September 30, 2008

Tyler Cuma, You Know...

You know, the NHL gets it. They know that sharing information broadly is the best way to get their product out there. The NHL imposes some standardization on team websites and among the standards is providing a way to easily share their video clips.

The Minnesota Wild site featured an interview with Tyler Cuma and here it is.

Now he needs some media coaching to get the "you know" out of his vocabulary - or at least to limit its use. Anyone care to count the number of times he says "you know" in the interview? No fortune in the guess - just minor fame.


September 29, 2008

Sharks Cut Training Camp Roster By Eight...

...and the Ottawa67s, past and present, stick.

Seven Players Assigned to Worcester, One Released
San Jose Sharks Staff
Sep 29, 2008, 4:09 PM EDT

SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has assigned seven players from the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks Training Camp to their respective teams and released one player. The moves leave 37 players remaining in camp.

Brendan Buckley D Worcester (AHL) Signed as a free agent on July 15, 2008
Matt Kinch D Worcester (AHL) Signed as a free agent on July 17, 2008
Cory Larose C Worcester (AHL) Signed as a free agent on July 15, 2008
Patrick Traverse D Worcester (AHL) Signed as a free agent on July 10, 2006
Ryan Vesce RW Worcester (AHL) Signed as a free agent on Aug. 12, 2008
Kyle Jones G Worcester (AHL) Signed by Worcester on May 20, 2008
Taylor Dakers G Worcester (AHL) Selected by San Jose in the 2005 NHL

Entry Draft (fifth round, 140th overall)

The following players, in camp on a tryout basis, were released to their respective clubs:

Joe Rullier D

An updated training camp roster can be found by clicking here

Tyler Survives the First Cut

Looks like Tyler is sticking around a bit longer. Update from the Wild site. In case you don't want to wait for the link, here is the info:

Wild trims training camp roster by 15
Wild roster stands at 33 with four pre-season games this week
Minnesota Wild
Sep 29, 2008, 2:13 PM EDT

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has cut its training camp roster by 15 players.The following 14 players were reassigned to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL).
C Corey Locke
C Bryan Lundbohm
C Peter Olvecky
C Morten Madsen
C Marco Rosa
LW Matt Kassian
LW Jason Ryznar
RW Jesse Schultz
D Paul Albers
D Maxim Noreau
D Brandon Rogers
D Clayton Stoner
G Anton Khudobin
G Nolan Schaefer

The Wild also assigned D Marco Scandella to Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).The Wild roster currently stands at 33 players. Minnesota, 2-1-0 in the pre-season, plays host to Chicago on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and Buffalo on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for the team's roster as of Sept. 29, 2008 (.doc).


Good work Tyler!!

Cuma Impresses at Camp - Makes NHL Debut

Wild praises a potential star

Tyler Cuma may be only 18 and bound for juniors again, but he left teammates raving about his maturity Sunday.

By MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune

Last update: September 29, 2008 - 12:01 AM

By MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Wild's blue line is full to the brim, so Tyler Cuma knows he's going back to his Ontario Hockey League team, the Ottawa 67s, this season.

But Cuma's future looks bright.

Wearing an NHL uniform for the first time Sunday night, Cuma's poise shone during the Wild's 2-1 exhibition victory over the Buffalo Sabres, a game in which Andrew Brunette scored both the tying goal late in the third period and shootout winner.

Cuma, 18, and the 23rd overall pick in June's draft, jelled marvelously with veteran Kim Johnsson, 32, the 286th and final player taken in the 1994 draft.

"The young boy, Cuma, he played an awesome game," said goalie Niklas Backstrom, who sparkled with 28 saves. "It was fun to watch a kid that young play that well."

Added Johnsson: "What a strong game. He was so calm out there. He sees the ice so well, he just makes the right plays."

Coach Jacques Lemaire called Cuma and Johnsson the Wild's best pair and said of Cuma, "You could see all camp, that's exactly the way he was playing."

"I came into camp and really wanted to work hard and show them what I have," said Cuma, who is from nearby Bowmanville, Ontario. His parents, stepparents and siblings got to make the 90-minute drive to watch him. "For the Wild to give me this opportunity, what more can you ask for?"

Cuma credited Johnsson, who was wearing the captain's 'C' again. "To play with a guy that experienced, he really helped me -- talking to me, encouraging me, keeping my spirits up," Cuma said.

Cuma's standing especially grew after the most recent world under-18 tournament in Russia. The Canadians won gold, and coach Pat Quinn threw loads of ice time at Cuma, who played on the top defense pairing and in all situations.

"This guy could be a really good matchup defenseman," said Wild assistant GM Tommy Thompson, who scouted Cuma 11 times last season. "He's not really big, but he's really quick. He's a tremendous backward skater. [The opponent] goes from 'A' to 'B,' Tyler's on 'B' before 'B' gets the puck."

Line dance?

Somebody played a not-so funny joke on Brunette.

Brunette forced overtime, then a shootout by scoring the tying goal on a power play with 2 minutes, 57 seconds left.

In the second round of the shootout, Brunette skated to center ice, but he was joined by teammate Benoit Pouliot. It wasn't Brunette's turn, so he skated back to the bench with his arms up.

"They were messing with me," Brunette said. "Somebody said, 'You're next,' so I went and made a fool of myself. I got pulled off the ice."

After Owen Nolan scored, Pouliot and Corey Locke couldn't. That gave Brunette his real chance, and he snapped a bullet by Patrick Lalime in the fourth round.

Because of the skill in Colorado, Brunette said, "it was rare" he got a shootout attempt. However, according to NHL.com, Brunette has never taken a shootout attempt.

Backstrom, who has the NHL's third-worst shootout winning percentage (4-15, .267) and second-worst save percentage (26 saves, 53 attempts, .491), vowed to be better this season.

He stopped three of four Buffalo tries.

"It's good for the confidence that you can go out there and see you can stop them," Backstrom said. "I still have to work on it, but good first step."
Gaborik on ice

Marian Gaborik practiced Sunday for the first time since aggravating his quadriceps injury Sept. 20.

"I had been skating for five days on my own, just trying to get some movement and conditioning and sprints," Gaborik said. "Just trying to make sure everything feels fine. And so far, so good."

The Wild has two home exhibition games this week, and Gaborik is hoping to play in one. "It's always good to get some preseason games under the belt," Gaborik said.

Staff Writer Brian Stensaas contributed to this report.

See the article for yourself here.

Thanks to CrochetyOriginalSam for sending me this info.

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!

Killer’s legacy goes beyond wins and losses

From the OHL site:
Created: Sep 28, 2008
By Aaron Bell

It’s easy to measure things in sports.

Wins, losses, goals, points. They show up on the scoresheet and are tracked for everyone to see.

But there are other results in the game that are even more gratifying for Brian Kilrea and those are the memories that he will cherish the most once he finishes his lengthy coaching career at the end of this season.

Kilrea’s accomplishments on the ice speak for themselves. He has three OHL championships, a pair of Memorial Cup championship rings, more wins than any other coach in CHL history and was named coach of the year twice. The CHL renamed its coach of the year award in honour of Kilrea.

But away from the ice, Kilrea gets constant reminders of why his career has been so satisfying.

