March 31, 2008

Adam Courchaine Signs ATO

Goaltender Joins Providence from OHL's Ottawa

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, member of the American Hockey League, announced today that they have signed goaltender Adam Courchaine to an Amateur Tryout Agreement from the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. With the move, the P-Bruins now have 21 players on their roster, including 11 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders.

See the rest of the press release here.

He was on the roster for the game against Jamie McGinn and the Worcester Sharks yesterday.

Good Luck Adam.

March 30, 2008

Another Year in the Books

Well, this wraps up another season of the Ottawa 67s and my second year as a blogger.

There were three signed NHL prospects on the roster this year: Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture with the San Jose Sharks and Adam Courchaine with the Boston Bruins, and two unsigned prospects: Radim Ostrcil (Boston) and Jason Bailey (Anahheim).

By all accounts Killer had drafted reasonably well (draft held Saturday May 5th), picking 6th. The complete list is (Round. Overall draft pick, OHL Team Player Name Team Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate):
  • 1 6 Ottawa 67's Michael Latta Waterloo Wolves RC 5.11 180 5/25/1991
  • 2 26 Ottawa 67's Ryan Martindale Whitby Wildcats LC 6.01 170 10/27/1991
  • 3 46 Ottawa 67's Chris Perugini Mississauga IceDogs G 5.09 125 2/6/1991
  • 4 66 Ottawa 67's Johnathan Carnevale Central Ontario Wolves RW 5.10 165 6/21/1991
  • 5 100 Ottawa 67's Marc Anthony Zanetti Toronto Marlboros LD 5.11 180 5/20/1991
  • 6 106 Ottawa 67's Cam McLean Niagara Falls RW 6.00 165 2/13/1991
  • 7 126 Ottawa 67's Paul Phillips Chicago Chill Midget LD 5.11 175 7/16/1991
  • 8 146 Ottawa 67's Blake Barbieri Mississauga IceDogs RD 6.00 170 3/3/1991
  • No 9th round pick
  • 10 186 Ottawa 67's Riley Sonnenburg Cambridge Hawks LW 6.01 170 1/1/1991
  • 11 206 Ottawa 67's Brian Birkhoff Wexford Raiders LD 6.00 180 5/27/1991
  • 12 226 Ottawa 67's Dustin Walsh Quinte Red Devils LW 5.10 140 3/20/1991
  • 12 228 Ottawa 67's Ben Sexton Kanata Blazers RC 5.10 165 6/6/1991
  • 13 246 Ottawa 67's Jonathan Demme Brampton Battalion AA LD 6.01 175 3/11/1991
  • 14 266 Ottawa 67's Joseph Quattrocchi Kanata Blazers G 6.00 165 4/30/1991
  • 15 286 Ottawa 67's GianPaul Delle Donne Guelph RW 5.11 160 2/11/1991
The first four draftees reported, stayed and contributed in a year when rookies played more than they normally would have. We also had a chance to see Marc Zanetti for a few games during the flurry of tournaments that had a few regulars out of the lineup.

The import draft was held on June 28, 2007 and Killer’s picks were (Overall, Team, Time of Pick, Player, DOB, Pos, Last Team/Country, Height, Weight, NHL Draft):
  • 17, Ottawa 67's , 12:10, Radim Ostrcil, Jan.15.1989, D, HC Vsetin/Czech, 6.00, 194, '07, 169th
  • 38, Ottawa 67's (from Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), 3:40, Martin Paryzek, March.23.1989, D, HC Ceska Budejovice/Czech, 6.01, 185, 2008
Again, both players reported, stayed and contributed.

Other player changes during the year:
  • Aaron Alophonso was traded to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the off-season for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2008 OHL priority selection and the 38th pick in the European draft.
  • Tye McGinn, younger brother of Jamie, was acquired in a deal for future consideration with Owen Sound. He was drafted by Owen Sound in the 9th round, 168th overall, 2006 OHL Priority Selection.
  • D-Keith Wynn was acquired from the Windsor Spitfires (for future consideration) as an overager. He didn’t last too long – not sure whether he quite or was fired. He just slipped off the radar without (or because of) making much of an impact.
  • Overager D-Zach McCullough was acquired from the Sudbury Wolves for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2008 OHL entry draft.
The season started with high hopes and expectations given that Jamie and Logan were back together, signed by their NHL teams and for all intents and purposes healthy and ready for a stand-out season. Some solid veterans were returning and the crop of rookies was promising.

But, it wouldn’t quite turn out that way. The first sign of trouble was rookie goal tender Adam Courchaine coming down with mono during the summer. By all reports it wasn’t a serious bout but it was a sign of things to come. Then Radim Ostrcil suffered a broken wrist at camp with the Boston Bruins. It delayed his start with the 67s. The OHL doesn’t produce a list of player games lost due to illness or injury but here’s a partial list of the major games lost:
  • Jason Bailey only played 34 games of the regularly scheduled 68 games. Reasons for his absence: mono (17 games), broken face (nose and orbital bone), hip flexor and sports hernia. He needs to go under the knife for the hernia.
  • Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn missed 17 games each due to concussions and back / shoulder issues respectively.
  • Matt Lahey only played 22 games before being permanently side-lined with a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
  • Jon Carnevale was just about to play in the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge as a member of Team Ontario when he was diagnosed with mono.
  • Tyler Cuma had to sit out the Prospects Game as he had bronchitis.
In fact, there wasn’t a single player who made it through the entire year without missing a game due to illness or injury.

