October 10, 2008

Now That's more like it! - Ottawa 6 - Belleville 3

The Ottawa 67s came into tonight's game after a pretty lousy effort against Kingston on Wednesday. Don't know what happened there but my guess would be that the boys went into the 0-4-1 game with a tad too much confidence. They deservedly were taken down a notch or two.

Belleville came to town riding a 4-game winning streak and looking to improve their CHL standings - having taken a hit when they last met the 67s.

Cowick, Couture, Zamec
Martindale, Latta, Toffoli
Carnevale,Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Lindsay, Schinkelshoek

Paryzek, Cuma
Demers, Birkhoff
Hartwick, Ryan

Perugini in goal

Scratches: Zanetti, Vorobyhov (has been released by the team), Anderson, Hanes

This was an effort that we have come to expect and this time the team came out on top of the score.

It seems they are able to get motivated for the "teams to beat" but were lacking something in their game against the Division bottom-feeders on Wednesday. This would suggest that they have what it takes, they just need to bring it to every game. The most dangerous team is the one with nothing left to lose.

Anyhoo - about tonight's game. It was another stellar example of everyone doing most of the little things right and the big things taking care of themselves.

I'm not the only one to suggest that the second line is really the first line. The TML boys generated so many chances and kept the Bulls at bay - no goals were scored against them and they accounted for 6 of the 16 points accumulated tonight.

It looks like the 67s can roll three strong lines and a reasonable 4th line. Zamec was playing on the right wing of Couture tonight and Kiriakou centred a pretty strong 3rd line that saw a decent amount of ice time and produced an even strength goal and a short-handed one too!

Killer had his 4th line out in all three periods and they held their own reasonably well.

If the warm-up was any indication of the energy tonight, it was lead by Corey Cowick. He just seemed ready for this encounter and it must have been infectious with the rest of the team.

There was energy, the feet were moving, they looked organized (for the most part) and their sticks were in the way of everyone and everything. They beat Belleville to the puck so often one would have thought that the 67s were used to the bigger ice than the other way around.

Subban sure is a piece of work. This veteran started chirping our rookie Toffoli seconds into the game and he considered every call against him (3 all game) a personal insult. He certainly needs a couple of pegs taken out of his self-image.

Ottawa dominated most of the game but they, once AGAIN, allowed a short-handed goal. You could see the Bulls PK challenging the points as the 67s passed it around, passed it around, passed it around, looking for some perfect play. It was only a matter of time that a pass would be intercepted and the breakaway into Perugini.

Speaking of Chris, one might suggest that Perugini has played himself into the starter position. No 1A, 1B thing happening here so far. It looks like 1 and 2 (it just wouldn't be Ottawa without a goalie controversy!).

Once Belleville tied it up with a short-handed goal in the dying seconds of the second period, I thought it was over for the 67s.

But they came back in the third with three unanswered goals including a shortie of their own. They almost had a couple more goals on that same PK. The Bulls were clearly unable to turn it around at this point.

Here's the Game Sheet. for all the details.

Tyler Toffoli opened the scoring with his 3rd goal of the season at the half-way mark of the first period. Linemates Martindale and Latta got the assists. The Bulls Eric Tangradi responded a minute and a half later to tie it up. Cory Tanaka assisted on the goal. But Ottawa ended the period with a one-goal lead on a Sean Ryan powerplay goal. Julien Demers and Thomas Kiriakou assisted.

Just 19 seconds into the second period, Logan Couture scored his first goal of the season and put Ottawa up by two. Corey Cowick assisted. But despite dominating the play for that entire period, Bellville managed to tie the game first with a goal from the gift-to-hockey-P-K-Subban (assist by Cameron) and then a short handed goal in the dying seconds from Ottawa native Shawn Lalonde.

Ottawa took control of the game and the scoring in the third period with an even-strength goal from Michael Latta, a powerplay goal from Logan Couture and a short-handed goal from Thomas Kirakou.

Celebrating the short-handed goal (Thomas Nesbitt with the assist)

It was a good game with high energy, skilled play, strong defensive coverage by everyone and a bit of luck to boot. The Bulls had a string of a PP, a 5-on-3 and a PP and the 67s allowed only one shot.

There were some "Oh NO!" moments but all in all it was a great game to watch. There is a different attitude with the team this year and it's wonderful to watch.

Three Stars:
1. Michael Latta
2. Thomas Nesbitt
3. Chris Perugini

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Logan Couture

Nesbitt before the unscheduled dental work


Subban was called for tripping on this one - you be the judge

Great save by Chris!

Slo-mo goal

Likely won't catch the game Monday. See you Friday when the high-flying Windsor Spitfires are in town (am selling my Sens - Coyotes tickets so I can see this one!!).

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