It happens a lot when the 67’s are on the road. Soon after they arrive at the visiting rink, there is a knock on the door and Killer calls in with a familiar voice. Someone that played for him during the past three decades stopped by to say hello and catch up with his old mentor. Most of the time, they have long since given up dreams of playing the game professionally, but have found success in another field. Usually that came from the education package they received while playing for the 67’s.

“Everyone is proud of the players that get the opportunity to go on the National Hockey league but some of them choose the education route and they are successful in their life,” Kilrea said recently.

“I’m happy when I see some of these kids come back and visit us when we go around the province. Whether they are accountants, fire department, police department, lawyers, whatever, they take time to come back and say hello. I always bring them in to meet our players because I think it is always important to show that Major Junior hockey gives you the option of two doors. If you are gifted enough and lucky enough to go to hockey, that’s great but if not, you’ve utilized the schooling systems that we have to go to university and make yourself a successful citizen. When I see these kids come back and they are successful off the ice - I think that’s important.”

Kilrea was in his fifth season behind the 67’s bench when the Ontario Hockey League hired David Branch as its new commissioner in 1979. The pair have seen thousands of players come through the league since then and share a bond of helping grow the league to its current state.

Branch said that Kilrea’s accomplishments are unparalleled.

“In our league, coaching and the name Kilrea is synonymous,” Branch said. “What can you say about this gentleman? Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, more wins than any other CHL coach, more games coached that any other CHL coach, two Memorial Cups, three OHL championships, nine division titles, two time coach of the year and you can go on and on.

“But, those statistics really only tell part of the story because Brian and his legacy will live on in terms of the people that he’s touched along the way and the positive influence he’s meant to the game and his players and anyone that has come into contact with him.”

For Kilrea, it was out of respect to the players on his team and around the league that he decided to announce that this would be his final season behind the bench. He would have preferred to go out quietly and let everyone know at the end of the year but knew that probably wouldn’t be fair to those around him that would want to celebrate his career.

“I didn’t know whether I should just wait until the end of the year and just said ‘thanks, I’ve had a great time’ but then we thought maybe because we only go to certain places once maybe some of those fans would like to say good-bye, or whatever,” Kilrea said. “One of the reasons I mentioned it is that the players are our most important people in our league and they should know that Chris Byrne will be their next coach. This year they know that some of the decisions that we will make, Chris will be there in the future.”

Kilrea will remain with the 67’s as general manager and will continue to scout prospects for the team. He is always an ambassador for the league and said that he relishes that role.

“The message that I will always state is that I’m so proud of the league and the direction we’ve taken – mainly with our education program and the minor hockey development in our province that continue to give us these kids to work with that become stars,” Kilrea said. “When you take a look at John Tavares, who comes in and he’s going to be fighting for that number one spot next year. Everyone in our league is proud of that and I’m proud to coach in our league and see some of the greatest players come through it. I’ll enjoy it as a manager next year but this year we’ll try to see how successful we can be.”

Branch said that he league has benefitted greatly from the impact that Kilrea has had during the past three decades.

“The good news is that he’s remaining as general manager of the Ottawa 67’s,” Branch said. “His contributions to the game cannot be overstated. We’re very fortunate to have a legend within our midst.”

September 27, 2008

Return Engagement

Going to catch the game on TV tonight and blog as it unfolds. Here's hoping to another great effort by the team tonight. Can Murphy pull off two great performances back to back? We were at the Memorial Cup and saw Mike steal one game and then the total collapse the next. A repeat performance? We can only hope....

7:00: Just settling in with a nice selection from the wine cellar (a little over stated) and watching the pre-game stuff on Rogers from the Yardman. Much chatting about last night's game especially about Murphy who was the goalie of the year.

Their anthem singer is better than ours. The rink isn't full. Must be pretty hoppin' in Belleville on a Saturday night to keep the crowds away (it's not that big an arena).

First Period

19:04 - Mike Murphy bowled over by Corey Cowick. Cowick gets the penalty and the Bulls on are on the PP early. Good kill by the Barber Poles - only a couple of shots through to Perugini.

15:45 - Riley Sonnenburg gets his first OHL regular season goal top shelf when he gets a rebound. Ryan Hanes gets the assists.

14:02 - The TML line (not Toronto Maple Leafs!! They should be so lucky to have such a line!!) but Toffoli,
Martindale and Latta are back at it - working hard and drawing a penalty for Ottawa's first PP. And now Belleville's Cantin has just put it over the glass for a delay of game. Now some 5-on-3 for 1:30.

13:11 - Corey Cowick gets his third of the season with a quick shot from the face-off circle. It may have gone in off another player. 2-0 Ottawa with more PP to go! Julien Demers and Michael Latta get the assists.

9:50 - Bellevlle has a good cycle going. They eventually take a shot from the outside by Perugini smothers it. It's the most control they've had all game.

8:50 - These Cogeco guys are interesting. They note that Courchaine is still at his NHL camp - he didn't even make it. And they are reporting rumours of Tavares to Ottawa. I've heard of John going to just about every other team in the OHL but Ottawa was not among them.

4:45 - Ottawa has been dominating and Latta takes a tripping penalty in their offensive zone. A few chances by the Bulls but Perugini stops them. The PK units kept the Bulls to the outside.

:45 - Another PP for the 67s. They keep up the pressure but can't score.

First Intermission

The 67s are really playing well. They are getting the puck deep and controlling it. In their own end, they aren't giving the Bulls much of a chance to set up and Perugini is making the big stops. This time they are on the right side of the goals. For his part, Murphy is still making some pretty good stops. Shots on goal 20 - 9 for Ottawa.

Interview with Demers: thinks the team is faster than in previous years. Strategy is to keep getting pucks to the net and hopefully bury some rebounds. As for the San Jose Sharks, it's like the 67s have taken over. Everything is run precisely, hard and high tempo. Take-away: keep a good attitude.

A quick look at what's happening with the Senators. Nick Foligno gets the tying goal with assists from new guys Winchester and Kuba.

Second Period

20:00 - Ottawa starts continuing the PP from the end of the first. No goal.

18:39 - Latta has a breakaway but Tangradi lifts his stick.

18:13 - Belleville scores. Bryon Cameron gets the rebound and quickly gets it past the post. The Cogeco guys muse whether this will be the start of a hot streak for him.

14:44 - Mike Murphy robs Zanetti on a breakaway out of the penalty box. Ottawa did a great job killing the penalty including Latta playing keep-away from Tanaka killing off time in the Belleville zone.

11:19 - Another PP as Latta is tripped up. Good puck control for the first minute. Murphy makes a big save. This guys is looking to steal another game. Oh Crap! Another short handed goal by Belleville. Shawn Lalonde backhands it off the post on a 2-0n 1 rush. Geez Louise! I need a voo-doo doll of Murphy.

8:ish - (Rogers is not consistently showing the time on the screen) 4-on-4 and Martindale and Toffoli are out against Tangradi and Tanaka. Toffoli to Martindale and Ryan nets his third of this early season! Sean Ryan set it all up from his blue line.

4:45 - Vorobyov is hard to move off the puck. I wonder what he thinks of all this. Kazakastan is a looooong way away from Belleville. Just wait for his long bus ride to Sault Ste. Marie.