But it wasn’t all bad news. The Ottawa 67s had good representation on a number of national / provincial teams:
  • Tyler Cuma was named to the Under 18 team to defend Canada's title at the eight-country Ivan Hlinka Memorial in Piestany, Slovakia, and Hodonin, Czech Republic.
  • Tyler Cuma was also named to the OHL Top Prospects team. When he couldn’t make it due to illness, Julien Demers went.
  • Martin Paryzek was a member of the Czech National Team in the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championship tournament.
  • Michael Latta and Ryan Martindale were named to the Ontario squad in the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  • Chris Perugini starting in net in Barrie against his brother Andrew and coming away with the win.
  • Michael Latta playing in Kitchener in front of friends and family and leading the team to a win with two goals and was named the game’s first star.
  • The 67s beating the loaded-for-Memorial-Cup Kitchener Rangers twice.
  • The rookies playing much more than expected and stepping up - sometimes outplaying the veterans.
  • 4 shut-out wins
  • season sweep of the Barrie Colts
  • 24 1-goal games
  • highest scorers on the team, Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture, ranked 56th and 57th respectively in the league.
  • 6 shut-out losses (2 in a row)
  • third season in a row of below .500 hockey
  • 4-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs
Final Thoughts
  • ya – a tough year to be a fan especially with all the hope we started with. The discussion boards were filled with the usual armchair advice regarding coaching, drafting and trading. But I still had more entertainment value from my 67s tickets than my Senators tickets.
  • By my reckoning Ottawa should be picking 6th or 7th in the draft again so they should have a good chance for quality picks. Let’s hope Killer will start drafting and trading for bigger lads who can also move the puck.
  • I don’t want to get my hopes up too early but it appears that the the 67s could have a solid core of players for next year (and the year after that).
  • Jamie McGinn has already reported to the Worcester Sharks. He registered his first assist in their Saturday night game (a loss – the Sharks are in tough just to make the playoffs).
  • Logan has not been called up, most likely to take the time to get 100% better for next year. Hopefully that will include some serious training for him to get stronger on his feet. It seemed that every other picture I have of him he’s down on the ice. BTW – belated happy birthday to Logan (March 28th).
  • Another belated vsechno nejlepsi to Martin Paryzek (March 23rd) (I hope that means happy birthday in Czech – I looked it up on the web.)
  • Zach McCullough, Matthieu Methot and Jason Bailey have now completed their major junior hockey careers. No word on what their plans are. Good luck guys.
  • Possible overagers for next year: Thomas Kiriakou (Kilrea has already made it clear that he would love to have Thomas back. I would bet he gets the “C” if he returns), Matt Lahey (I wouldn’t bet on it with his history of injuries), Sean Ryan (on the bubble I would think) and Jamie McGinn (hard to call – depends on how it goes in Worcester).
  • Special thanks to Walt for his faithful production of his game sheets which he shared with the regulars in our section. He puts a lot of time and effort into these informative documents and it’s greatly appreciated.
  • We have our tickets to the Memorial Cup in Kitchener. A chance to combine golf and hockey. It should be fun. I’m thinking that I may attempt to work in some time to blog from there (but may get sidelined by other fun stuff).
  • The NHL Draft is in Ottawa this year and I plan to attend the first round. Hopefully we will see Tyler Cuma go early and get pleasantly surprised with good results for the other eligible 67s players.
  • Thanks to photographers Mike, Robert and Jean who were generous with their time and advice - it is much appreciated.
  • And finally thanks to you for taking the time to read my musings and take a look at my pictures. Hopefully we will all be here again next season.

Cheers Everyone!

March 27, 2008

Over and Out: Oshawa 4 - Ottawa 1

It’s Friday night in the nation’s capital and instead of sitting in the Ottawa Civic Centre or watching the game on TV, here I am writing the last game summary of the season. Suddenly it’s over and if it’s shocking for me and other fans, I can’t imagine what it’s like for the team. By this time next week they will be back in their own homes and for some finishing the school year in another school.

All the old clich├ęs were trotted out for the game….it’s do or die time, gotta play desperate, there’s no tomorrow, blah blah blah.

Killer didn’t change the line-ups for the game:

JMcGinn, Couture, Bailey
Methot, Kiriakou, Latta
Zamec. Lindsay, Nesbitt
TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale

Defensive Pairs
Paryzek, Cuma
Demers, Ryan
McCullough, Ostrcil

Adam Courchaine started in net.

Cowie and Valiquette sat out again.

Once again Ottawa started the game strong and carried the play and quickly racked up the shots on Neuvirth. They were physical, they had jump and had puck possession…but no goals. Thomas Kiriakou was tripped up on an early scoring chance and during the ensuing powerplay they put 4 shots on Neuvirth…but no goal.

And on their first shot on goal John Tavares put the Generals ahead just five minutes into the game when he put a good move around the Ottawa defender and hit the good side of the blocker-side post. Patrick Asselin and James DeLory got the assists. And that ended any hope of Ottawa starting with a lead.

Right after the goal, Zamec was called for hooking but it was Ottawa that had the better scoring chances but again the shots went right into the crest of Neuvirth. Oshawa didn’t get any shots through to Courchaine so that should have been a boost for the 67s.

But man oh man the hockey gods were against the 67s as the next goal was a heartbreaker. Two minutes after the first goal Tyler Cuma put the goal in his own net when he tried to skate in front of Courchaine and ended up surprising him with the puck. Dale Mitchell was credited with the goal. Probably the easiest one he scored all season. And before the night was over, he would wreak havoc on Cuma again…keep reading for that one.

Cuma didn’t really recover after that for the rest of the period and neither did the team. Martindale took a penalty and Ottawa was discombobulated during the ensuing PK. Oshawa took advantage with their third straight goal when Ryan McGinnis was given a golden rebound off an Ottawa shin pad and he scored. Brett McLean and Michael Del Zotto got the assists (although if it was a rebound off an Ottawa player should they have been given the assists??? hmmm).

And that was the end of the game (and the season) for Adam Courchaine – he was pulled before 10 minutes had expired in the game having given up 3 goals on 5 shots. Chris Perugini took over. I should note that Ottawa had 10 shots on goal at this point. But no goals.

Ottawa had another powerplay opportunity but I think they were still reeling from the quick turn of events and they were really unable to get much going.

With a 3 – 0 lead and confidence that Ottawa’s powerplay wasn’t all that effective, Oshawa started hitting again. To some observers (the spousal unit in particular) many, if not most, of the hits were late’ish. In the esteemed opinion of said spousal-unit, late hits have replaced much of the hooking and grabbing that used to take place. Kilrea does not seem to advocate such strategies judging by the style of the 67s play.

As the period wound down, Ottawa was on the PK and had a short-handed opportunity with Cuma bringing the puck up the ice. You could see that he was trying to run out the clock but in the process of doing that he completely missed that Bailey was open for a scoring chance. Oshawa got control of the puck and sent it down ice. The linesman didn’t signal for icing so Cuma and Dale Mitchell skated hard after it. Dale cross-checked Cuma and he went down hard. And he stayed down. Patafie went out to ice, the team doctor came on the ice and eventually Tyler got up to his feet and left the ice with the assistance of Paryzek and Couture (a role to be reversed later in the game). As he left the ice, he was not putting weight on his right leg. Not a good period for Tyler Cuma. Dale Mitchell was assessed a 5-minute penalty and a game misconduct. He actually looked contrite as he left the ice.

That what doesn’t kill you only serves to make your stronger – right? By that reckoning the 67s should have been in fine form in the second period especially starting the period wiht a man-advantage for over 4 minutes.

Not quite.

The 67s just didn’t manage to show the same PP skill as they had earlier in the series. Actually, it was the Generals who had the better scoring chances including a breakaway by Baker that was stopped by a great pad save by Chris Perugini. Killing this PP had to have been a big lift for Oshawa.

Tyler Cuma returned to the bench at about the halfway mark of the period and was taking a shift shortly after that.

The only goal of the period came with less than 5 minutes left when Logan Couture finally scored Ottawa’s (and eventually only) even-strength goal of the series when he tipped in the point shot from Julien Demers. Jamie McGinn got the other assist. At last – now down just down two goals.

Chris Perugini made some great saves early in the third period to keep the 67s in the game.

