Oshawa is now officially in rebuilding mode after getting half a team's worth of players and picks in the big Tavares, Del Zotto, Borden trade with London.
Ottawa lost in Belleville on Wednesday.
Cowick, Couture, Nesbitt,
Nigro, Martindale, Toffoli
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Blunden
Scratches: Schinkelshoek, Hanes, Cuma
Ottawa had the jump on Oshawa early in the first period, forechecking well, controlling the puck and getting some early scoring chances but it was Oshawa that drew first blood on the score card scoring on just their 3rd shot on goal. Former Ottawa67s Brett Valliquette got the puck to Jeff Hayes who was unattended at the top of the crease for the easy goal.
But it didn't take long for the 67s to get that one back on a play that started with Brian Birkhoff keeping the puck in at the point. Anthony Nigro made a nice drop pass to Ryan Martindale who wristed it into the top corner to tie up the game.
Ottawa's first power play created an interesting two minutes. First, there was quite the goal mouth scramble where Bailie was unable to smother the puck but Ottawa just couldn't get it through all the bodies. Then Tyler Toffoli lost his helmet and had to leave the ice. Oshawa was unable to take advantage of the brief 4-on-4 and clear the puck. Then in another goal mouth scramble, Kory Nagy was called for covering the puck in the crease and a penalty shot was awarded. Logan Couture gave Ottawa the lead when he beat Bailie 5-hole. All this in just the first 49 seconds of the PP. Ottawa didn't add to the damage in the remaining 1:11 of the PP.
Thomas Nesbitt closed out the scoring in the first period on a slap shot from inside the blue line that went over the shoulder of Bailie. Stephen Blunden got the assist.
Both teams started the second period with new goalies; Bailie was replaced by Michael Zador after relinquishing 3 goals on 6 shots. Perugini came in relief of Courchaine who was injured when his head or neck hit the crossbar when Oshawa scored its only goal in the first period.
Cody Lindsay gave Ottawa a 3-goal lead when he picked up a rebound during a power play early in the second period. Travis Gibbons and Julien Demers got the assists.
Ottawa dominated the first half of the game: lots of puck possession, out skating Oshawa and outshooting them 21 - 6 by the time the PP goal was scored. Then they took their edge off and let Oshawa back into the game with two goals to make it a 1-goal game. John Padulo and Tyler Taylor got the goals to give Oshawa a chance.
It took Corey Cowick all of 33 seconds in the third period to give Ottawa a 2-goal cushion and some breathing room. Anthony Nigro fed the puck to him from behind for his second assist in the game. Logan Couture got the other assist.
Ottawa got back to how they played in the first period and Zador did a good job of keeping Ottawa off the scoreboard. But it was Thomas Nesbitt who closed the door on any comeback by the Gens. With Travis Gibbons in the penalty box late in the game (for the second time in the game and representing ALL of Ottawa's penalties), DePiero pulled Zador for the two-man advantage. Thomas Nesbitt out hustled Brett Parnham to a puck that was cleared out of the Ottawa zone and put it into the empty net. Martin Paryzek and Chris Perugini got the assists on the short-handed, empty-net goal.
- While Ottawa dominated most of the game, there were some good moments of fast, up and down hockey.
- Tyler Toffoli went into the boards very awkwardly in a missed hit during Ottawa's first power play. He got up very slowly and was in obvious discomfort. From my vantage point it looked like he went in head-first. Nigro was moved up to take Toffoli's end. Hope Toffoli is better soon. Looks like he might have a concussion.
- I have heard the expression "happy feet" in describing a goalie who appears to be uncomfortable in net. I think I finally saw it. Perugini looked quite skittish in the early going and gave out some really juicy rebounds in the game.
- Word is that all three injured players (Schinkelshoek, Cuma and Hanes) are progressing. Hanes is off crutches.
- Ottawa's power play is pretty good most of the time. Good puck movement, strong cycling, and good scoring chances.
- Corey Cowick, Logan Couture and Julien Demers have been named to the Eastern Ontario All Stars team. That game will take place in Windsor in February.