:58 - Nick Pageau is called for a hit to the head of Vorobyov while his head was down. The Cogeco guys are incensed as they believe anyone losing his brain bucket with his head down deserves it. The resulting PP is once again dangerous as Tipoff and Lalonde get a rush on Perugini but Chris stops this one. On the transtion Kiriakou sends it out in front from the corner and Julien Demers gets it past Murphy from the high slot with 36 seconds left. Thomas Nesbitt gets the second assist. And Ottawa finishes the period up by two.

Second Intermission

The Bulls had something going there for a bit but Ottawa still dominated the period. 39 - 19 SOGs for Ottawa.

Announcers are interesting creatures. I have found that they often use the same adjectives to describe some players so often, you begin to wonder if that's what their real name is. Tonight for example, they keep saying "OHL-goalie-of-the-year-Mike-Murphy". I've heard the Ottawa guys do it too.

Third Period

18:37 - Belleville seems to be a bit more organized to start the period. Expect to see their shots climb up. They are starting to play a bit more physical. And they're getting it in deeper more often.

15:44 - Ottawa is just dumping it in without following up with much pressure. Are they out of gas?

12:52 - A great poke check by Perugini on Tipoff!!

11:15 - Belleville is playing better this period...or Ottawa is playing less better. There seems to be more time in Ottawa's zone.

7:26 - An excellent save by Murphy point blank from Carnevale after some great cycling and puck control by Ottawa on the PP. Ottawa is now on a 5-on-3 with Tangradi in the sin bin. The Bulls are frustrated and are committing more penalties. Does not look good for them in the final minutes of the period. Ottawa moves in - they have lots of time and are patient. It finally pays off when Thomas Kiriakou is parked on the corner, waits for Murphy to commit and puts it in the net. Latta and Toffoli get the assists.

0:00 - Ottawa delivers Belleville their first loss of the season - on their home ice no less - with another stellar game - this time with goals. Murphy did what he could having faced 51 shots but the rest of the crew didn't do their part. Perugini faced 28 shots. I would expect that Belleville's national rating will drop this week.

Game Stars according to Cogeco:
1. Julien Demers
2. Thomas Kirakou
3. Shawn Lalonde (Belleville)

Game Stars according to Team1200:
1. Ryan Martindale
2. Michael Latta
3. Eric Tangradi (Belleville)

Hardest working 67s: Tyler Toffoli

Click here for the game sheet.

67s Drop Home Opener…

…in an exciting game. Sorry for the late posting. Life , the universe, and everything else….

The Ottawa lines:
Cowie, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Martindale, Latta, Toffoli
Vorobyov, Lindsay, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Defensive Pairings:
Demers – Ryan
Hartwick, Paryzek
Anderson, Zanetti

Perugini in goal

Scratches: Courchaine (injury), Zamec (game 4 of a 6-game suspension), Cuma (Minnesota camp), Couture (San Jose camp), Hanes (healthy scratch?)

Belleville lines:

Tangradi, Johnston, Cameron
Neal, Blunden, Tipoff,
Anderson, Bathgate, Randell
Howe, Tanaka, Judson

Defensive Pairings:
Silas, Lalonde
Krupp, Pageau
Cantin, Stellick

Murphy in net

Scratches: Mackie, Subban (Montreal camp)

The 67s organization created a lot of energy to start the night with the Japanese drummers in the concourse and to open the game. If the guys weren’t already pumped, this would have helped. But judging from how the game started, they were already seriously up for this game.

The Ottawa immediately controlled the game getting quick shots on Murphy early in the game from Ryan Martindale. They were moving, stealing the puck, rubbing the Bulls players off the puck, getting shots on Murphy, basically keeping the Bulls on their heels for the most part. There were numerous good scoring chances but they just could not finish and Murphy played strong.

Finally, with 8:40 to go in the opening frame, Ryan Martindale scored on the backhand from the top of the crease on a feed from the back of the net from Tyler Toffoli on a play that started with the hard work of Michael Latta. I think that’s a line we are going to see a lot of this year and we are going to LOVE it! They quickly followed up with another good scoring chance by Carnevale.

Belleville finally got organized in the offensive zone and for some reason the 67s kinda fell apart and the Bulls evened it up on a questionable non-call when Neal was draped over Perugini. It was only their 3rd shot on goal.

The goal gave the Bulls some spark and they briefly controlled the game getting a couple of good scoring chances. But the 67s prevailed ending the period with a good scoring chance from Latta.

Belleville started the second period with some jump but the 67s eventually got control again, with scoring chances again but unable to finish. Belleville drew first blood when Tyler Randell picked off a juicy rebound and had the open net. But the lead was short-lived as the 67s scored right off the next face off. Michael Latta got the first shot and Corey Cowick picked up the rebound and beat Murphy top shelf. Thomas Kiriakou had the second assist (for winning the face off that started it all).

Ottawa regained the lead on a great play when Michael Latta chipped the puck up ice to a streaking Tyler Toffoli. Tyler couldn’t catch up with it but Ryan Martindale got it to Michael Latta just to the side of the net who put it home.

Then Jon Carnevale and Tyler Randell dropped the gloves right off the face off. I didn’t get any good pictures but I would give the call to Carnevale. He doesn’t look like a scrapper to see him but he sure likes throwing his body around and won’t blink at dropping the gloves. Some good throws by both players but Jon got the take-down.

Not a lot of penalties called in the first two periods but they proved to be Ottawa’s undoing. The first one was a short handed goal scored when Ryan was beat by a chip off the boards by Johnstone . Tipoff created the odd-man rush, received the pass and went around Perugini glove-side to score the tying goal. Then Belleville scored the game-winning-goal on a 5-on-3 for about 1:03 with Latta in the box first for hooking and later Demers for delay-of-game. Shawn Lalonde tucked it in the corner. Cory Tanaka and Eric Tangradi got the assists. And that was the scoring for the game.

Ottawa continued to press for the tying goal but there was no getting through the NHL-caliber Murphy. He made some great saves to steal this game for his team.

When it was all over, Ottawa had outplayed and outshot Belleville 43 – 25 but it was the Bulls who won the game. It was a great game to watch even in the loss. Everyone worked hard and this young team, still without three key players (2 at camp and 1 suspended) gave this 4th ranked team (in Canada) a very good run for their money. The Bulls were pretty much fully stocked – only missing PK Subban (who was playing in the Montreal game where the Sens were smoked 5 – 0. Subban’s claim to fame – a 5-minute fighting major). It looks like the 67s will be a whole lotta fun to watch and if Martindale gets any finish going, he’s going to be outstanding. And Toffoli is only getting getter by the game.

The organization put on a great game-day – from the Japanese drummers to the trampoline artists during the second intermission. It was really high energy. I always wonder what the kids from overseas think about all this fuss over junior hockey.

It’s on the road for the rest of the weekend with games in Belleville and Oshawa. That will be three in a row for Perugini. The rest of the team will have to be very strong defensively to help out their goalie.

Three Stars as Selected by Team1200:

I missed the Hardest Working 67s.

More pictures


September 26, 2008

Derek Joslin At Camp

Well, when they make a video about you, it must be good. One of the San Jose Sharks feature clips on their site right now is an interview with 67s blueline graduate, Derek Joslin. The good folks at sjsharks.com even make it easy for you to embed their video in your own blog. Here is it folks:

Good luck Derek!