Killer rode his top line as much as possible for the third period – what did he have to lose. Well, Logan Couture for one. No one seemed to see what happened but Logan ended up prone on the ice near the Ottawa bench. No word on the nature of the injury but from all descriptions it appears that he may have had his bell rung….again. He made it to the bench for a bit but he eventually left the bench for the locker room. What a time that kid has had in Ottawa with various injuries over the course of his tenure.

Somehow with all that happened up to this point the remaining 67s could not generate enough emotion to play angry. Bailey excluded of course. He laid a perfectly clean open-ice hit on Cowick and Cowick decided to hang on Bailey’s leg…and the scrap was on. Despite playing injured and in pain, Bailey was not about to go down with bullets in his gun. It was short and intense and Bailey carried the day. Cowick knew he was hit and owned. Easy to take however given that the Gens won the game.

The killing blow came with less than two minutes to play in a goal-mouth scramble where Cory Nagy was able to force the puck past Chris Perugini who had kept Ottawa in the game since taking over. Tavares and Regan got the assists.

Ottawa never had a chance in the dying minute of the game to pull Perugini for the extra attacker. And the series ended with a sweep with Oshawa taking the 4th game 4 – 1. Final shots were 32 – 34 for Oshawa.

Hardest Working Ottawa 67s as Selected by the Team1200: Chris Perugini (1 goal on 31 shots)

Random Thoughts

  • The Brian Kilrea award was presented to Jason Bailey and Matthieu by Max Keeping.

  • I cannot imagine the frustration of playing hard, controlling the puck and just having everything go against you. If they didn’t have bad luck they wouldn’t have had any luck at all. That the first goal didn’t completely let the air out of them after controlling the play for the whole time up to that point is a credit to their determination in my opinion. That the team didn’t completely fold up their tent and go home after the first period is amazing too.
  • Jason Bailey played on guts and adrenalin. According to team trainer Brian Patafie, if it were September Jason would have been under the knife with an expected return no sooner than January. You certainly cannot criticize him for lack of commitment. This year he has had mono, a broken nose, a broken orbital bone and the sports hernia. Among all his injuries, the sports hernia is clearly the most painful. Hurts when trying to stride hard, hurts to shoot, hurts giving and taking hits. Just plain hurts. Was that a smile or a grimace when he took his turn in recognition for being selected the second star of the game?
  • Chris Perugini made some really good saves to keep the score closer than it might have been including stoning Cowick at the beginning of the third period on a turnover in their own zone during an Ottawa 67s line change.
  • The Ottawa 67s could not have bought a goal in the game. Absolutely no bounces their way. Clearly someone committed some enormous crime against humanity in their previous life to have this fate visited upon them and the entire team.
  • I was expecting to see more anger and desperation, especially after the hit on Cuma and on Couture and knowing how hurt Bailey was playing. Maybe I don’t know how to recognize it.
  • To give the Oshawa Generals credit, they were graceful winners in their opponent’s rink.
  • I hope to write a wrap-up blog by next weekend.
The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
John TavaresJason BaileyPatrick Asselin

More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

March 26, 2008

In a Deep Hole: Ottawa 1 – Oshawa 2 and Down 3 Games

After Oshawa taking both games on home ice in this playoff series, play shifts to the Ottawa Civic Centre for games 3 and 4. Game 3 was not as close as game 1 and Oshawa had a solid win (5-2). Chris Cowie and Brett Valiquette were the healthy scratches again in that game and Adam Courchaine started although he was pulled after letting in 3 goals on 14 shots (if memory serves me correctly).

For game three, Chris and Brett were the healthy scratches again and Killer went back to Adam in net.

The lines were:
JMcGinn, Couture, Bailey
Methot, Kiriakou, Latta
Zamec, Lindsay, Nesbitt
TMcGinn, Martindale, Carnevale

Defensive Pairings
Paryzek, Cuma
Demers, Ryan
McCullough, Ostrcil

It took almost 2 minutes into the game before anyone got a shot on goal (it was Ottawa) and in the first half of the period the whistle might have been blown maybe three times (at least twice as each team was assessed a penalty). Ottawa carried the play early in the period as they racked up the shots but they continued to be unable to beat Neuvirth. In all honesty, it didn’t seem like many of the shots were dangerous but they still had to be stopped. Compared with Game 1, there was almost no hitting in the first period. I noticed from Sunday’s game sheet that Oshawa was assessed 4 hitting from behind penalties so I wondered if Oshawa was being careful since all of the Ottawa goals so far had been on the powerplay. Neither team scored in the first period.

As they did in the previous two games, Oshawa was the first to score. It was early in the second period when Brett Parnham picked up his own rebound and beat Courchaine. Ryan McGinnis got the lone assist. Ottawa tried to get it back and had a powerplay opportunity but they were unable to get it working for them. They had chances but just could not seem to finish anything. In fact it wasn’t until the final 20 seconds of the PP until they finally got anything through to Neuvirth.

Oshawa went up by two on their first shot of their only powerplay of the period when James DeLory scoring from the point. Dale Mitchell and Ryan McGinnis got the assists. And with the two goal lead Oshawa hunkered down into protect-mode for a bit. For their part Ottawa was able to get through the neutral zone but still were unable to beat Neuvirth.

Ottawa kept it coming for the third period – controlling the puck and spending a lot of time in the Oshawa zone peppering Neuvirth with 22 shots while Courchaine saw only 5 for the entire period. With under two minutes left and with Eric Regan off for high-sticking, Killer pulled Adam Courchaine so that the 67s had a two-man advantage. They finally had Neuvirth scrambling and Logan Couture broke the shut-out and made it a one-goal game. They kept it up for the remaining time and once again it was a nail-biter right to the end including interrupting at least two empty-netters. But it was not enough and once again the 67s were short by one goal. But more importantly they are down by three games in the series.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Michal NeuvirthBrett ParnhamMichael Latta

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Jason Bailey

Random Thoughts:

  • Ottawa has played well for the two games that I have seen but it's just not good enough. Running into a hot goalie sure doesn't help. The chatter going into the series was that Oshawa would need Neuvirth to play realy well for them to win this series. Their problems had not been about scoring goals but rather keeping them out of their net. Ottawa has outshot the Gens for all three games so it's not like the defensive play of the Gens is keeping the scoring chances down. So you could say that Neuvirth is really stealing these games for his team.
  • Not much of a crowd which was pretty much expected for a weeknight game in Ottawa. The announced attendance was 4738 but I highly doubt there that many bums in seats. This is really disappointing given the normal attendance this team can draw on a weekend. Too bad the Civic Centre bookings do this to the 67s each year.
  • Not one even-strength goal in three games. Hard to win like that. On the up side, the Generals didn’t score in the first two minutes like they did in the last two games.
  • Jason Bailey played injured and played as hard as he could - he left all of it on the ice. Hope he’s as OK as possible under the circumstances.
  • Killer rolled 4 lines all game. He clearly has confidence in his rookie line as they got good ice time all game including later in the third period.
  • While it seemed like most of the shots (there were 47 in all by Ottawa versus 24 by Oshawa) were all right on Neuvirth - the up-side is that they were on the net as opposed to ending up hitting the boards and the glass behind the net.
More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

March 22, 2008

Outscored but not Outplayed: Oshawa 3 - Ottawa 2

Hit the road to see the opening game of the first round and my first visit to the General Motors Centre in Oshawa. We arrived quite early and went to a local establishment called Riley’s for some pre-game sustenance and refreshment. It’s really close to the arena and clearly a pre-game haunt for some fans. The food was good, plentiful and reasonably priced; I would recommend it as a hockey-night-out starter.

