Here's how the two teams stacked up going into the game:
|Ottawa 67's||Head to Head||Sarnia Sting|
|5-10-3-2 15 points||Record||10-10-1-0 21 points|
|10th Eastern||Conference - Rank||7th Western|
|(19/91) 20.9||PP% (rank)||(24/128) 18.8|
|(22/96) 77.1||PK% (rank)||(29/111) 73.9|
|Ottawa 67's||Sarnia Sting|
|Martindale (10-18-28)||Kerbashian (6-15-21)|
|Lindsay (9-13-22)||O'Quinn (7-9-16)|
|Nesbitt (10-9-19)||Rogalski (1-13-14)|
|Nigro (4-11-15)||Hill (3-8-11)|
|Toffoli (6-6-12)||Stoughton (3-7-10)|
Nigro, Martindale, Nesbitt (starting forwards)
Smith, Lindsay, Toffoli
Graovac, Merrett, Sointu
Janes, - , Stevens
Zanetti, Cuma (starting D)
Scratches: Carnevale (back), Cowick (shoulder), Birkhoff (hip), Anderson (?)
It was all Ottawa, all the time. For the whole game. Not sure if the Sting had even left Peterborough after their 7 - 3 loss the night before. It was not good.
The GWG came just 1:18 into the game when Cody Lindsay scored his 10th goal of the season putting the rebound over Courchaine's pads. Dalton Smith and Tyler Toffoli got the assists.
Ottawa came back right at Courchaine and had a goal waved off from the very next shot on goal. And they just kept coming. Sarnia didn't get their first SOG until over 13 minutes into the game. Ottawa had already hit Courchaine 12 times with the puck by then. By the end of the first period, Ottawa had out shot the Sting 18 - 3 but the score was still just 1 - 0 for Ottawa.
The real damage was done in the second period with Ottawa's D-corps getting three goals (Hartwick, Demers and Ceci) and Tyler Toffoli's PPG as he skated through two Sarnia players inside the blue line, maintained control of the puck, drove the net and slide it under the outstretched leg of Courchaine. That goal should be on the OHL highlight reel next week. Assists that period went to: Toffoli, Nigro, Nesbitt, Demers, and Lindsay.
Ottawa dominated in all aspects: getting to the puck first, winning battles along the boards, and simply playing smartly. By the end of two periods, Courchaine had seen 34 shots and Perugini just 9.
With a 5-goal lead, going into the third, I wondered if the team would come out with enough intensity to give Perugini his first shutout of the year. On the Sarnia side of the rink, backup goalie Shayne Campbell was in net and coach McQueen wasn't on the bench. Perhaps McQueen just couldn't take it anymore.
Well, the team did back off a bit, allowing Sarnia to get 10 shots on goal (which doubled their total output for the two previous periods). But Ottawa got to Campbell with 13 shots, 2 of which resulted in goals - both by Dalton Smith.
He tucked the first goal on the short side as he was left all alone at the side of the net. Graovac and Sointu assisted on the goal. The second one was the result of a head's up effort by Matias Sointu as he broke up a Sarnia breakout and created a three-on-one with Smith and Graovac. The give-and-go, Smith buried the puck with 49 seconds left in the game.
And that's all she wrote. Final damage: 7 - 0 for Ottawa, SOGs: a whole bunch against not alot (51 - 20).
Here's the game sheet.
- First shutout for Chris Perugini in two years. While he didn't see a lot of shots (and it's tough to stay sharp when that happens) he did pay a bit for the shut out. He was run hard by Preisinger in the second period and cross-checked in the face by Kyle Neuber in the final four minutes of blowout. Also in the category of head-games, after Ottawa scored their 4th goal, Adam Courchaine shot the puck all the way down the ice on the Ottawa net while Chris was stretching his legs with a little skate about. Perugini got back in time to prevent the puck from going in the net. Apparently goalies hate it when players try to put the puck in their net when the play is dead. (Well, they hate it when ANY pucks go in but you get the picture.)
- There were some really good second efforts out there by several 67s - keeping the puck in the Saria zone, blocking shots, back checking, forechecking, taking hits to make the play. It was a good effort all around.
- However, the PP still needs work. They only scored one PPG out of 6 opportunities.
- I'm noticing Graovac more and more - in a good way. It seems that he is having a good rookie season. Not a scoring machine but hard working.
- In Sarnia's last two games (including this one) they had 3GF and a whopping 14GA! Courchaine gave his teammates an earful after Ceci's goal. Too many guys standing around and worse, standing in his way, so that he was fully screened on the goal.
- It was Gary Roberts Appreciation Night and the former 67s and NHL star was on hand to sign autographs and drop the puck. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Gary for the Ottawa 67s Newsletter (if you are a subscriber, you should have received it by now). It was a great chat (from my perspective anyway) on a wide-range of hockey topics, only a few of which made it into the newsletter. I didn't get a chance to meet him at the rink but I did get some good pictures.