September 24, 2008

NHL Debut for a Couple of 67s

It's only a pre-season game but it's still the big time.

Logan Couture, Derek Joslin, Brad Staubitz (already has his first major penalty!) and Lukas Kaspar are all in the line up for tonight's game against the Ducks.

I don't see Jason Bailey anywhere on the Ducks roster (not in the game nor on the list of scratches). I don't see him listed in any of the recent transactions either. hmmm.

See the rosters here.

It's too late for me to listen to the game so I will have to wait until morning to see how they all did.

Good luck guys and congrats!!

Update: Derek Joslin scores his first NHL goal on a PP to tie up the game!!! woo hoo!!

Update: The Sharks lose to the Ducks 4 - 6. Staubitz gets his second major penalty of his NHL career. Here's the write up from the Sharks site. Here's how the Ducks saw the game. Nothing on TSN at this point (5:00AM). And here are the super stats and the game sheet from the game.

Demers On His Way Back

Julien Demers is among the 12 players that were cut from main camp today. Logan and Jamie are still in the mix, as are Derek Joslin, Brad Staubitz and Lukas Kaspar

Logan got a look-see as a centre for the 3rd or 4th line - check out this article (read almost to the end). We'll check out the game sheet later.

As for Tyler Cuma, listening to an interview with Jacques Lemaire and no cuts there yet. It sounds like the young 'uns take the game-day with the blig boys and then go back somewhere while the big boys get ready for the game. I can't find a game-day roster yet so I'm not sure who's playing in tonight's pre-season game against Columbus.

September 23, 2008

Ottawa 67s' Kilrea knows old time hockey

Did you catch this article from NHL.com?

Evan Weiner | NHL.com Correspondent
Sep 19, 2008, 9:30 AM EDT

The Ottawa 67s junior team has started training camp and is set to play some preseason games this weekend as the team prepares for the 2008-09 Ontario Hockey League season, which starts during the final week of September.

Once again, Brian Kilrea is behind the 67s' bench, but for the last time. It is Kilrea's 30th and last season as Ottawa coach. He recently announced his plans to retire after 2008-09. Except for a stay as an assistant coach for Al Arbour 's New York Islanders from 1984-86 and a brief retirement in the 1990s, Kilrea always has been connected with the 67s, so he is a wealth of junior-hockey information. Kilrea has won two Memorial Cups and three OHL titles.

Kilrea also scored the first goal in Los Angeles Kings history in 1967.

Read the rest here.

I just finished reading "Searching for Bobby Orr" by Stephen Brunt and it paints an equally dismal picture of how players were treated back then. Things have come a long way. Clearly this had an impact on the coach we see today.

September 19, 2008

No Pictures on the Game Sheet...

…and the 67s should be thankful for that. It wasn't pretty for the most part.

Both teams were missing key players for the game. Out of the lineup for Ottawa were Tyler Cuma, Julien Demers, and Logan Couture who remained at their NHL camps. Adam Courchaine was out with a groin injury and Adam Zamec served the second game in his six game suspension.

Chris Perugini was in net

I didn’t get all the scratches for Brampton but they were missing John Hughes and Cory Hodgson who remain at their NHL camps (Columbus and Vancouver respectively).
Patrick Killen (recently returned from the Penguins camp) was in net for the Battalion.

You can read a game sheet as well as I can so here it is.

This is what the game sheet won’t tell you.

Ottawa was SERIOUSLY outplayed in the first two periods. Both teams seemed disconnected for the start of the game and Ottawa’s goal in just 10 seconds was the result of an intercepted pass by Martindale and digging at the goal-mouth by Thomas Kiriakou. Corey Cowick and Yakov Vorobyov got the assists. The Battalion came right back and appeared to have tied up the game 20 seconds later but it was called back because the player gloved the puck in. Stan Butler was some annoyed. That man will have serious health issues if he tries to keep up that amount of indignation throughout the season.

Brampton slowly started getting its collective act together and eventually took over the play. The 67s did a good job defending on the first PK of the game, limiting the Battalion to one shot, but that was about all the good they were able to muster as a team.

There were a couple of bright moments including Martindale catching Toffoli behind the Battalion defender while on a PK but Tyler was offside and the play was called.

Ken Peroff was credited with tying the game at 7:06 with a wrist shot from inside the blue line that deflected off someone to get past Chris.

On their first PP of the season (Corey Cowick was hauled down) the 67s weren’t able to generate a shot on Killeen.

The second period was pretty much like the first except that the Battalion didn’t need any time to warm up. But, like the first period, the 67s were first to score with a nice wrist shot from that Michael Latta put top shelf on Killeen just 1:20 into the game. Brian Birkhoff got the assist. This was Ottawa’s 5th shot of the game I think. Not looking too good for Penguins prospect Killeen. Bt then, he could have been asleep for all the action he had seen to that point.

For his part, Chris Perugini made a few saves to keep his team in the game. And the goalpost helped out a couple of times.

With Brian Birkhoff off for kneeing, the Battalion had a good powerplay but it had already ended when Jason Dale tied it up once again. It looked like it was just tipped in.

Brampton continued to carry the play but were unable to get the go-ahead goal.
Then, just at the end of the period, it all changed.

The teams were playing 4-on-4 when Brampton’s Matt Duchene was called for holding Martindale (I think). The announcers thought it odd how the call was made since Matt had possession of the puck but the ref saw it otherwise. With only 28 seconds in the period, Michael Latta scored his second of the night, another wrister that went top shelf but this on the other side of Killeen. Martindale and Toffoli got the assists. And to close out the period, just as time ran out, Corey Cowick made it 4 – 2 with help from Sean Ryan and Thomas Kiriakou.

Ottawa had been pretty much outplayed for 40 minutes, managed 12 shots on goal and were up 4 – 2. Go figure.

And that pretty much did Brampton in. It was complete role reversal in the third period with Ottawa carrying the play and Brampton on their heels for the most part. Brandon Foote replaced Patrick Killeen and turned aside all 15 shots that Ottawa had.

So, for the 4th time in as many years, Brampton dropped its home opener and for the second year in a row, it was Ottawa doing the dropping despite having been outplayed for the most part.

Three stars of the game according to the game sheet:
1 – Michael Latta
2 – Matt Duchene
3 – Chris Perugini

According to Team1200:
1 – Michael Latta
2 – Corey Cowick
3 – Matt Duchene

Hardest working 67s: Thomas Kiriakou

Closing thoughts:
  • The “Bunker” looked pretty empty for a home opener on a Friday night. I think the 67s had more fans out for the season ticket pick-up on Monday.
  • season firsts: penalty – Cody Lindsay; goal – Kiriakou; point as a 67s: Cowick, Toffoli, Vorobyov; Birkhoff; win – Perugini;
  • Toffoli had a couple of chances for short-handed goals. He got behind the defenseman twice and in one case had the shot on goal. he's going to be dangerous.
  • Chris was taken out when Duchene (I think) crashed the net going for a late goal. He finished the final seconds of the game. I hope it was minor contact.
  • the young team got the job done. Good to get the win on the road.
The team plays Niagara next but it’s unlikely that I will catch the game.

See you at the home opener on Friday!!

Camp Updates

Courchaine didn't make it to camp because of a groin injury. That must have been a huge disappointment.