The spots for taking pictures are much more limited than at the Civic Centre. I altered with the Oshawa team photographer at the photographers’ cut-outs in the plexiglass on the goal lines. He took the Oshawa attack for each period.

So, from that fixed vantage point, lacking a radio feed (I could not pick up the local broadcast with my radio), and the game moving too fast for decent note-taking, this is a really abbreviated summary. Click here if you want to see the game sheet.

Both teams started with their top lines: McLean, Tavares and Asselin against McGinn, Couture and Bailey (back in the line up). Valiquette and Cowie were scratches. Courchaine was in net for Ottawa and Neuvirth for Oshawa.

Both teams came out with some jump but Oshawa had the upper hand for a good chunk of the first period including getting the first goal of the game before the game was 2 minutes old. Michael Del Zotto assisted by Kevin Baker and Brett Parnham. Oshawa continued to have more control and after seven minutes of play Oshawa had 6 shots on Courchaine while Ottawa had only 3 on Neuvirth. On the up-side, during the same time Oshawa had a powerplay where the 67s held them to no shots on Adam.

Oshawa came out hitting and Tye McGinn was on the receiving end of a few of them. After about the third one, by Delory that time, I thought he was going to end up as a smear on the boards he’d been run into so often. But he got up and back into the play and tried to lay in a few of his own.

It took a while for Ottawa to start getting their wheels going and by the by the end of the period they managed to get more shots on Neuvirth: 14 for Oshawa and 11 for Ottawa.

The second and third periods were much better efforts by Ottawa. They controlled the puck and started getting more shots through. And while Oshawa continued to hit, Ottawa kept coming up with the puck more often than not. There was one cycling sequence in my corner during the third period that was outstanding. The Oshawa fans around me were getting so frustrated with Oshawa’s complete inability to get the puck. Latta was unrelenting and eventually emerged to get to the front of the crease and a shot on goal. It wasn’t a hard one but it was a shot that Neuvirth had to stop.

But for all their effort in the second period, it was Oshawa that came up with the goal just over the half-way mark. This time it was Dale Mitchell assisted by Brett Parnham and Ryan McGinnis.

It took a couple of power plays in the third period for Ottawa to get on the scoreboard. The first one, an unassisted goal by Captain McGinn came just 40 seconds into the period as Ottawa played out the last 50 seconds of a powerplay earned at the end of the second period (James Delory called for tripping). That made it a one-goal game and Ottawa put the pressure on.

But it didn’t take Oshawa long to get that one back with members of Oshawa’s top line finally cashing in. Brett MacLean beat Adam Courchaine with assists from John Tavares and James DeLory.

Undaunted our intrepid underdogs kept working and were rewarded again on the powerplay when Matthieu Methot scored with assists from Michael Latta and Thomas Kiriakou. There were bodies in my way so I didn’t actually see the goal. But I had a clear shot of the celebration.

For the last half of the period, Ottawa kept up the pressure and the Oshawa fans around me were very tense. In the last minute of play, Ottawa gained control of the puck in the Oshawa end and pulled Courchaine for the extra attacker. Oshawa sprung the puck a couple of times and hoped for the empty-netter to seal the deal. On one, an Ottawa player (I didn’t see who) made a sprawling play and knocked the puck off the stick of the Oshawa player in the Ottawa zone. One the second one it was Demers I believe who intercepted the scoring attempt. It was high excitement right to the very end due to the very hard work of the 67s.

Oshawa takes game 1 with a final score of 3 – 2 and shots on goal 25 – 35 in Ottawa’s favour.

Random Thoughts

  • Didn’t see enough of the game from my vantage point and looking through my camera lens so I’m not sure how to comment on the officiating other than there were two really obvious high sticks that were missed (a big one on Latta early in the second and one on Jamie McGinn in the third). Seeing as there was one official in or nearly in my way most of the time, if I saw them he should have seen them. There was another bizarre call in the second period. It was at the other end of the ice from me so I didn’t see the whole thing other than an Oshawa player went hard into the boards and Radim Ostrcil was close. Not sure if Radim clipped him and caused the spill or what. After the whistle had blown and calm should have set in, Cory Cowick pretty much jumped Ostrcil. Not a “c’mer-I’m gonna-thump-you-for-hurting-my-guy” kinda jump, just a stupid attempt at getting Radim’s attention. In the arena it was announced that Radim was called for unsportsman-like conduct (?) and Cowick was called for holding. The game sheet shows Radim getting nabbed for tripping.
  • While Ottawa didn’t hit as hard and as often as Oshawa, they dished out some good hits some of which drew admiring comments from the folks around me (apparently hitting is very highly regarded in this rink based on the comments I heard). Even Logan threw in a few (!).
  • At the beginning of the second period I noticed that all the players on the bench leaned forward over the boards for the faceoff. As soon as the puck dropped, they sat back on the bench. Have no idea what that was about. Didn't notice it (nor did I look for it) at the beginning of the third period.

  • The GMC is a nice arena, a good size for this city. Attendance was over 5000 which looked to be pretty much capacity and the fans were lively. The plexiglass however is awful for photography.
  • Everyone was really friendly. Lots of smiles, casual conversation, polite. It seems like a great rink.
  • Saw someone wearing a Chris Hulit jersey.
  • There were a few Ottawa 67s fans in the rink and they made their presence known too cheering on the 67s.
  • A couple of Kiriakou-jersey wearing folks were sitting behind me. On the way out I asked one if she knew Thomas. Just a little – she’s his mother. I let her know that he’s the favorite of a number of fans I know.
  • Oshawa is definitely beatable. If Ottawa keeps up with the play we saw last night, they are going to win some games. Looking forward to the game here on Tuesday.
More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

March 20, 2008

News Around Major Junior Hockey

OHL Announces Coaches Poll Winners
Created: Mar 19, 2008

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results for the 2007-08 Coaches Poll.The OHL Coaches Poll provides team coaches with the opportunity to recognize players in several skill categories within their own conference. The top three players in each category from the Eastern and Western Conferences are recognized. Coaches vote for each category within their conference and are not permitted to vote for players on their team. Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Read the rest of the OHL News here and to see how Julien Demers, Logan Couture and Thomas Kiriakou rated in the voting.

