October 31, 2009

67s Win the Battle

The 67s battled back twice from 2-goal deficits and with 4 unanswered goals, starting with a goal in the dying seconds of the second period, they put in a convincing winning performance on home ice.

Forward Combos:
Nigro, Martindale, Nesbitt
Lindsay, Merrett, Toffoli (starters)
Sointu, Graovac, Carnevale
Janes, Anderson, Stevens

Birkhoff, Gibbons (starters)
Zanetti, Ceci
Hartwick, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Demers (knee), Cowick (shoulder), Smith (shoulder), Cuma (suspended)

The game started with good speed and chances by both teams with Ottawa getting more shots on goal early but it was the Battalion who scored first when Matt McLeod beat Perugini short-side over his glove from a sharp angle before the game was 5 minutes old. And then Sean Jones put his team ahead with less than 5 seconds left in the period with a shot off the far post that ricocheted in.

But Ottawa got one back two minutes later when Jon Carnevale got the puck under Killeen in a goal-mouth scrum. Tyler Graovac got the assist but he should have had two assists credited to him for his hard work to set up the goal.

But the rather porous defense made this game harder to win than it should have been. Matt McLeod notched his second of the game when two 67s allowed Barclay Goodrow to throw the puck from the corner right to the front of the net where Matt had the easy point-blank shot.

Thomas Nesbitt got Ottawa back within one again with a back-hand shot that over the shoulder of Killeen. It was the finishing touch on a two-on-one with Anthony Nigro feeding him the puck. Ryan Martindale got the other assist to continue his league-leading point streak at 14 games.

And just over a minute later, Tyler Toffoli tied up the game when he capitalized on a neutral zone turn-over caused by Matias Sointu's pressure on the Brampton defenseman. Andrew Merrett got the other assist for starting the whole thing off by flipping the puck from the half-boards into the neutral zone.

Brampton took the lead for the last time with Sean Jones' scoring his second goal of the game on a break-away when Sointu had his pocket picked just inside the Brampton blue line.

We finally saw the 67s bear down and take over the scoring game for good. First it was Ryan Martindale tying the game up again with just 34 seconds left in the second period when he buried the pass from a hustling Thomas Nesbitt who got the puck from behind the net.

The third period was all Ottawa with three more unanswered goals. It was Brian Birkoff's first goal of his OHL career that broke the tie and stood up as the GWG. It was a laser-guided shot from the point that picked off the top corner of the net. Tyler Toffoli and Cody Lindsay with the assists. I think I saw Toffoli go get the puck for Brian as well.

With second goals from Jon Carnevale and Ryan Martindale (a PPG) and some stellar saves from Chris Perugini, the 67s put the game away and gave their fans a home game to cheer about.

Final score: 7 - 4 Ottawa with SOGs of 31 - 26 for Ottawa.

Here's the game sheet.

Brian Birkhoff was selected by the Team1200 as the Hardest Working 67s. I didn't get a decent in-game picture of him (which is unusual as he seems to get into camera range for most games).

Random Thoughts:
  • The Battalion were without their coach, Stan Butler who was fined and suspended for two games for his actions at their game against the Niagara IceDogs. He was in town for the game and watched from Killer's box I believe.
  • Ottawa was perfect on the PK - limiting Brampton to 4 shots in total for their 4 PPs. Perguini did his part in dealing with those 4 shots.
  • Martindale worked hard all game and generated a lot of energy for his team.
  • The D still needs a lot of work. Even though Cuma and Demers are out of the lineup, you gotta remember that between last season and this season, Tyler has only played 31 games for the 67s. They have been playing without him for a long time already.
  • Jon Carnevale's second goal was a bullet. Good thing no one got in front of it - they would be seriously damaged goods. He picked up a rebound off the end boards at full steam and let 'er rip.
  • Tylers Cuma and Toffoli are on the Canada-Russia Super Series roster.
  • Demers is skating again but is not yet cleared for contact.

are some pictures from the game. Be sure to check out the gallery on the 67s web site for more.

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