October 24, 2009

Break out the Buckely's...

...there was waaay too much coughing (up the puck) in this 7-4 loss to the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors.

The 67s played with a seriously depleted blue line and managed to claw their way back into the game late in the third period, but before they could complete the come-back, a very ill-timed turn-over in their own end turned into the 6th goal by St. Mike's (and Devante Smith-Pelly's 4th goal of the game) to seal the deal.

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

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

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Demers (knee), Cowick (shoulder), Gibbons (ankle), Cuma (suspended)

It was not pretty in pink that's for sure. The team and officials wore limited edition pink jerseys for Pink Night to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

With two veteran defensemen on the sidelines, the 67s took on the Conference leading Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. Gibbons was out with a sprained ankle walking down a set of stairs and Cuma served his first of a four-game suspension. Apparently referee Mike Pearce didn't appreciate Cuma's comments at the end of the Plymouth game last week and handed him a game misconduct for abuse of officials which carries an automatic two-game suspension. It appears that no one on the team knew that and Cuma played in the Saginaw game. The league handed him another two games to make sure that he won't forget it in the future.

The play was pretty even between the two teams for most of the first period until Mississauga got two quick goals within a minute of each other. The first was tipped through the 5-hole by Riley Brace and the second one was off a rebound that Dustin Ekelman buried. And just like that the 67s were in a two-goal hole.

Tyler Toffoli got the team back into game before the period ended with a top-shelf laser shot off a face-off win by Ryan Martindale.

Mississauga's Devante Smith-Pelly was a one-man wrecking crew getting the next 4 (!) goals for the majors: two early in the second and two in the third.

But Ottawa kept battling. Nine seconds into the second PP for Ottawa, Ryan Martindale beat Anderson 5-hole with a shot from the top of the face-off circle, closing the gap to two. Tyler Toffoli and Cody Lindsay with the assists.

With the score 5 - 3 for the Majors in the third, Ottawa got within one with two unanswered goals on the PP. The whole thing started when Jon Carnevale was hit from behind by Josh McFadden and sent into the boards. In the ensuing scrum Smith and Flemming emerged as the major combatants. Smith clearly won the tilt responding to the dangerous hit on his teammate.

Dalton Smith taking on Brett Flemming after Josh McFadden checked Jon Carnevale from behind and into the boards

When the refs sorted it all out, Ottawa ended up with a 5-on-3. On the first shot, Tyler Toffoli blasted one from the slot past the screened goalie. Assists to Lindsay and Nigro. They still had the PP for 1:38 but it wasn't close to being dangerous.

With time running out on the 67s, the Majors took another penalty that Ottawa took advantage of. Anthony Nigro brought his team within 1 when his sharp angle shot went in 5-hole off the goalie. Martindale and Ceci with the assists.

With just over 3 minutes left to play and riding the momentum of two PPGs, Ottawa was ready to complete the come back with.....oh no! Not a turn over!! Yup, Anthony Zanetti turned over the puck in his own end and Smith-Pelly buried it to end Ottawa's chances. Riley Brace book-ended the Major's scoring with his second goal of the game just to put an exclamation mark on it.

And so it ended 7 - 4 for the Majors.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Cody Lindsay

Random Thoughts:
  • The passing of Ottawa 67s former owner and local sports promoter, Howard Darwin's was noted with a moment of silence before the game started.
  • New numbers for Graovac (taking the now available 12) and Stevens (changed to 6).
  • With the top d-men on the side-lines, Tyler Toffoli played the point on the PP.
  • Birkhoff* made a great diving play late in the second period to break up Geoffrey's drive to the net.
  • Yes the team was missing some key players and had a pretty young crew out there across the board, but they had some good chances that they didn't finish. It didn't help that Perugini didn't have his best game either. This game could have been stolen by the goalie.
  • Shock Wave seriously changed their harmonies for the anthem - I didn't recognize it! Please don't do that again.

* Thanks for the reader who sent me the correction. I had incorrectly identified Hartwick as the 67s player.
More Pictures:
Matias Sointu

Chris Perugini

Anthony Nigro looking to chat with Billingsley after taking an elbow to the head

Cody Ceci rubbing Brett Flemming out along the boards

Jon Carnevale and Brett Flemming

"Skate with the Players: Camden McCaffrey of the Gloucester Centre Novice As

Players shaking hands with the game's breast cancer survivor guests

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