September 27, 2009

Opening Weekend One to Forget

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the hottest team in the league right now having won all 4 starts so far including a come-from-behind overtime victory over the 67s last Friday in Sault Ste. Marie. PPG's against were the 67s downfall last week and Perugini was peppered with 53 shots.

Ottawa 67'sHead to Head going into the gameSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
1-1-1-0 3 pointsRecord4-0-0-0 8 points
5th EasternConference - Rank1st Western
10 GF16 
11 GA10 
(2/13) 15.4PP%(8/28) 28.6
(6/17) 64.7PK%(4/24) 83.3

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Nesbitt (3-2-5)Cooper (3-2-5)
Smith (4-0-4)Cousins (3-2-5)
Martindale (1-2-3)Beukeboom (0-5-5)
Birkhoff (0-2-2)Quesnele (1-3-4)
Sointu (0-2-2)Archibald (0-4-4)

Forward Combos:
Lindsay, Martindale, Nesbitt
Smith, Toffoli, Sointu (starters)
Graovac, Merrett, Carnevale
Hanes, Anderson, Shinkelshoek

Birkhoff, Cuma
Demers, Gibbons
Zanetti, Ceci

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Hartwick, Janes, Nigro (mono), Cowick (shoulder)

The 67s opened the game on the right skate, scoring the first goal just 44 seconds into the game when Ryan Martindale scored his second of the season beating big Robin Lehner 5-hole. Cody Lindsay got the lone assist. It was looking pretty good to start with.

Then, Tyler Cuma was called for tripping and during the PK, Gibbons was called on a cross-check giving the Greyhounds 1:13 of a 5-on-3 who were converting over 28% of their PP chances coming into the game. With 11 seconds left on Cuma's penalty, the Greyhounds made good on their chances when James Livingston evened up the score. Not sure if he deflected it in. Brock Beukeboom and Michael Quesnele got the assists.

The 67s had their own 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:34 late in the period but were able to only muster 2 SOGs.

The second period was pretty bad, again, with the Greyhounds getting goals from Carson Dubchak and Brock Beukeboom. Ottawa had moments of promise but nothing sustained. And, except for another late game charge, the third period didn't look much different.

With just over 4 minutes left in the game, Matias Sointu scored his first OHL goal on an innocent looking shot to the net from the slot. Thomas Nesbitt and Cody Lindsay assisted. The team picked up the pace for the rest of the game but it wasn't enough, again.

At the end of 60 (ahem 67s - notice the length of the game), the SSM Greyhounds swept their weekend trip and remained the only undefeated team in the league so far winning this game 3 - 2. Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Dalton Smith

Random Thoughts:
  • I imagine the mainstream media will have lots to say about how this team is doing so far. Don Campbell from the Ottawa Citizen was pretty blunt in his assessment of Friday's game. Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun also thought there was a lot of room for improvement. With the Senators out of town bonding and prospect Robin Lehner in town, I'm sure both newspapers had coverage today. We'll see what tomorrow's papers bring. Not likely to be happy news.
  • Update: I guess Don Brennan went with the "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" approach. His article in today's Sun had more to do with Lehner than the 67s. Chris Yzerman's article was pretty much the same (link not available at the time I wrote this).
  • Speaking of coverage, both the Sens and Wild had management in the rink today. Brent Flahr, formerly with the Ottawa Senators as Director of Hockey Operations and now assistant GM of the Minnesota Wild was at the rink as was Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators. Both were checking out their prospects, Cuma and Lehner respectively.
  • There were other scouts in the house today. If Dalton Smith keeps playing the way he has so far, he might just challenge Tyler Toffoli for the top 20 in next year's NHL entry draft. To steal a line from Pierre McGuire, Smith was a monster today. Even if Team1200 hadn't named him the hardest working 67s, I was going to. He was everywhere and worked and worked and worked....
  • There are folks who are a lot smarter than me trying to figure out what ails this team but one thing might be that there are guys who are just trying to do too much by themselves. It doesn't look like a team just yet.

Next weekend doesn't get any easier...hosting the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires and then hitting the road to play the Eastern Conference leading Barrie Colts on Saturday and then a Sunday afternoon stop in Oshawa on the way home.

More Pictures:
Sometimes you save them...

...and sometimes you don't.

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