At the the pickup night it was mentioned that Corey Cowie was returning from the Pens camp the next day (Tuesday). Guess it didn't go as well as he would have hoped. I expect he got some insight and advice on what it will take to make the jump. If he has taken this to heart, we should reap the benefits of his efforts.

No word on the boys in San Jose. The Ducks took the rubber match in the rookie tournament against the Sharks. Jason Bailey figured in one of the goals - as a decoy. No assists handed out for that. It looks like Couture and Demers will be staying for the main camp (at least for a while).

Meanwhile Tyler Cuma is making a good impression at the rookie tournament in Traverse City. He has been added to the roster for the main camp. Well done Tyler!!

September 15, 2008

From the Wild Camp...

Looks like Tyler Cuma is having a good camp. Go to the Wild site to see how he's been doing.

From the Sharks Camp...

From the Sharks website:

Duck Hunting In Vegas
Josh Fisher Sep 15, 2008, 12:12 AM EDT

Morris The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks rookies showed plenty of spirit in the Sharks 4-2 scrimmage victory Sunday evening at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The rival squads will battle again on Monday with a complete game on Tuesday (tickets are available).

Forward Mike Morris scored twice, while Steven Zalewski tallied a goal and assist in the two-goal win for San Jose. Goalie Timo Pielmeier was strong in net, holding Anaheim scoreless for the first 44:43 and finishing with 28 saves on 30 Ducks shots. Center Matt Fornataro also scored in the Sharks victory.

“We saw a lot of good things tonight,” said Worchester Sharks Head Coach Roy Sommer. “We saw some players out there who kicked it into a high gear and made some high level plays. I thought our line of Morris, Zalewski and McGinn was probably the best line on the ice for both teams tonight (my emphasis). Goaltending was stubborn and I thought Timo played well.

“I think what really stood out in my mind tonight was the way the guys stood up for each other,” added Sommer. “If a guy got hit, the other guy would come in and back him up. Early on, you like to see that stuff. It’s a long season and a team that plays like that is a lot of fun to coach.”

The scrimmage started slow as far as the scoring was concerned, but both teams proved feisty. The two rivals combined for more fights than goals through the opening two periods. Left wing Frazer McLaren, a seventh-round pick in 2007(203rd overall), fought Anaheim left wing Jason Bailey in the first period and then took on defenseman Stu Bickel in the second period. San Jose defenseman Mike Moore traded blows with Anaheim winger Josh Britain later in the period before the Sharks tallied the first goal of the night.

2002 first round pick (27th overall) Mike Morris broke the scoreless tie with 58 ticks left in the second, poking in a rebound off a Zach Harnden shot. Anaheim goalie Marco Cousineau could not control the rebound as Morris jabbed the puck across the line.

San Jose extended the lead to 2-0 just 1:49 into the third frame as center Matt Fornataro finished off a crisp, cross-crease pass from left wing Jonathan Bonneau. Anaheim then cut the San Jose lead to 2-1 4:43 into the third period. Defenseman Eric Regan broke Pielmeier’s shutout bid with a wrist shot through traffic that went off the cross bar for the Ducks first score of the night.

Late in the third the Sharks regained their two-goal lead with Zalewski’s tally at 15:37. Sharks defenseman Jason Demers, a seventh round pick in 2008 (186th overall), made a spectacular cross-ice pass from the right wing corner, hitting Zalewski on the back door. The Sharks fifth round pick in 2004 (153rd overall) finished the play by tucking the pass into the back of the Anaheim net. The Ducks kept the game close down the stretch, answering back with their second goal of the night just 1:34 later. Right wing Nathan Day scored off a loose puck in the San Jose slot, trimming the Sharks lead to 3-2.

Morris capped off the night with his second goal of the evening for the 4-2 win, snapping in an empty-net tally with one minute left in regulation.

“I think both teams started off a little slow tonight,” said Zalewski. “I think everyone was just trying to get a feel for things. I think both teams started to get things going offensively in the third. For most of us, this is our first game since last season. I think it was good that things picked up and tomorrow night will be even better.”


McGinn is making his mark.

September 13, 2008

No Bull Here - Ottawa 4 - Belleville 2

The pre-season concluded with Ottawa greeting (and beating) the CHL 2nd ranked team at the Civic Centre.

Both teams were missing quite a few players.

The Ottawa lines:

Martindale, Latta, Toffoli
Vorobyov, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Lindsay, Carnevale
Anderson, Lahey

Defensive Pairings:
Hartwick – Paryzek
Birkhoff – Zanetti
Hanes – Ryan

Perugini was in goal.

Schinkelshoek (injury – should be skating by Sunday), Demers (San Jose rookie camp), Zamec (6 game suspension for his hit on Kingston’s Pearson), Corey Cowick (I presume he’s off to Penguin camp but nothing posted on the Pens site), Cuma (Minnesota rookie camp) and Couture (San Jose rookie camp).

Belleville was missing Stephen Johnston, Michael Neal, Bryan Cameron, Nick Pageau and Eric Tangradi. They rolled 3 lines.

Missing 5 veterans gave Killer the opportunity to dress and play all healthy rookies and it was good to see them in action in all situations, especially the 5 PKs in the first period. The first was called just 15 seconds into the game and the 67s’ sharp play kept Belleville from even registering a shot on Perugini. On their fourth PK of the game, it was Tyler Toffoli who broke the ice with a nice short-handed goal over the outstretched pads of Mike Murphy. Ryan Martindale got an assist.

At one point in this parade of Ottawa penalties, including a 3-on-5 for 51 seconds, it seemed Ottawa had their best offense while on defense.

The second period was again a bit of a lackluster affair from both sides with the teams trading goals in quick succession in the middle of the frame. Belleville tied the game up when Cory Tanaka was left all alone on the right post while Perugini was still trying to see around the traffic in front of him. Cory had a completely open side and the easy goal. But before the goal was finished being announced, Matt Lahey, yes folks you read it right, ol’ number 8 himself, got the goal back after Dylan Anderson did some hard work to set him up.

You could see that the team was getting confident but it almost looked like they were getting a bit too fancy. They were trying the stretch passes and forcing passing into traffic. But they were playing really well defensively – all of them. Belleville had a good chance to tie it up late in the period when three Bulls got into formation and bore down on Chris. It looked like a sure thing but they hit him in the crest and he did what he had to do.

Either the 67s got a bit smarter or Belleville was getting tired/frustrated but it was time for the 67s to work on their PP including a long stretch while Bjorn Krupp was off for head-butting (!) and roughing in a disagreement with Thomas Nesbitt. He was assessed a 6-minute time out and on that powerplay Dylan Anderson was credited with what looked like a shot that squeeked by Murphy. Martin Paryzek assisted on Ottawa’s third goal of the night. Then the team really came together, pretty much playing keep-away with the puck in Belleville’s zone. Tyler Toffoli notched his second of the night with 1:29 left in the game with the assistance of Michael Latta.

With another 2-man advantage in the dying seconds of the game, Belleville was able to score another goal for pride.

The game ended Ottawa 4 – Belleville 2, final shots on goal were a lot-more-for-Ottawa (I didn’t note the final count).

Random thoughts:
  • A lot of small things done well, back-checking, getting to the puck, blocking shots.

