September 28, 2008

And Now to Oshawa

The first three games-in-three days weekend of the regular season with two on the road. The 67s played the first two games with a lot of energy and determination an came away with a split against the 4th-ranked Belleville Bulls.

The questions for today's games are whether they have enough gas for this third game and how Perugini will handle his third in three. The upside is that he didn't see that much rubber in the first two games.

First period

Oshawa jumps to an early lead (first minutes in) on a great passing play during their first powerplay of the game. Tavares to Del Zotto to Kousals who gets it by a sliding Perugini.

The rest of the period was pretty much uninspiring. Oshawa might have had the edge in overall control but it wasn't much to watch. Neither team had much going, each team had a couple of good chances and both goalies made a couple of big saves. On one of their PKs, Michael Latta stripped Del Zotto of the puck and had a break-away but Del Zotta interefered leading to a penalty shot - high and wide.

The 67s are not playing with the same jump as the last two nights (which is understandable).

Second Period

Ottawa started with a brief powerplay but it didn't among to much. After Ottawa continuing with some good pressure, Oshawa generated a couple of good scoring chances that Perugini thwarted. Kiriakou tied it up on an innocuos enough looking that beat Borden high on the glove side. Sean Ryan got the assist.

For the rest of the period it seemed to me that Ottawa dominated with good pressure. The 67s were also playing strong team defense coming up with the puck on a number of scrums in front of Perugini.

At the half-way mark, Andreoff dropped the gloves and helmet for a tangle with Zanetti. The linesmen tried to stop it before it started but Zanetti jumped right into the fray. Andreoff got a shot or two off but Zanetti got a couple good ones as Andreoff fell to the ice. Call goes to Zanetti. Both off for 5 minutes to consider the wisdom of their decisions.

A better period than the first; I would give Ottawa the edge for their performance but still not comparable to last night's game. Demers made a great play to break up a break away scoring chance by John Tavares.

Ottawa finished the period on the penalty kill as Zanetti called for hauling down love-child of the Cogeco guys - John Tavares. The SOGs at the end of two: 15 - 12 for Ottawa.

Third Period

Ottawa started the period with 1:16 left on the PK which they successfully defended. Another PK just 6-minutes in and the Gens generated a number of scoring chances. Perugini successfully defended them and the team did the rest.

Ottawa kept Oshawa from setting anything up and kept the pressure up. Good puck support. Great active sticks and feet. Impressive really for the third game.

Brett Parnam almost got the go-ahead late in the game but the goal post thought otherwise.

Oshawa got the power play with just over 3 minutes left in the game. This is it - crunch time for the tiring 67s. Kiriakou won the face off but Oshawa regrouped quickly. Kiriakou stoned on a SHG chance by the goal post!! These two minutes have been the most exciting of the game so far. Ottawa kills the penalty but Oshawa still gets a big chance to go ahead. Perugini makes the big save and holds on.

With just 42 seconds to play, Tyler Toffoli got his first goal of his OHL career on an Oshawa turnover from Ottawa strong forechecking!! It's unassisted.

Oshawa pulled the goalie for the extra player and called a time out with 2.2 second left. Kiriakou versus Tavares in the face off. But time runs out and the 67s hand the Gens their first loss in GM Place this year!!

Great road game by this young team.

Random Thoughts
  • A few former team mates playing each other: Corey Cowick is a former General; Shea Kewing (scratch - recovering from a broken leg) and Brett Valiquette being former 67s.
  • The Barberpole jerseys sure look good on TV
  • Kiriakou had a great game - some good scoring chances.
  • Zanetti didn't have much luck with the refs.
  • Perugini seemed to control his rebounds better.
  • Carnevale played strong defensively.
  • With the team playing this well without Couture and Cuma, will their returns cause a disruption to the chemistry??
  • Thought I heard the Team1200 guys mention last night that Schinkelshoek is nursing a groin injury. Not having a great start to the year.
  • These Cogeco guys have major man-crushes on Tavares. It's embarassing really.
  • I wonder if the near-empty GM Place has much to do with the economy. The on-air guys said that Sunday evening hockey is a tradition so one would expect more bums in the seats by a hockey-starved fan base. They reported attendance at 3444 but that's generous.
  • Apparently the Gens were predicted to come last in the league this year. This, and John T's desire to regain the top draft prediction will be the Gen's inspiration this year.
Three Stars in the Building:
1. Tyler Toffoli
2. Thomas Kiriakou
3. Robert Kousal (Oshawa)

Three Stars as Selected By Team1200:
1. Thomas Kiriakou
2. Tyler Toffoli
3. Chris Perugini

Hardest Working 67s: Julien Demers

Wow! A fine road trip by the 67s - taking both games. Gonna be a good bus ride home. Waydago! Here's the game sheet.

See you Friday back at the Civic Centre!

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