Blues sign former 67’s captain
The St. Louis Blues added a young forward, when they signed former Ottawa 67’s centre and captain Julian Talbot to a contract yesterday. Terms were not disclosed. A native of Wahnapitae, Ont., Talbot has appeared in 65 games with Peoria of the American Hockey League this season, recording 20 goals and 21 assists. The 22-year-old currently ranks fourth among league rookies with 41 points. After four seasons with Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League, Talbot made his professional debut last campaign, registering 20 goals and 33 assists in 66 games with Alaska of the ECHL and adding one tally and three points with Providence of the AHL.

(as reported in the Ottawa Citizen today)

Hartsburg won't coach Canada's junior hockey team a third straight year
Canadian Press
Mar 19, 2008, 3:27 PM EDT
The Canadian team chasing a fifth straight gold medal at the next world junior hockey championship in Ottawa will have an entirely new coaching staff.
After two years as head coach and another as an assistant, Craig Hartsburg has reluctantly decided not to coach Canada again in 2009.

rest of the article at NHL.com

March 18, 2008

Courchaine named Boston Pizza Player of the Week

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ottawa 67’s goaltender Adam Courchaine is the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week after posting a 2-1-0-0 record along with a 1.33 goals against average and .961 save percentage in three games last week.

Read here for the full announcement from the OHL.

Congratulations Adam, you worked hard for this recognition.

March 16, 2008

Wolves Sent Packing: Ottawa 5 - Sudbury 1

This is it – the last game of the regular season and the last game of the year for Sudbury. Both teams came into today’s wind-up having lost their last game. Sudbury was trounced 9-2 by the never-say-die Kingston Frontenac in Kingston on Friday while Ottawa was being shut out for the second straight time in their own barn by Peterborough.

A win today will put the 67s into 6th and a first round match-up with the struggling Oshawa Generals. If both Ottawa and Peterborough lose, the 67s remain in 7th and the 67s will meet the Brampton Battalion. If Ottawa loses and the Petes win, Ottawa drops to 8th and will meet up with the Belleville Bulls in the first round. There should be some motivation here.

Game Day Set-Up
Ottawa 67sSudbury Wolves
East – 7thConference – RankEast – 10th
16h - 66 - 0.168PP – Rank, GF and %15th - 63 - 0.169
11th - 65 - 0.815PK – Rank, GA and %17th – 88 - 0.763

Top Guns - Ottawa
Logan Couture C49203656+9
Jamie McGinn LW50272855+10
Thomas KiriakouC64152641-11

Additional Ottawa Player Notes: Scratches for the game were Radim Ostrcil (back spasms) and Jason Bailey (sports hernia). Scott Cowie moved back to defense. This was Jamie’s first game back. Adam Courchaine was in goal.

Top Guns - Sudbury
Patrik LusnakLW57203959-11
Jared StaalRW59212849-11
Gerome GiudiceC63152944-33

Additional Wolves Player Notes: Missing the game were rookie D-Chris Van Laren, F-Kyle Tarini and rookie D-Jesse Hebscher. Andrew Loverock got the call.

Game Summary
Ottawa came out with more jump than we’ve seen in a while and they totally dominated the Sudbury Wolves right from the get-go with some good early scoring chances. And the attitude started early with Michael Latta and Daniel Maggio dropped the gloves right off the face-off just 4 minutes into the game. According to the roster information, Daniel Maggio has at least 3 inches on Latta but Latta got the better of the tilt with a shot that sent Maggio to the ice.

About 7 minutes into the first frame Ottawa finally scored a goal on its ninth shot when Tye McGinn deflected Martin Paryzek’s shot from the point. Tyler Cuma got the other assist. Ottawa continued to control the game and rack up the shots. Loverock had to work hard to keep the team in the game.

Ottawa had a great short-handed opportunity during Jamie McGinns’ interference penalty when Couture’s rebound went right to the stick of Kiriakou who rang it off the post.

With 22 seconds left in the period, Gerome Guidice was called for holding and just seconds into the PP, McGinn the elder scored his 28th goal of the year putting it top shelf when Ottawa won the face off. Julien Demers and Tyler Cuma got the assists. I think the goal was helped in part by Loverock’s obsession with whacking any opposing player remotely close to his crease. I didn’t catch the number of the player in front of Loverock but Loverock took the time to push him in the back and it looked like it took enough of his attention away from the play to allow the goal.

After a dominant 20 minutes, Ottawa was up by two and led in shots 18 – 6.

The Sudbury Wolves didn’t put up much of a struggle in terms of scoring threats so they did the next best thing which is to play rough hockey which is pretty much expected from the Wolves at any time. Among their offences was a brutal high-stick on Tyler Cuma by Matt Dias. Ottawa did really well to keep control of the play during the PP but were only able to get three shots through to Loverock that he stopped.

Approaching the half-way mark, a falling Thomas Nesbitt was able to redirect a cross ice pass from Cody Lindsay past Loverock to put Ottawa up 3 – 0. Tye McGinn got the second assist.

Frustration was mounting for the Wolves and Tyler Arps lost it at about the halfway mark when he jumped Brett Valiquette and was called for roughing. He managed to earn a 4-minute time-out for his efforts and an additional 10 minute misconduct. Ottawa didn’t manage to do much for the 4-minutes only getting 3 shots on goal for the entire advantage.

Killing the penalty gave the Wolves a brief burst and with their second powerplay of the afternoon, Eric O’Dell broke the shut-out with assists going to Dean Howard and Peter Hermenegildo. You could see this one coming as the Ottawa defense broke down and left Eric all alone in the slot. The many Sudbury fans in the arena finally had something to cheer for.

But discipline was their undoing. First it was Gerome Guidice and John Kurtz each getting minor penalties at the same time to give the 67s a two-man advantage for two minutes. Jamie McGinn scored his second of the game when he deflected the one-timer past Loverock who was once again more concerned with the player in front of him than where the puck was. Matthieu Methot and Logan Couture got the assists. Ottawa was unable to score on both ends of the advantage.

Sudbury’s frustration finally boiled over in the last 30 seconds of the period when Julien Demers was called for kneeing. Marco Maggio started the fight (instigator), he and Demers fought (both called for fighting), and Maggio got an extra 10 minutes. Both players were sent off the ice.

With only 5 seconds left in the period, Marcus Foligno, wearing the same number as his older brother Nick in the NHL, got his own 10 minute misconduct.

So after two periods, the score was 4 – 1 for Ottawa with shots 32 - 17 in Ottawa's favour.

Ottawa had the game in hand but boy did they ever give Sudbury every chance to get back in the game. If the Wolves had had ANY puck luck and/or skill, the outcome could have been entirely different. Ottawa backed off and let Sudbury start getting the shots on Courchaine and I thought that they would score at any moment. There was a brief 3 minutes of dominance at about the 5-minute mark but it didn’t last like it should have. Fortunately for Ottawa, Sudbury’s lack of discipline came back to haunt them and with another 5-on-3 advantage late in the game, Ottawa salted it away when Logan Couture finally got a goal with assists going to Jamie McGinn and Tyler Cuma.

So the 67s close out the regular season and end up in 6th place in the league. The schedule against the Oshawa Generals is:

Fri., March 21 at Oshawa 7:35
Sun., March 23 at Oshawa 6:05
Tues., March 25 at Ottawa 7:00
Thurs., March 27 at Ottawa 7:00
Fri., March 28 at Oshawa 7:35 (if necessary)
Sun., March 30 at Ottawa 2:00 (if necessary)
Tues., April 1 at Oshawa 7:05 (if necessary)

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Jamie McGinnTyler McGinnAdam Courchaine

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Tyler Cuma

Random Thoughts

  • Good to see the team go out on a winning streak. They took matters in their own hands and moved up a spot in the standings to get the struggling Oshawa Generals.
  • Nice return for Jamie McGinn.
  • Logan Couture finally got off the schneid.
  • Forgot to mention in the last post that Tyler Cuma is the Ottawa 67s Scholar of the Year. Congrats.
  • Loverock does not like close company. I have a number of pictures of him pushing and shoving players who were close to his space. Not a cuddly sort of fellow. The refs were also indifferent

  • Tyler Cuma is seriously irritated by this neck guard as he kept tugging at it on Friday and today.

More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

March 15, 2008

Nice Try Nogoalovs: Peterborough 2 – Ottawa 0 (again)

Down to the final weekend of the regular season. So the Petes are back for the final game of an 8-game series between these two Divisional rivals with Peterborough winning 6 of those 7 matches. The last time these two teams met on February 29 here in Ottawa it was a 1 – 0 game. In fact, 5 of the previous 7 games were 1-goal games. Peterborough came to town after a 3 – 4 loss to Brampton on Wednesday while a much depleted Ottawa was on the road in Kingston winning 2 -1. This win/loss combination put a little more separation between these two teams at the bottom of the playoff ladder but both teams had room to move this weekend. This game mattered.

Game Day Set-Up
Ottawa 67sPeterborough Petes
East – 7thConference – RankEast – 8th
17th - 66 - 0.168PP – Rank, GF and %12th - 61 - 0.181
11th - 65 - 0.815PK – Rank, GA and %13th – 85 - 0.792

Top Guns - Ottawa
Logan Couture C49203656+10
Jamie McGinn LW50272855+10
Thomas KiriakouC64152641-10

Additional Ottawa Player Notes: Scratches for the game continue were Jamie McGinn (shoulder) and Jason Bailey (sports hernia). Adam Courchaine was in goal.

Top Guns - Peterborough
Zach BogosianD58114960+10
John ArmstrongC63203656-11
Pat DaleyRW60272047-2

Additional Petes Player Notes: Missing the game were Zach Tatrn, Kenzie Sheppard nd Bobby Davie. Trevor Cann got the call again in goal.

Game Summary
The game started tentatively enough with neither team really coming out strong but as they warmed up, the Petes started getting control of the game. It didn’t take long for the Petes to rack up the shots on Courchaine but he remained steady-eddie. I find it hard to get an overall feel for the game while watching it through the viewfinder of my camera but it seemed to me that, in the first period anyway, Ottawa really wasn’t winning any of the battles for the puck. They managed to interrupt Peterborough now and then and had what I thought were good outlet passes to the neutral zone but were unable to do anything of note once they crossed the Peterborough blue line. Towards the last 6 minutes of the period they started showing more energy and generating more offense but still struggled to actually get any shots through to Cann. Neither team scored in the first frame and Ottawa managed to get closer on the shot count – 9 – 13 in favour of the Petes.

The second period was better for the 67s although the results were the same – neither team scored. The 67s had some good early momentum but were unable to convert any of that into goals. Both teams doubled their shot count and had some scoring chances but the posts and the goalies turned aside all attempts.

So it was on to the third period to see if the log jam would be broken. And it didn’t take long. Justin Soryal, an undrafted player who was signed by the New York Rangers this week, scored when Adam Courchaine was unable to control the puck that he initially caught in his glove. This was less than two minutes into the period. Derek Holden got the lone assist.

Ottawa tried to get it back but, once again, it was Pat Daley who has had the 67s number all season it seems, broke the back before the half way mark with the second goal of the game. Branislav Rehus and Arturs Kulda got the assists.

The 67s managed to get more shots on Cann but nothing got through. And they limited the shots on Courchaine as it appears that he only faced 4 in the entire 20 minutes (although 2 of them ended up as goals – not a good stat).

But the game ended up as another shut out by the Petes here in Ottawa. Final shots were 30-apiece.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Trevor CannAdam CourchaineJake Laplante

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Martin Paryzek

Random Thoughts

  • Can’t win games if you don’t score goals. The goalie can only do so much. Talk about a completely snake bitten team. The team has scored only 6 goals in their last 6 games while Adam has only allowed 10 in the last 6. Maybe they need more work with the shooter-tutors.
  • The City of Ottawa may have to charge the 67s more rent so that they can repair the boards and glass around the net ‘cause that’s where most of the 67s shots ended up.
  • No penalties called. None. Not one for 60 minutes of full contact hockey between young adult males playing for a playoff position. TWO refs on the ice. Either these teams need to be honoured for their exceptional sportsmanship OR the refs need a referral to the Focus Eye Centre (where I had my eyes done – great outfit that I highly recommend).
  • Jaimie McGinn joined the team and stood behind the bench for the game. Apparently he did this in Kingston too. I didn’t notice any interaction with the team but it should have been good for them to have their captain behind them for the game.

  • Chatted briefly with Jason Bailey before the game. He does have a sports hernia and he does need surgery to repair it. But he is cleared to play. We didn’t discuss it but I presume his being scratched has to do with keeping him healthy for the playoffs.
  • This was the first game for Thomas Kiriakou and Matthieu Methot since their bout of flu. I think they were still feeling the effects of it. Didn’t see the usual energy.
  • As I was reviewing my pictures from the game (always more than 400 taken at a game) I notices that many had Jon Carnevale in them. I wasn’t looking for him during the game but it seems he was in the mix pretty much each time he hit the ice.
  • I caught the last bit of the game against Kingston where the 67s were missing 5 regulars from the line up (Kiriakou, Ostrcil, Methot, Bailey and McGinn). It sounded like quite the game at the end with everyone contributing to the win – especially defensively.
  • Ottawa is still at risk of slipping into 8th place.

More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image

March 11, 2008

50 Year Old All Star

Yesterday was a significant birthday …..the big 5-oh man where did the time go!?

My sweet babu and long-suffering spousal-unit granted my birthday wish – to play hockey. I have never played hockey, at least not that I can remember. There’s a picture in my high school yearbook of the grad council playing against the faculty and I’m in it but I have no memory of it. It was the 70’s….‘nuff said.

I wanted the whole experience, full equipment ‘n all. So, it was off to Play it Again in Kanata for the full regalia, topped off with our own 67s game-worn jerseys (I had the Memorial Cup jersey) and then to the Kanata Sports Centre for a couple of hours.

First, a reality check on the results of time and gravity: no support left in the ankles and no ACL on the right due to basketball, have had lower back surgery, subluxation in both shoulders with an acute AC issue on the right, have had my jaw knocked out of alignment falling off my horse and am basically a danger to myself and others in an enclosed space with a weapon and a projectile (discovered during a brief flirtation with racquetball).

Yup - I was good to go. Fortunately the spousal unit is a former paramedic.

The results:

Then it was off to the Cheshire Cat in Carp for the requisite post-hockey beer and birthday cake.

  • Hockey is hard.

  • What a lot of equipment! If the players can get used to all of that stuff, I don’t get the whining about the neck guards.

  • I’m hooked. I need to find a full-contact geezer league.

  • Best birthday ever!!

  • I need my massage therapist!!!
Thanks to Rose Ann for her superb videography, Hector for his bravery, and Meredith and Edie for their cheering and most of all to my sweet babu for making it all happen (although I think he had more fun than me if that’s at all possible).


March 10, 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday: Kingston 6 – Ottawa 3

The schedulers must like having Ottawa and Kingston play each other late in the schedule as they play each other twice before the end of the regular season. This was the 7th of 8 regular matchups between these two teams this year with Ottawa having won 4 of the previous six. But while Ottawa has been struggling to score goals and win games, Kingston has been a bit of a spoiler. Despite a really rough start to the year they have worked hard in the last couple of months and were only knocked out of playoff contention last Thursday with their loss to Peterborough. On Friday they beat the briefly struggling Oshawa Generals 5-4 in the shoot out.

Game Day Set-Up
Ottawa 67sKingston Frontenac
East – 7thConference – RankEast – 9th
14th - 66 - 0.174PP – Rank, GF and %20th - 61 - 0.153
11th - 62 - 0.817PK – Rank, GA and %19th – 100 - 0.733

Top Guns - Ottawa
Jamie McGinnLW50272855+10
Logan CoutureC47203454+10
Thomas KiriakouC64152641-10

Additional Ottawa Player Notes: Scratches for the game continue were Thomas Kiriakou and Matthieu Methot (flu for the two of them) Jamie McGinn (shoulder) and Michael Latta (final game of his 3-game suspension). Chris Perugini was in goal. Over the season, McGinn, Couture and Kiriakou have had some success against the Fronts, combining for 9 goals and 14 assists.

Top Guns - Kingston
Nathan MoonC63313566-28
Matthew KangLW61273259-19
Josh BrittainLW63262248-13

Additional Frontenac Player Notes: Scratches for the game were F-Bobby Nyholm and F-Tyler Karius. For their part, Kingston’s top guns have had their own success against Ottawa, combining for 10 goals and 8 assists of their own over the six games. Mavric Parks started in goal.

Game Summary
The game stated late as the Kingston Frontenac got in late due to the travel conditions. And Ottawa started with the bigger jump, getting a couple of good scoring chances early in the game and with just 3:30 gone, they got the first goal when Thomas Nesbitt put the big hit on Zach Fenwick, took the puck and set it up for Ryan Martindale who didn’t miss this time. Cody Lindsay got the other assist.

Kingston’s Nathan Moon had a great game starting with a couple of good early scoring chances that Chris shut down nicely.

At about the half-way mark, Zach McCullough scored his first goal of the season when he took a nice feed from Logan Couture and beat Parks high blocker side to put Ottawa up by two. Adam Zamec got the other assist.

Then the penalty parades started and Kingston started getting their legs. Three penalties apiece in the last 10 minutes of the first frame but it was Kingston that took advantage. With Julien Demers off for interference, Justin Wallingford scored with assists going to Bobby Mignardi and Kyle Paige. And then 2 and a half minutes later, at full strength Josh Brittain tied it up on the rebound with assists from Matthew Kang and Taylor Dougherty.

And that’s how the first 20 minutes ended – game tied at two with the shots even at 14 apiece.

The second period was downright ugly for the 67s – the last half of the period to be precise. The depleted team was unable to generate much of anything on the powerplay and just when Brett Valiquette left the ice with an injury Matthew Kang broke the tie. Andris Dzerins had the assist. Patafie and Valiquette left the bench and Patafie returned to attend to Radim Ostrcil who was on the receiving end of a nasty boarding by Josh Brittain. It took a while to get Radim up but he stayed in the game. Josh earned 4 minutes for that (boarding and high-sticking) and Ottawa had the two-man advantage for a full two minutes. Ottawa had a couple of scoring chances but it was Kingston who scored, short-handed, short-handed by two. It started with Couture’s stick breaking on the one-timer from the point, Paige springing on the puck and Julien Demers falling down in his attempt to defend. Kyle Paige skated in and beat Perugini through the five-hole. Kingston had come back from a two-goal deficit with 4 unanswered goals. And they weren’t done yet. Still in the second period, Matthew Kang scored his second of the afternoon on a powerplay with Scott Cowie off for interference.

Well that sealed it. Ottawa had nothing left. The second period ended with Kingston up by three and shots on goal 12 – 6 for Kingston.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details. A fight between Bailey and Wallingford didn’t inspire the 67s. Ottawa had a goal called back due to goaltender interference by Jason Bailey. Kingston got yet another powerplay goal and finally Ottawa got one back with 12 minutes left. Scott Cowie got the goal with Thomas Nesbitt got the assist.

When it was all over the score was 6 – 3 for Kingston with shots on goal of 37 – 31 for Kingston. No question – this was all Kingston’s game.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Matthew KangAndris DzerinsThomas Nesbitt

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s: Jason Bailey

Random Thoughts
  • When I heard the scratches, I knew this was going to be a tough game against a surging Kingston team. Missing three of your four top scorers and your best penalty killer and playing with three lines was not going to be easy.
  • But the refs gave Ottawa their chances and they just couldn’t take advantage of – 11 powerplays and not a goal.
  • Sunday’s are not good for the 67s.
  • Always interested in improving my photography skills, I partook in a workshop organized by Harry Nowell. Learned much. I had heard good things about him and they were right. Due to my attentiveness to the teachings, I was not paying as much attention to the details of the game and my notes as I usually do and the blog update shows for it. Sorry about that but it’s a small price to pay for learning.