  • Yakov Vovbyov looked pretty good any time I was watching. He’s very strong with the puck, doesn’t back down from anything, and he was moving any time I saw him (unlike last week when he was pretty much hanging around the front of the net).

  • It was good to have Paryzek back. I saw him cover for his rookie linemate at least a couple of times. I guess he’s also able to speak with Vorobyov (although for all I know Yakov can speak perfect English). I noticed them chatting as they skated off the ice for a line change.

  • Toffloi is something else to watch too. He just seems to be everywhere and the puck gets to him.

  • The team has the hardhat for the hardest working player. I wonder what they have for the most penalized player. It would go to Ryan Martindale for sure. I didn’t keep precise numbers but I would guess he had 5 penalties, if not 6, including a pair (cross-checking and roughing) at the end that led to the 3-on-5 where Belleville scored.

  • I thought I was at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing during the second period as the Bulls were doing their best .5 meter dives. The judges gave them all zeros for their efforts.

  • Another foggy game that made it hard to get pictures.

  • The team did a dry run of a new game-day fan experience that they will be doing with groups. It will involve the lucky fans to come to ice level at the end of the game and get high-fived by the team. Also, the first star of the game (I guess if the star is a 67s) will give a stick to a lucky fan. Not sure if it will be his game stick or not.

  • Had a chance to chat with Pieter Schinkelshoek before the game. Says he’s feeling pretty good and may be skating on Sunday. Said all the right things (liking it here, the game is faster, higher skill level etc. pretty much what they all say).
So the pre-season wraps up with a record of 2-1-1. Everyone has had a pretty good chance to show what they can bring to the party. The regular season starts next Friday on the road with the 67s visiting Brampton and then playing Niagara on Saturday. Boston’s rookie camp starts on Tuesday and looks like it runs to the 21st so we may have another goalie for the weekend to back-up Chris.

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by Someone from the Ottawa Sun (Don Brennan ? sorry - didn't catch the name)
Chris Perugini

1st Star

Tyler Toffoli

2nd Star

P.K. Subban

3rd Star

More Pictures:

September 10, 2008

Dear Tyler Cuma,

In my travels through the blogosphere, I have had the pleasure of encountering fans from many other teams - mostly NHL teams. One among those is a fan of the Minnesota Wild and after the NHL draft, I invited CrotchetyOriginalSam to write a piece for this blogsite to give Tyler a bit of an insight into being a member of the team (as observed by a fan).

Here's his note to Tyler........

Dear Tyler,

I have to confess that I’d never heard your name before draft day. I do try to keep track of the top young prospects coming up in the world of junior hockey, and I watch the international tourneys to the extent that I can find a TV network south of the 49th parallel that’s willing to carry them for me, but honestly, the Wild owned the 24th pick in this year’s draft, and I understood from the outset that this was going to place whoever the Minnesota braintrust chose well out of the range of players I was familiar with.

Even the way we picked you had to be a bit underwhelming. By all accounts, our GM was working the phones in a desperate attempt to trade our pick and then some for the services of Olli Jokinen, and as much as they seem to like you, there’s little question that they liked Olli better, at least in the short term. Still, we did burn a third-rounder just to move up a single spot to take you before New Jersey could (you’re welcome, by the way – I’ve been to Newark, and believe me, you want no part of that miserable little burg,) and by all accounts, our hockey people are awfully high on your particular skill set.

Speaking of those skills, I understand that you started out as a center (yes, I’m an American, and I spell like it – sorry, Canada,) a position at which you may have noticed we’re a bit thin. I’m not saying you ought to start agitating for a return to the faceoff circle just yet, merely that you’ve joined an organization that’s been willing to play talented players all over the ice and let them find their place on the big squad. Something to keep in mind as you watch your future club attempt to win the Northwest with 1½ quality centermen spread across four lines. Personally, I’d love to see you in St. Paul as an offensive defenseman, but I’d like to see some faceoff wins more, and let’s face it – our coach doesn’t exactly have a history of showing much love to d-men of the non-stay-at-home variety.

And since we’re there, let’s talk about Jacques for a minute. I’m sure you know plenty about him already, and obviously, as a mere fan, there are a million things I’ll never know about the relationships between players and coaches. But really, as far as Lemaire goes, there are only two relevant things to keep in mind: #1) he’s not going anywhere until he decides to, and #2) he knows how to win hockey games. I understand that his devotion to an overly cautious, defense-first system is infuriating to most of Canada, or at least to those who believe Don Cherry to be a spokesman for the game. I also understand that some players chafe under a coach who insists that every player put team above self all the time – hell, we may yet lose Marian Gaborik because of just that sort of chafing. But the bottom line is that the Wild’s brief history as a franchise is littered with role players who overachieved under Lemaire, then couldn’t reproduce that success in other organizations. For those who buy in and take Jacques seriously from the start, there seem to be a lot of rewards on the ice.

Another thing I don’t have any real firsthand knowledge of is how much the players are aware of or responsive to an organization’s level of engagement with the fan base. I’m sure you’d all prefer to play for a team that’s known for treating its fans well rather than one that behaves as if it’s doing them a favor merely by existing, but I’m guessing that it probably doesn’t affect your day-today existence as a hockey player one way or the other.

Still, you should know that all the State of Hockey hype that comes out of the Wild organization is real. From the beginning, this organization was determined to make all of Minnesota forget the decades of shoddy treatment we endured from the North Stars, and embrace the new franchise with the same fervor we bring to high school and college hockey. Jerseys from every high school in the state ring the concourse at the Xcel Energy Center, and the Hobey Baker Award actually resides inside one of the main entrance gates. Every game here begins not with some NBA-ish laser light show, but with a lone child clad in full Wild gear busting it for center ice in a glaring spotlight to plant a flag tied to a hockey stick as the players skate out from the tunnel around him/her. (We’re in no danger of running out of new kids for this task, either, which is something a lot of US markets can’t say.)

Everything about the club is carefully designed to promote the idea that the Minnesota is one big hockey-loving family, and as hokey as it can all sometimes seem, it’s worked like a charm, to the extent that certain local sportswriters can be counted on to write at least three columns a year berating Wild fans for continuing to support a team that has been inconsiderate enough not to win a Stanley Cup in its first 8 years of existence. (These same columnists also regularly berate Twins fans for not showing up by the millions to watch indoor baseball games in a hideous antiseptic football dome on beautiful summer nights, so you can safely ignore them.)

Anyway, I realize this is all a bit premature, since there’s basically zero chance that we’ll be seeing you in a Wild sweater anytime this season. You won’t need to worry about Jacques, or the fan base, or the sportswriters for some time yet, and at the moment, I’m assuming that you’re still savoring that gold medal you just won and looking forward to the prospect tourney in Traverse City. But on behalf of America’s spiritual home of hockey, I just wanted to say hey, and tell you that we’re looking forward to your arrival. I’m sure Valerie will keep us updated on when we can expect you…

Yours truly,

Here's a link to information about the Wild participating in a rookie tournament.

Good luck Tyler and knock 'em dead (but please don't get hurt trying!!).

September 07, 2008

So Far So Good....

According to Don Brennan (Sun Media), Killer is reasonably pleased with his team so far after a 1-1 record in the pre-season.

Here's the link to the article in Sunday Sun.

But if you are impatient, here's what Don had to say...

