March 07, 2009

Bert O'Brien Day in Ottawa: Ottawa 6 - Barrie 3

As declared by His Honour, Mayor Larry O'Brien, Friday March 6, 2009 was Bert O'Brien Day to acknowledge the career and contribution to hockey in Ottawa by Ottawa 67s Assistant Coach Bert O'Brien.

The pre-game ceremony included Bert's wife of 41 years, Cathy, former Ottawa South player Bill McAndrew, Ottawa Senators President Roy Mlakar, Ottawa 67s owner and governor Jeff Hunt and former Ottawa 67s captain (and current Ottawa Senator) Brandon Bell.

Bert O'Brien addresses the fans during the pre-game ceremony.

Just a few of the young men who have had the privilege of playing during the O'Brien era.

The coaches, soon past and future, taking it all in.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Toffoli
Smith, Blunden, Nesbitt
Hanes, Anderson, Carnevale

Demers, Gibbons
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Cuma (knee), Martindale (mono), Sonnenburg, Schinkelshoek,

In a pre-game interview with Colin Zappia, Barrie Colt Josh Brittain opined that a first round match-up between these two teams would produce a Barrie win since the Colts play the 67s hard and wear them down. Barrie did have the series lead coming into the game including a sound 8 - 5 thumping on Valentine's day here in Ottawa.

The 67s had other ideas.

Ottawa scored 4 goals on 6 shots in the first 9:14 of the period. It happened so fast, I didn't actually get anything except the celebrations! Starting it all off was Thomas Kiriakou unassisted burying it over the glove of Boston prospect Michael Hutchinson on the first shot of the game just 1:28 in. The pace was fast and the post saved one for Perugini off Cloutier but nothing scoring-wise happened again until the 7:00 minute mark.

Then it was 3 goals in 2 minutes and 14 seconds.

It started 30 seconds into Ottawa's second PP when Tyler Toffoli's wrist shot found the back of the net from the face-off dot, followed by Logan Couture's backhanded shot that went 5-hole and rounded out with Tyler Toffoi's second goal and the eventual GWG. The helpers were: Kiriakou (2), Lindsay (2), Nigro and Cowick.

Ottawa continued to dominate and Cody Lindsay closed out the period when he popped one under the cross-bar short side for his 21st goal of the season for Ottawa's 2nd PPG of the game. He was assisted by Martin Paryzek and Anthony Zanetti.

Celebrating Lindsay's first goal of the game.

It was a strong performance in the first period and I wondered if they would sustain it in the second. They didn't.

Ottawa started the second period strong enough but for some reason the momentum turned. With a new goalie in net, and undaunted with being down 5 - 0 after 20, the Colts turned the tide and kept Ottawa on their heels pretty much the entire second half of the period. And they were rewarded with 3 goals in about 6 1/2 minutes for their efforts. Two former Kingston Frontenacs, Peter Stevens and Josh Brittain each got a goal as did rookie David Mazurek.

After playing so well as a team, it seemed like Ottawa forgot how to play defensively and it fell to Chris Perugini to keep his team in the game for the rest of the game with a number of great saves.

The very successful second line struck again to give the 67s a bit more breathing room half way through the third period. It was Cody Lindsay's second goal of the game and 22nd of the year with assists going to Thomas Kiriakou and Tyler Toffoli.

So Ottawa evened up the series and served notice how a play-off match-up might unfold.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Brian Birkhoff (no decent in-game picture).

Random Thoughts:
  • The second line accounted for 11 of the 16 points in the game. Nice.
  • The 67s have 7 players with over 20 goals. I think that's what they call depth!
  • With all that success, they still have to keep the pressure up for an entire 60 minutes.
  • Perugini is getting the lion's share of the starts lately. Thought the 67s ran pretty much with a 1A, 1B system with these two goalies. hmmmm.
  • Martin Paryzek had an uncharacteristically weak game. While he did get an assist, he also had a few gaffs that cost the team.
  • After 4 goals on 6 shots in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Barrie coaches showed some steel in that they didn't pull Hutchinson. They waited until the intermission to make the change.
  • Barrie assistant coach Jeff Beukeboom was part of a trivia question on the Healthy Scratches this week. I believe it had to do with players who had their careers ended because of a shot to the head. I'm sure he would rather be remembered for some other reason.
  • Former Ottawa 67 Brett Liscombe was in the house. His St. FX X-men were eliminated from the university playoffs back in February.

More Pictures:
A goal-line too far. The puck didn't make it over the line.

Fans happy with the game.

Fans sending a message to their team.

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