November 21, 2008


That's all it took for Brampton to erase a 3-goal deficit in the third period, keep the momentum and eventually win the game 5 -4.

Ottawa came out strong, and pretty much owned the second period but as soon as the third period started I thought to myself "oh-oh they are slacking off and are going to pay for it." And pay they did. In the first 5 minutes of the third period, they only got out of their own zone twice - although one of those ventures resulted in Thomas Kiriakou's second goal of the game, Ottawa's 4th goal of the game on the first shot of the third frame to go up 4 - 1. Pieter Schinkelshoek got the lone assist.

I've already given away the ending (I always read the last page of a book right away) but stay with me for the rest of the story.

Forward combos (sort of - everything changed once Nesbitt was injured):
Cowick, Couture, Nesbitt (to start - cameos after the injury)
Martindale, Latta, Toffoli
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Carnevale
Blunden, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Paryzek, Cuma
Demers, Zanetti
Hartwick, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Ryan (injured), Sonnenburg, Birkhoff (sick), Stein (previous call-up)

The game started promising enough with Ottawa getting on the board first less that two minutes into the game on Ryan Hanes' shot from the point that Tyler Toffoli redirected past local boy Patrick Killeen for his 6th goal of the season. It was Ottawa's first shot on goal. But it didn't take long for Brampton to get it back. On their 4th shot of the game, rookie Kyle Pereira scored his first goal of the season. Assists went to Matt Duchene and point machine Evgeny Grachev.

The period remained scoreless despite several scoring chances and two power plays for the 67s. The PK by Brampton was outstanding. Ottawa might have had two shots on goal for the two PPs combined.

And there must have been some bad blood from the game on Sunday. Just before the halfway mark, Michael Latta and Stephon Thorne travelled from center ice down to the Brampton net whaling away at each other.

Then with just under 6 minutes left Marc Zanetti and Kyle Pereira (who previously turtled on Jon Carnevale) went at it.

I don't recall a 67s team in recent memory being so scrappy.

The Battalin are a fast, skilled team but the 67s outplayed them in the second frame. Latta had a good short-handed chance early in the period, the team broke up scoring chances, and skated hard. And it finally paid off with the go-ahead goal with 7:34 left to play. It was Thomas Kiriakou's 12th goal of the season putting it over the shoulder of Killeen. Jon Carnevale and Cody Lindsay assisted.

At some point in the whole proceedings (I didn't notice exactly when) Thomas Nesbitt got injured and wasn't taking anymore shifts. Killer was juggling his forwards and line combos were changing frequently it seemed. I didn't try to keep track.

Finally, on their 5th PP of the game, with Craig Moore out for delay of game (puck over the glass), Ryan Martindale scored to put the 67s up by two. Jon Carnevale and Julien Demers were credited with the assists.

So they went into the locker room up by two having just played an outstanding middle frame. They should have felt that beating this team was possible.

Well, perhaps too much. Brampton won the face off and kept Ottawa pinned in their end. The 67s seemed to be lost - unable to muster the jump and energy from the previous two periods. As mentioned in the opening, Kiriakou put the 67s up by three early in the period but the team just sat back after that and true to their name, the Battalion battled back.

In very short order, 3:10 to be precise, Brampton's Derek Gregorack (first goal of the season), Jason Dale, and Cody Hodgson scored. It started with Derek's goal from the blue line that Chris Perugini should have had. And it appeared that it rattled the team. Assisting on that flurry of goals were Kyle DeCoste, Ken Peroff, Jason Dale, Matt Duchene and Evgeny Gacheve. Yup - pretty much the point machines for Brampton.

The 67s did manage to step it up in the last half of the game but someone forgot about minding the opposition and Josh Shalla was left all alone in front of Perugini to score the game winning goal. Jason Dale and Thomas Stajan had the assists. Less than 5 minutes remained. Ottawa was unable to gain puck possession in the final minute to allow Perugini to leave the ice for the extra attacker.

And so it ended with the Battalion fighting back from a 3-goal deficit with 4 unanswered goals to win their franchise-record setting 15th game in a row and showing why their are among the country's top 10 teams.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Jon Carnevale

Random Thoughts:

  • In the battle of the specialty teams (Brampton with a pretty solid PK and Ottawa tops in the PP department) I would have to give the game to the Battalion. Their PK (and it's really good) kept Ottawa to 1 goal in 5 tries. And not too many shots on goal in those five tries.
  • I imagine this one will eat at them for a while. They should have won this game. Guess they will remember that the game is 60 minutes.
  • To give credit though, their last 4 games have been against the two top teams in the conference. Those teams are pretty loaded with talent when compared to this relatively young 67s club (that is loaded with rookies). They have shown that they can compete with the best. They will learn from this game and it will serve to make them stronger.
  • Hockey legend Scotty Bowman was in the house tonight to celebrate 50 years since the Hull-Ottawa Canadians won the Memorial Cup. Scotty was an assistant coach for the team. Here he is being interviewed by CTV's Terry Marcotte

  • 9000 fans tonight. Brampton is lucky to get 2000. It must feel good to win in front of a lot of people even if it's not in your own rink Imagine being one of the best teams in the country and not being able to fill your own bunker (as they call it).

No game today (perhaps an energetic practice?) and then down the 401 tomorrow to take on the Oshawa Generals who are breathing down the 67s neck for third spot in the conference. They too are resting after a shoot-out loss on home ice last night. With a For Sale sign on his back expect John Tavares to play every game like it's his last one in Oshawa. Ottawa will have to seriously regroup after last night's big disappointment.

No comments: