March 16, 2008

Wolves Sent Packing: Ottawa 5 - Sudbury 1

This is it – the last game of the regular season and the last game of the year for Sudbury. Both teams came into today’s wind-up having lost their last game. Sudbury was trounced 9-2 by the never-say-die Kingston Frontenac in Kingston on Friday while Ottawa was being shut out for the second straight time in their own barn by Peterborough.

A win today will put the 67s into 6th and a first round match-up with the struggling Oshawa Generals. If both Ottawa and Peterborough lose, the 67s remain in 7th and the 67s will meet the Brampton Battalion. If Ottawa loses and the Petes win, Ottawa drops to 8th and will meet up with the Belleville Bulls in the first round. There should be some motivation here.

Game Day Set-Up
Ottawa 67sSudbury Wolves
East – 7thConference – RankEast – 10th
16h - 66 - 0.168PP – Rank, GF and %15th - 63 - 0.169
11th - 65 - 0.815PK – Rank, GA and %17th – 88 - 0.763

Top Guns - Ottawa
Logan Couture C49203656+9
Jamie McGinn LW50272855+10
Thomas KiriakouC64152641-11

Additional Ottawa Player Notes: Scratches for the game were Radim Ostrcil (back spasms) and Jason Bailey (sports hernia). Scott Cowie moved back to defense. This was Jamie’s first game back. Adam Courchaine was in goal.

Top Guns - Sudbury
Patrik LusnakLW57203959-11
Jared StaalRW59212849-11
Gerome GiudiceC63152944-33

Additional Wolves Player Notes: Missing the game were rookie D-Chris Van Laren, F-Kyle Tarini and rookie D-Jesse Hebscher. Andrew Loverock got the call.

Game Summary
Ottawa came out with more jump than we’ve seen in a while and they totally dominated the Sudbury Wolves right from the get-go with some good early scoring chances. And the attitude started early with Michael Latta and Daniel Maggio dropped the gloves right off the face-off just 4 minutes into the game. According to the roster information, Daniel Maggio has at least 3 inches on Latta but Latta got the better of the tilt with a shot that sent Maggio to the ice.

About 7 minutes into the first frame Ottawa finally scored a goal on its ninth shot when Tye McGinn deflected Martin Paryzek’s shot from the point. Tyler Cuma got the other assist. Ottawa continued to control the game and rack up the shots. Loverock had to work hard to keep the team in the game.

Ottawa had a great short-handed opportunity during Jamie McGinns’ interference penalty when Couture’s rebound went right to the stick of Kiriakou who rang it off the post.

With 22 seconds left in the period, Gerome Guidice was called for holding and just seconds into the PP, McGinn the elder scored his 28th goal of the year putting it top shelf when Ottawa won the face off. Julien Demers and Tyler Cuma got the assists. I think the goal was helped in part by Loverock’s obsession with whacking any opposing player remotely close to his crease. I didn’t catch the number of the player in front of Loverock but Loverock took the time to push him in the back and it looked like it took enough of his attention away from the play to allow the goal.

After a dominant 20 minutes, Ottawa was up by two and led in shots 18 – 6.

The Sudbury Wolves didn’t put up much of a struggle in terms of scoring threats so they did the next best thing which is to play rough hockey which is pretty much expected from the Wolves at any time. Among their offences was a brutal high-stick on Tyler Cuma by Matt Dias. Ottawa did really well to keep control of the play during the PP but were only able to get three shots through to Loverock that he stopped.

Approaching the half-way mark, a falling Thomas Nesbitt was able to redirect a cross ice pass from Cody Lindsay past Loverock to put Ottawa up 3 – 0. Tye McGinn got the second assist.

Frustration was mounting for the Wolves and Tyler Arps lost it at about the halfway mark when he jumped Brett Valiquette and was called for roughing. He managed to earn a 4-minute time-out for his efforts and an additional 10 minute misconduct. Ottawa didn’t manage to do much for the 4-minutes only getting 3 shots on goal for the entire advantage.

Killing the penalty gave the Wolves a brief burst and with their second powerplay of the afternoon, Eric O’Dell broke the shut-out with assists going to Dean Howard and Peter Hermenegildo. You could see this one coming as the Ottawa defense broke down and left Eric all alone in the slot. The many Sudbury fans in the arena finally had something to cheer for.

But discipline was their undoing. First it was Gerome Guidice and John Kurtz each getting minor penalties at the same time to give the 67s a two-man advantage for two minutes. Jamie McGinn scored his second of the game when he deflected the one-timer past Loverock who was once again more concerned with the player in front of him than where the puck was. Matthieu Methot and Logan Couture got the assists. Ottawa was unable to score on both ends of the advantage.

Sudbury’s frustration finally boiled over in the last 30 seconds of the period when Julien Demers was called for kneeing. Marco Maggio started the fight (instigator), he and Demers fought (both called for fighting), and Maggio got an extra 10 minutes. Both players were sent off the ice.

With only 5 seconds left in the period, Marcus Foligno, wearing the same number as his older brother Nick in the NHL, got his own 10 minute misconduct.

So after two periods, the score was 4 – 1 for Ottawa with shots 32 - 17 in Ottawa's favour.

Ottawa had the game in hand but boy did they ever give Sudbury every chance to get back in the game. If the Wolves had had ANY puck luck and/or skill, the outcome could have been entirely different. Ottawa backed off and let Sudbury start getting the shots on Courchaine and I thought that they would score at any moment. There was a brief 3 minutes of dominance at about the 5-minute mark but it didn’t last like it should have. Fortunately for Ottawa, Sudbury’s lack of discipline came back to haunt them and with another 5-on-3 advantage late in the game, Ottawa salted it away when Logan Couture finally got a goal with assists going to Jamie McGinn and Tyler Cuma.

So the 67s close out the regular season and end up in 6th place in the league. The schedule against the Oshawa Generals is:

Fri., March 21 at Oshawa 7:35
Sun., March 23 at Oshawa 6:05
Tues., March 25 at Ottawa 7:00
Thurs., March 27 at Ottawa 7:00
Fri., March 28 at Oshawa 7:35 (if necessary)
Sun., March 30 at Ottawa 2:00 (if necessary)
Tues., April 1 at Oshawa 7:05 (if necessary)

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Jamie McGinnTyler McGinnAdam Courchaine

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Tyler Cuma

Random Thoughts

  • Good to see the team go out on a winning streak. They took matters in their own hands and moved up a spot in the standings to get the struggling Oshawa Generals.
  • Nice return for Jamie McGinn.
  • Logan Couture finally got off the schneid.
  • Forgot to mention in the last post that Tyler Cuma is the Ottawa 67s Scholar of the Year. Congrats.
  • Loverock does not like close company. I have a number of pictures of him pushing and shoving players who were close to his space. Not a cuddly sort of fellow. The refs were also indifferent

  • Tyler Cuma is seriously irritated by this neck guard as he kept tugging at it on Friday and today.

More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

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