January 10, 2009

Ottawa downs IceDogs 6 - 2

Well, after watching 13 games in a very short time, it was surprising to find that I missed watching the 67s at the Civic Centre. This is a nice arena to watch hockey in.

I was kind of prepared to see a slower pace of hockey after seeing the best players from 10 countries play at the World Junior Hockey Tournament but I was wrong. The 67s played a pretty solid game. Fast, physical and his-scoring. A good game to kick off the weekend.

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

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Courchaine

Scratches: Schinkelshoek, Hanes, Cuma

The Ottawa 67s organization is great in recognizing players who do well. As they have done in the past, the pre-game ceremonies involved acknowledging the many players there that had played in a number of international tournaments.

From the Ottawa 67s it was Tyler Toffoli (Gold Medal Team Ontario U17 Challenge) and Marin Paryzek (Team Czech Republic WJHC). From the Niagara IceDogs it was Head Coach Mario Cicchillo (Head Coach Team Ontario U17) Marco Insam (Team Italy - Division I IIHF U20 Tournament), Mark Visentin (Team Ontario U17) and Alex Pietrangelo (Gold Medal Team Canada WJHC in Ottawa!!!).

Coach Brian Kilrea was part of the ceremony and looked really pleased to be involved. He said something, I imagine congratulatory, to each person.

Well done 67s!

Ottawa started the game with energy and intent on playing very physical and they carried the play for the first half of the first period. Niagara finally got their legs in the middle of the frame and started getting shots through to Courchaine (although not great scoring chances).

Ottawa finally got on the board with two quick ones at the end of the period. Travis Gibbons scored his third goal of the year (and first as a 67s) picking up a rebound in a goal-mouth scramble. Thomas Nesbitt and Logan Couture assisted. Then, less than a minute later and on the very next shot on goal, Ryan Martindale scored his first of the game with a wrist shot that fooled Jeremy Smith. Tyler Toffoli and Anthony Nigro were his helpers.

Then it was the tale of the power play. Ottawa went an impressive 4 - 5 for the night starting with Thomas Nesbitt notching his 11th goal of the season as Ottawa started the second period with a 1:25 PP carry over from the end of the first. Then it was Ryan Martindale scoring just 23 seconds into the next PP. Thomas Nesbitt tied the club record for the fastest goal to start a period with his second goal of the game, on another PP carried forward between periods beating Jeremy Smith just 7 seconds into the third period. A goal from Corey Cowick (who now is tied with John Tavares for goals in the OHL!) rounded out the scoring for the 67s. Assists on those four goals went to: Logan Couture (2), Julien Demers (2), Tyler Toffoli (2 for the night), Anthony Nigro (2 for the night) and Brian Birkhoff

Patrick Lee and Andrew Agozzino scored for Niagara.

Ottawa opened the three-game weekend with a win: 6 - 0, SOGs 37 - 28 in Ottawa's favour.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Zanetti

Random Thoughts:
  • Ottawa put in a solid team effort. Not a full 60 minutes mind you; there were reasonably long periods where Niagara carried the play. But for most of the game it was all Ottawa. The puck possession in the third period was impressive.
  • It looked like Killer rolled 4 lines pretty much all game.
  • With Cuma and Hanes still recovering from their injuries, Hartwick and Birkhoff are making the most of their opportunities.
  • Zanetti was really throwing his weight around. If it moved, he hit it.
  • Looks like Courchaine has hit his stride. Think he has had something like 7 or 8 straight wins.
  • The 67s didn't make any trades with the deadline having come and gone. Some teams, most notably London, made some big moves to get ready for the final half of the season. There may be some room to contend in the Eastern Conference but most folks pretty much agree that the OHL final will likely include one of Windsor or London with the Western Conference team likely taking the championship. It doesn't make sense for Ottawa to make any dramatic changes that would compromise the team that we will have next year. I will be happy with a good, well-played, reasonably deep play-off run.

More pictures:

Anthony Nigro is averaging more than a point a game since joining the 67s

Niagara captain Alex Pietrangelo having a quite word with his goalie at the start of the second period

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