December 20, 2008

Make that Four in a Row!!

Team Canada is going with 8 defensemen. The Ottawa 67s won with only 4, three of whom are rookies.

The Peterborough Petes ran into weather and traffic congestion and arrived a bit later than they had planned to. Guess they missed the news about the snow storm and the Ottawa transit strike. The game started about 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Toffoli,
Nigro, Martindale, Nesbitt
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Birkhoff, Gibbons,
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Courchaine

Scratches: Cuma (injury), Hanes (injury), Paryzek (WJHC), Demers (sick)

Ottawa didn't waste any time taking advantage of the Petes' bus legs. They completely controlled the puck and quickly got on the board with a powerplay goal on their 4th shot on goal just 3:10 into the game. With Jake Laplante in the sin-bin for roughing, Tyler Toffoli neatly tucked the puck behind big guy Jason Missaen after picking up a big rebound off Travis Gibbons' shot. Travis Gibbons and Logan Couture got the assists.

Ottawa continued to control the game to the point that the Petes didn't get their first shot on goal until almost 5 minutes had gone.

But the Petes slowly shook off the bus legs and with the taste of their 8 - 1 loss to the London Knights in their own barn last night they started getting into the game. The shots started getting through to Adam Courchaine but nothing got past him.

Peterborough had a good second period, bookending it with two goals. The first one came just two minutes into the frame and the second one with fewer 10 seconds left. They also survived a long parade to the penalty box with 6 penalties, including 2 5-on-3 stretches of over 1 minute each. Local phenom Ryan Spooner tied up the game early in the second when Adam Sedlak intercepted a clearing attempt and threw the puck to the net. Spooner picked up the pass as he drove the net and beat Courchaine. As the period ended, Tony Romano brought the Petes backn to within one goal with his unassisted goal off a late period face-off.

Ottawa scored on 2 of their 6 powerplay opportunities in the second. Thomas Kiriakou restored the Ottawa lead at the halfway mark during Ottawa's second 5-on-3 advantage. He had just joined the play and Thomas Nesbitt found him at the side of the net. Logan Couture had the other assist. Ottawa's third powerplay goal came when Zach Harnden was assessed a 4 minute penalty for inadvertently hitting Travis Gibbons in the face with his stick. Jon Carnevale tipped Thomas Kirakou's shot from the top of the face-of circle. Travis Gibbons got the second assist for his nifty behind the back pass to Kiriakou.

Back to within one goal with the late second period goal, the Petes tried to keep it close in the third but the hockey gods were agin them. On the up side, they didn't get any more penalties. But on the down side, the post saved a goal on Courchaine and they had a goal waved off as the referee whistled the play dead. And to make matters worse, Ottawa started finding the net. Anthony Nigro, Cody Lindsay and Thomas Kiriakou each scored a goal with assists going to Thomas Nesbitt, Travis Gibbons, Thomas Kiriakou (2), Brian Birkhoff, and Cody Lindsay.

The Petes got one back on the back end of the period but they were unable to close the gap.

Ottawa won 6 - 3 with total shots on goal 44 - 36 in Ottawa's favour.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200

Random Thoughts:
  • Whenever Peterborough is in Ottawa, there should be two refs on the ice. Although the Petes had to kill 7 penalties, they would have been assessed a lot more with an extra pair of eyes on the ice. They take liberties.
  • Adam Courchaine was definitely the 5th defenseman on the ice. He had to make some really good saves in the second and third periods to protect Ottawa's game.
  • Missiaen is really big - I mean really big. 6'7" in his socks - a giant in skates. The cross bar comes to his waist. Compare with Perugini where the cross-bar comes to his shoulders (well, perhaps an exaggeration).

  • Corey Cowick got into a dust-up with Adrian Robertson and he did the Chris Neil thing waving his arms to incite the crowd. I would council against incorporating that move into his repertoire. I like Chris Neil alot but that is not one of his more endearing habits.
  • Cuma must be teaching the new guys how to make sliding saves. Brian Birkhoff broke up a 2-on-1 rush with good hustle and a well-timed sliding block to take the pass away.
  • Kassian was awarded a penalty shot in the third period when Thomas Kiriakou was found to have intentionally knocked the net off its moorings. It was an uninspired effort that Courchaine easily defended.
  • Nice to see a former Ottawa 67s (Pat Daley) not make an impact. Not that I wish him any ill-will but it's a drag when a former player comes back to bite us.

The 67s close out the first half of the season on a four-game winning streak where they have racked up 27 goals from pretty much all over their shortened roster. Like last year, the rookies are getting all kinds of ice time and are using the time to contribute. Michael Latta is gone but Anthony Nigro and Travis Gibbons are having a great impact.

So they will briefly scatter to the four winds to celebrate the hoidays, rest and heal and return for a series of road games starting on December 30th.

While there won't be anthing to report on the 67s until then, I will do my best to post some insights from the WJHC if I have the time. We are planning to take in 16 games and I am volunteering as well so it will be hockey, hockey, hockey from Boxing Day through to January 5th.

Here's to a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or however you celebrate this time of year. Be safe.

Young fans

Pre-game focus

Cuma and Hanes on the outside looking in

Former Ottawa 67s Brett Liscombe returns for a visit


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