September 26, 2009

New Season - Same Result

When these two teams last met, the stakes were a lot higher. It was game 7 of the playoffs. The IceDogs went on to win it 13 seconds into overtime.

Now it's a new season, a new coach, new uniforms and a reconfigured arena. The 67s were looking for a fresh start and a better result....but it was not to happen.

Forward Combos:
Lindsay, Martindale, Toffoli (starters)
Sointu, Smith, Nesbitt
Zanetti, Merrett, Carevale
Graovac, Anderson, Janes

Birkhoff, Cuma (starters)
Demers, Gibbons
Hartwick, Ceci

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Schinkelshoek, Nigro (mono), Cowick (injured), Hanes

There was a nice ceremony for the home opener including raising new banners to the rafters. This is a great touch - it's great to go into arenas and see teams honouring past players who made big contributions to the team.

The 67s started the game quite well, controlling the play and possessing the puck most of the period - especially for their first PP. But it was Niagara that scored the first goal, interestingly enough only 13 seconds into Niagara's powerplay. It was Alex Friesen who deflected it past Mrazek. Assists went to Insam and Agozzino. I was between the benches and you could just feel the deflation of the 67s - giving up the first goal (on Niagara's 5th shot of the game) after controlling the play for so long so it wasn't surprising when Niagara scored again on their very next shot. Andrew Shaw took a nice feed from Andrews and went top shelf glove side from the top of the blue plaint. Tracitto got the other assist. The two goals were less than a minute apart in the last four minutes of the period.

Dalton Smith got Ottawa on the board early in the second period to get the 67s back into the game but goals from Dylan Woods and Chris DeSousa put Niagara back up by two at the end of two. Niagara had stepped up their game in the second - getting 19 SOGs to Ottawa's 6.

An unassisted goal from Thomas Nesbitt at the halfway mark of the third period and Dalton Smith's second goal 5 minutes later made it a game. The 67s put on the pressure and had a few scoring chances but could not get past Niagara goalie Mark Visentin. With Mrazek pulled for the extra attacker, Chris DeSousa got the EN with 27 seconds to salt the game way.

The IceDogs skate of with a 5 - 3 win. Final SOGs were 32-25 for Niagara.
Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Thomas Nesbitt

Random Thoughts:
  • Tyler Cuma and Julien Demers will be co-captains this year. Tyler will be home captain and Julien road captain for the first half of the season and will swap for the last half. Wearing the A's this year are Nesbitt and Cowick. Demers wore the second A for this game.
  • Wonder if the team had some jitters - first home game of the season - especially for the new guys and playing the team that bounced them last season. Seems they may have lost their focus a few times and stopped skating at times. Plus there were some plain old mistakes that the coaching staff will work on correcting.
  • Nesbitt and Smith have jumped out of the gate early as the team's top scorers with 3 and 4 goals respectively in 3 games so far.
  • The arena formerly known as the Civic Centre is now the Urbandale Construction Arena.
  • Chris Perugini was hit at the end of the game in Sault Ste Marie and will be kept out of the game for precautionary purposes this weekend, although he will dress and take the warmup.
  • Petr Mrazek apparently is still waiting for his own equipment to get here from the Czech Republic so he's making do with whatever the 67s can pull together for him (but it's his own mask). I'm pretty sure they have FedEx or the equivalent in Europe - how hard can it be to get the gear here (unless it's held up a the border for some reason that I cannot imagine).
  • Ottawa currently ranks 19th in the league for penalty killing: in three games they have allowed 6 PPGs on 17 shots. Last year they were pretty much at the top of the league all year.

More Pictures:
Lined up for a new season

Sointu steals the puck.

Mrazek with a point-blank save.

Lindsay breaking up a possible break-away.

The anthem singers - Shockwave. They did a GREAT job! They can come back anytime.

1 comment:

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