"For Brian Kilrea, there was much more to like than dislike as the 67's opened their pre-season schedule this weekend.

Even in a 2-1 road loss last night to Belleville.

"The effort was there, the result wasn't," the 67's coach said afterward. "Overall, I thought we played well."

In Friday's 3-2 victory at the Civic Centre over a Kingston Frontenacs team that was playing its third exhibition tilt, Ottawa's goals came from leaders Logan Couture, Thomas Kiriakou and Corey Cowick, a 19-year-old winger acquired by Kilrea in June.

First-round pick Tyler Toffoli -- who won't turn 17 until April -- showed off the skills that helped him to 68 goals and 174 points in 83 games with the Jr. Canadians last season.

And rookie defencemen Derek Hartwick, Brian Birkhoff and Marc Zanetti were solid while playing in every situation as the 67's outshot the visitors 49-25.

Kilrea felt the goaltending of Adam Courchaine and Chris Perugini, both of whom allowed one goal, was decent too.

The only real negatives were injuries to defenceman Tyler Cuma (shoulder) and 16-year-old winger Pieter Schinkelshoek, who left the game "woozy" after taking a hit. While Kilrea said it's possible the rookie could have a concussion, he was confident both players would be back in the lineup soon.

Kilrea will lose winger Adam Zamec to a suspension once the league deals with his hitting-from-behind penalty, but it should be a short one.

"I liked the way we worked," Kilrea said. "Both the goalies and the defence played well, and we had a lot of chances."

Impressing Kilrea extremely in the latter department was Toffoli.

"He must have had at least five good scoring chances," said Kilrea. "It seemed like every time he was on the ice he had one.

"He adjusted well."

Toffoli's made good on his chances in Belleville, scoring Ottawa's lone goal. The 67's lost their 1-0 lead when they surrendered a power-play goal during the last minute of the second period, then fell behind near the midway mark of the third.

"In the last three minutes we had the puck in their end a lot, but we couldn't tie it," said Kilrea, whose team outshot the Bulls 30-20. "I thought Courchaine played well. (On the winner) there was a turnover, a loose puck then a shot that went in off the post."

Couture and Cowick will be off to their respective pro camps next week, as will Courchaine and defencemen Julien Demers and Cuma. Whether they'll all be back for the regular season opener Sept. 19 in Brampton is doubtful."

Belleville 2 - Ottawa 1 in Pre-Season Game

Stephen Blunden recorded a goal and an assist to help the Belleville Bulls defeat the Ottawa 67's 2-1 Saturday night at the Yardmen Arena.

The Belleville Bulls improved to 2-0 in exhibition play with a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa 67’s Saturday night at the Yardmen Arena. Veteran forward Stephen Blunden recorded a goal and an assist to pace the Bulls to the win.

After a scoreless first period in which Ottawa out-shot Belleville 9-5, the 67’s opened the scoring eight minutes into the middle frame when first round pick Tyler Toffoli wired a bullet wrist shot past the glove of Mike Murphy and into the top corner of the net. Midway through the second period Murphy was replaced in goal by Philipp Grubauer. The Bulls tied the score with just 27 seconds remaining in the period while on the power play when Michael Neal one-timed a Blunden pass past 67’s goaltender Adam Courchaine. Luke Judson also assisted on the goal. Shots on goal in the second period favoured Ottawa 10-9.

Blunden gave the Bulls the lead nine minutes into the third period when he jumped on a turnover at the 67’s blueline and snapped a low, hard shot past Courchaine from the face-off circle. Ottawa pressed for the equalizing goal throughout the remainder of the game but Grubauer was excellent in net for Belleville to preserve the victory. Shots on goal in the third period were 11-6 Ottawa and overall favoured the 67’s 30-20.

Murphy and Grubauer were both strong, making 16 and 13 saves respectively in the win while Courchaine stopped 18 shots in a losing effort for Ottawa. The Bulls finished the game one for five on the power play while Ottawa failed to score in two opportunities with the man advantage.

Taken from the Belleville Bulls website (a road game for Ottawa).

I can't find any information on the lineups so I don't know who sat out. Good to hear that Tofoli got a goal - he sure had his chances on Friday night. But nothing to show for their two power plays.

On another but completely unrelated point, here's a link to an article in the London Free Press about Akim Aliu. It's not that I'm particularly interested in Akim's progress; it's the gratuitous comment about the Eastern Conference from Dale Hunter that caught my attention:

While he's gone, the Knights will get a chance to see if they can survive without him. The team will miss his touch, his physical presence and they will lack a legitimate heavyweight to counter some of the Western Conference's toughest fighters.

"Maybe if you're in the Eastern Conference, you don't have to worry about it as much," Mark Hunter said, "but on our side, it's a concern. You have guys like (Richard) Greenop in Windsor. It's a tough conference."

Harrumph! Sounds like the gauntlet has been thrown down boys!

Finally, I was way wrong in Pearson's injury on Friday. It was his wrist or arm that was hurt in the perhaps-Zamec induced contact with the boards.

September 06, 2008

Ottawa 3 – Kingston 2 : A Good Start

A quick summary of Ottawa’s first game of the year – a pre-season affair with the Kingston Frontenacs.

The lineups were:

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

Defensive Pairings:
Hartwick, Cuma
Demers, Zanetti
Birkhoff, Ryan

Courchaine and Perugini shared the goaltending jobs with Courchaine getting the first half and Perugini getting the second half of the game.

were Carnevale, Lahey, Paryzek, Anderson, and Hanes.

So, it was my first time to see some of the new faces on the team and I must admit it takes a while to get used to new players in jerseys that we expected others to be wearing – especially Jamie McGinn’s number 88.

Random thoughts:
  • It may be my imagination but the team looks a tad tougher this year. Perhaps it’s still the eagerness of the kids who are still working for a position or they really are a more physical bunch.

  • Some of the folks who watched camp commented on Couture’s confidence and it sure looked like it last night. He didn’t look like someone who had his bell rung three times last year. And, to serve notice that he is back, he scored the first goal of the season on the first shot on goal. I didn’t catch if there were any assists.

  • The other Ottawa goals were scored by Cowick and Kiriakou.

  • As for the goals against- one each on Courchaine and Perugini.

  • From what I could see through the fog and my viewfinder, none of the new kids looked out of place. Toffoli was confident with the puck, Sonnenburg and Vorobyov were at the ready when the boys were looking to mix it up, Schinkelshoek was working hard, I didn’t notice Birkhof but I was having trouble keeping track of everyone. Corey Cowick was a standout – he was hitting anything that got in his way.

  • I would say that Ottawa pretty much dominated most of the game although there were a couple of times when the intensity and coordination significantly flagged – most notably at the start of the second period – that was pretty awful. But they regrouped and took over again.

  • Kingston was badly outshot – 49 – 26 and the score could have been a lot higher if a few players had their finishing touch working. But there were good set ups, players going for the net, and good defensive plays by most everyone. With so many new players, it would make sense that they will need time to figure out how to play together.

  • Toffoli was given a chance at his first penalty shot in the OHL. Looking at the photo of the offense, it looks like a questionable call. But the fog at ice level might have made it harder for the official. In any event, Tyler didn’t score. I bet he’s saving it for when it really counts.

