February 22, 2009

If the playoffs started today...

...today's game would be one of the first round match-ups and Ottawa would have started out on the wrong skate.

Time for some head-to-head stats going into the game:

Ottawa 67s Head to Head Niagara Ice Dogs
33-19-4-2 Record 24-25-4-6
72 Points 58
3rd - East Conference – Rank 6th - East
225 GF 195
195 GA 227
5-3-2-0 P10 4-5-0-1
24 - 1st PP% (rank) 19.3 - 7th
84 - 4th PK% (rank) 79.2- 15th

The teams have split their series so far this year with Ottawa winning 6 - 3 in the January game here at the Civic Center. The final match up of the regular season happens next weekend in Niagara.

Neither team played on Saturday so fatigue should not be an issue.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Smith, Blunden, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Paryzek, Zanetti
Hartwick, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli (concussion), Birkhoff (knee), Cuma (knee), Martindale (mono)

Despite having a 2-goal lead going into the final five minutes of regulation, Ottawa lost in overtime...for the second time in three games.

With goals from Thomas Kiriakou (PPG), Corey Cowick (late in the second) and Cody Lindsay (unassisted just 20 seconds into the third period) the 67s were 5 and a half minutes from taking an important two points against a team that could be their first round rivals.

But Niagara had been controlling play for most of the game and there was an air of inevitability of how the game would end. The Ice Dogs were pressing and the 67s were unable to get the puck out of their zone for any extended time. Zac Jones brought the Dogs within one with an unassisted goal off the faceoff at 16:38 of the third. Then, with over a minute to play, Jeremy Smith came out of the net for the extra attacker. Ottawa managed to get the puck out across the blue line a couple of times but they were unable to gain enough control to pot an EN.

Alex Friesen tied it up with just 41 seconds left to play.

Ottawa seemed to step it up in OT but St. Louis' Blues prospect, Alex Pietrangelo, who had been all over the ice all game, got the game winning goal at just over the half-way mark of the OT period. Perugini may have had a piece of it but it deflected into his own net.

And that's all she wrote.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Zanetti

Random Thoughts:
  • Teams down the standings seem to be giving Ottawa all (and more) than they can handle. OT loss in Peterborough on Thursday, a very tight 1-goal game where they gave up a two-goal lead against Kitchener on Friday, and today's OT loss against Niagara. This is not a good trend. Maybe it's the two-goal lead that's the problem.
  • You sure wouldn't confuse this team with a puck possession team lately.
  • Only 4 penalties called all game - 2 apiece. Hmmmm.
  • Mississauga won today. With the loser point, Ottawa is in third spot by only 4 points. They keep this up, they will slip to 4th. With their win, Niagara is now in 5th spot and they would be Ottawa's first round match-up if this trend continues. Not good based on recent performance.
  • Sounds like Toffoli will be back by next weekend. Will be interesting to see how Killer changes the lines. I have not heard anything on Martindale's return.
  • Point streaks for Couture and Nigro ended today.
  • Ottawa goes on it's last tough, three-in-three road trip next weekend where they play Guelph (meeting up with former team mate Michael Latta), Erie and Niagara - all playoff teams that are all looking to move up the standings. Mississauga plays Niagara (in Niagara), Belleville and Barrie in the same weekend.

More Pictures:

Martin Paryzek getting the puck from Alex Pietrangelo.

Logan Couture leaning in on Alex Friesen.

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