March 07, 2008

A Clean Sweep and They’re Off the Schneid: Ottawa 2 – Barrie 1

This was the final of the 4 scheduled matches between these two teams with Ottawa having won all previous matches. The last one, on February 10th was a big win: 6 – 1. It was also their last win on home ice. Chris Perugini was in goal for all three of those wins against Barrie. Ottawa came into today’s game in 8th place and on a 5-game losing streak; 4 of which were against teams above them in the conference rankings. Barrie rode into town after beating the Sudbury Wolves who have the honour of holding down the last spot in the league.

Game Day Set-Up
Ottawa 67sBarrie Colts
East – 8thConference – RankEast – 5th
15th - 65 - 0.174PP – Rank, GF and %17th - 61 - 0.165
11th - 61 - 0.818PK – Rank, GA and %6th – 62 - 0.830

Top Guns - Ottawa
Jamie McGinnLW50272855+10
Logan CoutureC46203454+10
Matthieu MethotLW63221840-15

Additional Ottawa Player Notes: Scratches for the game continue were Jamie McGinn (shoulder) and Michael Latta (second of a 3-game suspension for a hit to the head of Jessie Messier last week in Mississauga. You can check out the video here:

Top Guns - Barrie
Alex HutchingsC64292352+7
Tomas MarcinkoC44192443-4
Cory McGillisLW45182139even

Additional Barrie Colt Player Notes:Missing in action were D-Brett Halstead, C-Marcus Pepe, D-Adam Payerl, and D-Brian Lashoff. Peter Di Salvo got the start.

Game Summary
Jason Bailey started his return with a bang. He laid a pretty solid hit on Ryan Gottschalk on his first shift in and it clearly stung Ryan. From the picture it doesn’t look like much but it sounded pretty strong and Ryan was pretty much out of it yet still on his feet as the play continued. He just sort of stood around the net for a few seconds, made an attempt to get back into the play and then skated off to the bench. No lingering affects though as he was a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the game.

For the first 5 minute or so Barrie played a bit stronger than the 67s – managing to have more puck control although they didn’t get many shots on goal for their efforts. But Ottawa slowly gained the upper hand.

With 13:19 left in the period, Julian Demers was assessed his first of 4 penalties for the night. The PK units were very effective in keeping the Colts from getting any scoring chances. Thomas Kiriakou managed to steal the puck and create some trouble for Barrie. But neither team scored.

It was the fourth line of Cowie, Lindsay and Valiquette that combined for Ottawa’s first goal of the game. Brett Valiquette scored his 7th of the year when he knocked in a centering pass from Chris Cowie. Ya think Lindsay was happpy?

With Julien Demers back in the hoosegow, this time for slashing, Ottawa wasn’t as successful on the PK. With about 36 seconds left in the penalty, former Ottawa 67s Tyson Aitcheson’s shot from the blue line found its way past a screened Adam Courchaine and with 3:31 left in the opening period, the game was tied which is how the first period ended. Shots were 8 – 7 for Ottawa.

Ottawa really controlled the second period, racking up 11 shots on Di Salvo while Adam only had to deal with 4. But Ottawa just could not find a way to score, even with two power plays.

For the third period, I thought that Barrie had the bigger jump for the start of it. They just seemed to control the puck more in their offensive zone and Ottawa could not sustain anything going the other way. On Ottawa's first power play of the period, Hutchings got around the Ottawa defenseman and had a good chance at a short handed goal but he sent the puck wide of the net. But Ottawa got the final laugh. On a play that started with Thomas Kiriakou keeping the puck in play and getting it to Thomas Nesbitt who in turn fed it to Adam Zamec for his 17th goal of the year and the Ottawa lead.

Barrie pressed hard for the tying goal and Ottawa kept denying them. The blue liners stood players up at the blue line, the forwards worked for the pucks and Adam Courchaine made two particular great saves from point-blank shots with just over 7 minutes left in the game. With 53 seconds left in the game, Barrie had enough control to pull the goalie for the extra attacker. Ottawa had two chances to score into the empty net but both went wide (I think the last one might have hit the side of the net). That one lead to an icing call against Ottawa with just 12.4 seconds left. Barrie called a timeout and when play resumed, Killer put Kiriakou into the faceoff circle for this crucial faceoff. And like the successful faceoff guy that he is, he won this one too. Ottawa cleared the puck but with about a second left in the game, Barrie shot the puck right on Courchaine – which he stopped.

I didn’t see exactly what happened but there was a post-buzzer scrum that had the refs yelling and gesticulating all over the place. The score sheet notes that Stefan Della Rovere and Julien Demers each got 2 minutes for roughing and Julien got an additional 10-minute misconduct.

So they finally broke the winless streak and won a one-goal game rather than losing it. This win combined with the Peterborough loss to Sudbury puts Ottawa back into 7th place with just 5 points separating 5th from 8th.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
Adam CourchaineThomas KiriakouPeter DiSalvo

Team1200 Hardest Working 67s:Sean Ryan

Random Thoughts
  • Random Thoughts are back by popular demand (ok – just my sister-in-law but her vote goes a looong way – she feeds us alot and she has a pool – always marry up)
  • Chris Yzerman of the Ottawa Citizen was kind enough to gently point out that neither the OHL officials or I can count – the 67s did not clinch a playoff berth until last night when Peterborough beat Kingston. NOW they are assured of at least 4 playoff games.
  • Speaking of the Ottawa Citizen (it’s probably also in The Sun) I actually had time to read the paper this morning and came across this creative advertisement by the 67s. I’ve seen it before but still get a kick out of it when I see it. It was in the entertainment section.

  • Through the lens it looked like there was an attempt by the team to grow rally beards – with the expected range from baby-smooth-skin smooth to pretty scruffy. That and my sister in law rubbing Buddha’s belly seems to have done the trick – they won.
  • Schreibs kept going on about this being Di Salvo’s first game against Ottawa. I have photographic evidence and a game sheet that says Di Salvo played the last time the Colts were here (February 10th). He went in when Hutchinson was pulled in the second period. I’m getting worried about The Voice.
  • Speaking of The Voice, he was very complimentary of the defensive play tonight and said that many players could have been chosen as the Hardest Working 67s but they chose to give it to Sean Ryan. He then went on to speak very highly of Sean’s play tonight and his improvement in the last half of the season. It was really good to hear as there are a few folks who post rather regularly on the Ottawa 67s Fan Forum who have been very vocal on their opinion about Sean. It’s funny (and not in a ha-ha sort of way) how there’s one player each year that some fans just get a hate-on for and don’t keep it to themselves. In these peoples’ eyes, the poor kid can do no right. It gets tiresome. Congrats Sean for another game where your contribution was officially recognized.
  • Nasty weather out there tonight. Here’s hoping that all travelers arrive safe at their destinations. Barrie plays in Belleville tomorrow night; an overnight stay in Ottawa might be a good idea and then travel in the morning. I have no idea what they actually did.
  • Daylight savings time starts this weekend – remember to set your clocks ahead when you go to bed on Saturday.

More pictures – click on any picture in the blog to see a larger image