension for an illegal use of an elbow to rearrange the face of Sarnia's Vladimir Nikiforov. The elbow-face encounter broke Nikiforov's jaw. Nikiforov had surgery to insert a plate and screw instead of the jaw being wired shot. Nikiforov is expected to be out of the lineup until mid-March.

Game Summary
This was Logan Couture’s return to the lineup after missing 17 games recovering from back-to-back concussions. Killer had warned earlier this week (Over the Edge on Monday) not to expect much because Logan would need time to get his game conditioning and timing back. Well, he was right…it took Logan all of 9 seconds to get it all back. Tying a franchise record, Logan Couture scored the first goal of the game just 9 seconds into the game off a turnover caused by Michael Latta. Unassisted. Nice start.

Thwarted Scoring Chance - Penalty Called

Then the penalty parade started – 8 in this period alone. Ottawa had 4 power play chances and were unable to cash in on any of them. Plymouth had two and were likewise unsuccessful. Ottawa dominated for most of the period but you could see them sagging in the last 5 minutes and a goal was inevitable. With just a 1:31 left in the period, Patrick Lee scored on a rebound. Assists went to Jozef Sladock and Tyler G. Brown.

Ottawa played a very strong second period despite another penalty filled 20-minutes (7 in all). And Ottawa finally made good on one when Jamie McGinn scored his 23rd of the year on the rebound putting it in high bloker side. Assists went to Michael Latta and Julien Demers getting the assists.

The third period was not so good for the 67s. Either they sagged or Plymouth stepped it up a notch that the 67s could not match but they spent the vast majority of the period in their own zone. With their sticks on auto-dump, they were unable to clear their zone, much less generate any serious offense. Chris Perugini faced 15 shots, many of them real scoring chances and he made some amazing saves to keep the team in the game. But he couldn’t stop them all. With Cody Lindsay off for hooking and Ottawa failing to clear the puck, AJ Jenks was left alone in front and he was able to get it past Chris. Joe McCann and Chris Terry got the assists.

The game ended in a tie and overtime didn’t resolve it so off to the shoot out.

Round 1 - PLY - Chris Terry - X
Round 1 - OTT - Jamie McGinn - Yes
Round 2 - PLY - Ryan Hayes - Yes
Round 2 - OTT - Logan Couture - X
Round 3 - PLY - Andrew Fournier - Yes
Round 3 - OTT - Adam Zamec - X

So in a case of the fish that got away…coming back twice from a one-goal deficit, the Plymouth Whalers take it in a shoot out: 3 – 2. Final shots on goal were 35 – 39 for Plymouth.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Chris PeruginiJeremy SmithAndrew Fournier

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Michael Latta

Random Thoughts:

  • Great start for Logan.
  • It sure looked like the Whalers were targeting Logan for hard physical play. I’m guessing it was a combination of his long lay-off, his early goal and the possible same scouting opinion that the Windsor Spitfires left behind (that Logan was soft) that inspired their attention.
  • First time we’ve had anything close to the normal first line in a long time.
  • They played a really solid two periods – fore checking hard, cycling the puck well, working hard on the boards. Just needed to find that in the final frame.
  • Are my eyes deceiving me or was Kiriakou getting more physical?
  • Another strong game for Chris Perugini. He made some great saves (all away from the end where I was) including a great save during the overtime period. From my vantage point all I could see was a pile of bodies in the crease and suddenly Perugini sprung out from somewhere and pounced on the puck.
  • I guess that Adam was scheduled to start but he broke one of his fingers in the skate earlier today. Not too much damage apparently as he was good to dress and backup Chris.
  • Pre-game show included a chat with Greg Stefan, coach of the Plymouth Whalers. Still stinging from the loss at home last week to the 67s. About the incident…apparently it all started when fans behind the Plymouth bench started offering the ref some pointed opinions and the ref thought they came from the bench and that’s why they got the bench penalty. In his best “that’s how the whistle goes sometimes” fashion, he said that Ottawa played well and deserved the win.
More Pictures (click on any photo to see a larger image):

Nesbitt working hard for the puck

Scholar Couture

Jason Bailey: Ready for his role in a fright movie

Go 67s Go!

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