September 13, 2008

No Bull Here - Ottawa 4 - Belleville 2

The pre-season concluded with Ottawa greeting (and beating) the CHL 2nd ranked team at the Civic Centre.

Both teams were missing quite a few players.

The Ottawa lines:

Martindale, Latta, Toffoli
Vorobyov, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Lindsay, Carnevale
Anderson, Lahey

Defensive Pairings:
Hartwick – Paryzek
Birkhoff – Zanetti
Hanes – Ryan

Perugini was in goal.

Schinkelshoek (injury – should be skating by Sunday), Demers (San Jose rookie camp), Zamec (6 game suspension for his hit on Kingston’s Pearson), Corey Cowick (I presume he’s off to Penguin camp but nothing posted on the Pens site), Cuma (Minnesota rookie camp) and Couture (San Jose rookie camp).

Belleville was missing Stephen Johnston, Michael Neal, Bryan Cameron, Nick Pageau and Eric Tangradi. They rolled 3 lines.

Missing 5 veterans gave Killer the opportunity to dress and play all healthy rookies and it was good to see them in action in all situations, especially the 5 PKs in the first period. The first was called just 15 seconds into the game and the 67s’ sharp play kept Belleville from even registering a shot on Perugini. On their fourth PK of the game, it was Tyler Toffoli who broke the ice with a nice short-handed goal over the outstretched pads of Mike Murphy. Ryan Martindale got an assist.

At one point in this parade of Ottawa penalties, including a 3-on-5 for 51 seconds, it seemed Ottawa had their best offense while on defense.

The second period was again a bit of a lackluster affair from both sides with the teams trading goals in quick succession in the middle of the frame. Belleville tied the game up when Cory Tanaka was left all alone on the right post while Perugini was still trying to see around the traffic in front of him. Cory had a completely open side and the easy goal. But before the goal was finished being announced, Matt Lahey, yes folks you read it right, ol’ number 8 himself, got the goal back after Dylan Anderson did some hard work to set him up.

You could see that the team was getting confident but it almost looked like they were getting a bit too fancy. They were trying the stretch passes and forcing passing into traffic. But they were playing really well defensively – all of them. Belleville had a good chance to tie it up late in the period when three Bulls got into formation and bore down on Chris. It looked like a sure thing but they hit him in the crest and he did what he had to do.

Either the 67s got a bit smarter or Belleville was getting tired/frustrated but it was time for the 67s to work on their PP including a long stretch while Bjorn Krupp was off for head-butting (!) and roughing in a disagreement with Thomas Nesbitt. He was assessed a 6-minute time out and on that powerplay Dylan Anderson was credited with what looked like a shot that squeeked by Murphy. Martin Paryzek assisted on Ottawa’s third goal of the night. Then the team really came together, pretty much playing keep-away with the puck in Belleville’s zone. Tyler Toffoli notched his second of the night with 1:29 left in the game with the assistance of Michael Latta.

With another 2-man advantage in the dying seconds of the game, Belleville was able to score another goal for pride.

The game ended Ottawa 4 – Belleville 2, final shots on goal were a lot-more-for-Ottawa (I didn’t note the final count).

Random thoughts:
  • A lot of small things done well, back-checking, getting to the puck, blocking shots.

  • Yakov Vovbyov looked pretty good any time I was watching. He’s very strong with the puck, doesn’t back down from anything, and he was moving any time I saw him (unlike last week when he was pretty much hanging around the front of the net).

  • It was good to have Paryzek back. I saw him cover for his rookie linemate at least a couple of times. I guess he’s also able to speak with Vorobyov (although for all I know Yakov can speak perfect English). I noticed them chatting as they skated off the ice for a line change.

  • Toffloi is something else to watch too. He just seems to be everywhere and the puck gets to him.

  • The team has the hardhat for the hardest working player. I wonder what they have for the most penalized player. It would go to Ryan Martindale for sure. I didn’t keep precise numbers but I would guess he had 5 penalties, if not 6, including a pair (cross-checking and roughing) at the end that led to the 3-on-5 where Belleville scored.

  • I thought I was at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing during the second period as the Bulls were doing their best .5 meter dives. The judges gave them all zeros for their efforts.

  • Another foggy game that made it hard to get pictures.

  • The team did a dry run of a new game-day fan experience that they will be doing with groups. It will involve the lucky fans to come to ice level at the end of the game and get high-fived by the team. Also, the first star of the game (I guess if the star is a 67s) will give a stick to a lucky fan. Not sure if it will be his game stick or not.

  • Had a chance to chat with Pieter Schinkelshoek before the game. Says he’s feeling pretty good and may be skating on Sunday. Said all the right things (liking it here, the game is faster, higher skill level etc. pretty much what they all say).
So the pre-season wraps up with a record of 2-1-1. Everyone has had a pretty good chance to show what they can bring to the party. The regular season starts next Friday on the road with the 67s visiting Brampton and then playing Niagara on Saturday. Boston’s rookie camp starts on Tuesday and looks like it runs to the 21st so we may have another goalie for the weekend to back-up Chris.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by Someone from the Ottawa Sun (Don Brennan ? sorry - didn't catch the name)
Chris Perugini

1st Star

Tyler Toffoli

2nd Star

P.K. Subban

3rd Star

More Pictures:

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