  • Kingston’s Ben Pearson suffered what looked like a very serious injury. Although it happened right in front of me, I had my camera up and didn’t see the whole thing. It involved Zamec hitting him at the boards. Pearson was in audible pain, it looked like a leg injury (?) and he got a cut over the bridge of his nose. It took both Patafie and the Kingston trainer to assess the immediate damage and get the lad up. Very unfortunate to get a serious injury before the season actually starts.

  • Kingston didn’t have player names on the jersey’s. Cost saving measure parading as motivation perhaps? I would think that it is more motivating for a player to have his name on the back of a jersey and worry about working hard to keep it there.

  • ”Thunderdstruck” was played on the jumbotron during the first intermission. I understand that this was a favorite song of Buzz Kilpatrick. I hope they pay tribute to him. He was such a big supporter of Major Junior Hockey and of the 67s in particular. I miss him.

  • Work has been done in the Civic Centre – probably in preparation for the World Junior Hockey Championships in December. It looks like the glass is new and higher, the ends of the benches have been enclosed, the press box area has been changed. There will likely be more.

  • There was a pretty good crowd, but nowhere near the reported 6600+. I guess they count all the season tickets even if the seats are empty. But it was good to see so many folks out on a warm late summer Friday. Quite a few from Algonquin College I think.

That’s it for the first report of the season. It’s good to have hockey back again!

Here are some more pictures – enjoy!

The Game's Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
Logan Couture

1st Star

Mavric Parks

2nd Star

Corey Cowick

3rd Star

September 03, 2008

Who Made The Cut?

The team hasn't made an official announcement but Don Brennan has some news in today's Ottawa Sun about who made it and who didn't.

In case you're too impatient to check out the link, here's what he had to say....

Known for his fleet feet, Dylan Anderson sped by other 67's wannabes to make the team's 2008-09 roster over the weekend.

He was not the lone training camp surprise.

A Greely native and the only son of Danny and Judy Anderson, the 6-foot-1, 175-lb. centre-right wing was Ottawa's eighth-round pick in last June's OHL priority selection. If that doesn't speak enough to the digging done by the team's scouts, consider that left winger Riley Sonnenburg and defenceman Brian Birkhoff also survived final cuts, and they were 10th- and 11th-round picks in 2007.

All told, there were nine new faces at yesterday's practice, with some tinkering still to be done.

The one veteran to be given walking papers by 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea was Tye McGinn, the younger brother of last year's captain, Jamie McGinn. The 6-foot-2, 195-lb. left winger had three goals and eight assists in 59 games for the 67's last season.

"That was a tough cut," said Kilrea. "Tye is a super kid who would do anything for the team. He took his lumps when he was benched and he never said a word. But we added Corey Cowick and he took his spot ... I just didn't think Tye was going to be a regular.

"Right now I have 15 forwards. I don't want 15, 13 is ideal, but that's the talent that showed up at camp."

Anderson scored 29 points with the CJHL's Orleans Blues last season.

"He has just great speed, he gets on defencemen in a hurry," said Kilrea. "That's why you have camp. To find out."

Had he not made the team, Anderson was headed back to the CJHL, where he would have been playing for Gloucester.

"I surprised myself," said Anderson. "Before camp I thought I had a shot at making the team, and when I found out I did I was really happy."

Among the 15 forwards is injury-plagued veteran Matt Lahey, who recently had his knee scoped and has been told to steer clear of body contact for a couple of weeks. On the bubble is European draft pick Yakov Vorobyov, who played for Kazakhstan in the world juniors last season.

While Vorobyov arrived last week, his skates did not. He's been borrowing a pair from assistant coach Chris Byrne.

"Poor kid, first his bag didn't show up, then he fell and really hit the side of his face," said Kilrea. "We've got to give him a little more time before we make a judgment. The one thing we know is he's got a quick release and good shot."

The 16-year-olds who solidified their spots are forwards Tyler Toffoli and Pieter Schinkelshoek, as well as defenceman Derek Hartwick.

Toffoli, who scored 68 goals as a midget last season, is currently skating on a line with Ryan Martindale and Mike Latta, the team's top two picks in 2007. He'll likely get a chance to play with star centre Logan Couture and Cowick at some point.

"From what I've seen in four days, he's going to be outstanding," Kilrea said of Toffoli. "He's got gifted hands and he sees the ice so well. He's the kind of guy who could play on any line and he'd be a star."

From today's Ottawa Sun.


Given the enthusiasm expressed during the press conference this morning, we could be looking forward to a stronger year than the last couple. It's pretty honourable for Killer to keep a spot for Lahey but I we get a signal sooner rather than later on how long he might last. He may be good but he's been very unlucky with the injuries and the total time off certainly cannot have done much in terms of improving his skills as a hockey player. With an abundance of forwards something will have to give.

First pre-season game on Friday - hope to see you there (if our tickets arrive in time!).


Killer Calls it a Career...

So, the decision has finally been made. Brian Kilrea, the winningist coach in major junior hockey is calling it career as head coach at the end of this season. Bert O’Brien will also be retiring at the end of the season and Brian is looking forward to spending more time with his buddy scouting. Chris Byrne will take over as the coach and will always enjoy the support of Brian and Bert. Brian will remain as the GM.

The team also announced their leaders:

Logan Couture is the new captain with Thomas Kirakou, Julien Demers and Tyler Cuma as the official Assistant Captains and Corey Cowick as an unofficial assistant captain (given that there are only so many letters to go around). Brian went on to compliment Corey for what he has already brought to the team and will continue to bring to the team.

Brian is really looking forward to this year and is really pleased with how the draftees from last year and this year are already contributing and will contribute in the future. He noted both their ability and their attitude.

Logan mentioned that he was honoured to be chosen as for the last year of Killer being behind the bench.

Killer’s considerations for making this decision and announcing it now included finally ending the on-going questions he gets all the time about when, letting current players and prospects know that there will be a new and younger coach next year, and, perhaps more importantly, letting Chris know what is in store for him. Chris will likely be taking more and more responsibility behind the bench as part of the transition over this season.

Killer noted that Chris is already respected by the players and he expects the transition to head coach will go well. Chris mentioned that it was his dream to become a major junior coach and to do so in Ottawa (home town for him and his wife) for this team and this club is pretty darn awesome (my words). It has been great learning from Brian and Bert and looks forward to learning more moving ahead. He is also high on the team so far and the players who have been selected as leaders.

Brian's hopes for the year is that the year concludes with the team still being respected and that everyone leaves knowing that they did the best that they could.

He also wished Logan, Tyler and Corey best of luck at their upcoming NHL camps (San Jose, Minnesota and Pittsburgh respectively). The club will be very proud if they land jobs in the big league but will also be very strong should any or all of them return.

And so begins (another) farewell tour for Brian Kilrea. It should be some year both on the road and at home – especially as the year winds down – however it winds down. I expect (and hope) that the players do their best to make it an outstanding year for him. It sounds like all he wants is for the players to work as hard as possible to be the best team and players they possibly can be.

There certainly will be more news in the days, weeks and months ahead. I will do my best to keep you all posted.

Photos courtesy of Mike Carroccetto (613-266-8505)

Links to articles:
From the Ottawa Sun site.
From the Ottawa 67s site.
From TSN.ca
From the Ontario Hockey League site.