February 22, 2009

If the playoffs started today...

...today's game would be one of the first round match-ups and Ottawa would have started out on the wrong skate.

Time for some head-to-head stats going into the game:

Ottawa 67s Head to Head Niagara Ice Dogs
33-19-4-2 Record 24-25-4-6
72 Points 58
3rd - East Conference – Rank 6th - East
225 GF 195
195 GA 227
5-3-2-0 P10 4-5-0-1
24 - 1st PP% (rank) 19.3 - 7th
84 - 4th PK% (rank) 79.2- 15th

The teams have split their series so far this year with Ottawa winning 6 - 3 in the January game here at the Civic Center. The final match up of the regular season happens next weekend in Niagara.

Neither team played on Saturday so fatigue should not be an issue.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Smith, Blunden, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Paryzek, Zanetti
Hartwick, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli (concussion), Birkhoff (knee), Cuma (knee), Martindale (mono)

Despite having a 2-goal lead going into the final five minutes of regulation, Ottawa lost in overtime...for the second time in three games.

With goals from Thomas Kiriakou (PPG), Corey Cowick (late in the second) and Cody Lindsay (unassisted just 20 seconds into the third period) the 67s were 5 and a half minutes from taking an important two points against a team that could be their first round rivals.

But Niagara had been controlling play for most of the game and there was an air of inevitability of how the game would end. The Ice Dogs were pressing and the 67s were unable to get the puck out of their zone for any extended time. Zac Jones brought the Dogs within one with an unassisted goal off the faceoff at 16:38 of the third. Then, with over a minute to play, Jeremy Smith came out of the net for the extra attacker. Ottawa managed to get the puck out across the blue line a couple of times but they were unable to gain enough control to pot an EN.

Alex Friesen tied it up with just 41 seconds left to play.

Ottawa seemed to step it up in OT but St. Louis' Blues prospect, Alex Pietrangelo, who had been all over the ice all game, got the game winning goal at just over the half-way mark of the OT period. Perugini may have had a piece of it but it deflected into his own net.

And that's all she wrote.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Zanetti

Random Thoughts:
  • Teams down the standings seem to be giving Ottawa all (and more) than they can handle. OT loss in Peterborough on Thursday, a very tight 1-goal game where they gave up a two-goal lead against Kitchener on Friday, and today's OT loss against Niagara. This is not a good trend. Maybe it's the two-goal lead that's the problem.
  • You sure wouldn't confuse this team with a puck possession team lately.
  • Only 4 penalties called all game - 2 apiece. Hmmmm.
  • Mississauga won today. With the loser point, Ottawa is in third spot by only 4 points. They keep this up, they will slip to 4th. With their win, Niagara is now in 5th spot and they would be Ottawa's first round match-up if this trend continues. Not good based on recent performance.
  • Sounds like Toffoli will be back by next weekend. Will be interesting to see how Killer changes the lines. I have not heard anything on Martindale's return.
  • Point streaks for Couture and Nigro ended today.
  • Ottawa goes on it's last tough, three-in-three road trip next weekend where they play Guelph (meeting up with former team mate Michael Latta), Erie and Niagara - all playoff teams that are all looking to move up the standings. Mississauga plays Niagara (in Niagara), Belleville and Barrie in the same weekend.

More Pictures:

Martin Paryzek getting the puck from Alex Pietrangelo.

Logan Couture leaning in on Alex Friesen.

February 20, 2009

Ottawa Wins 5 - 4 in See-Saw Battle with Kitchener

While the Ottawa 67s were playing in Peterborough on Thursday, the Kitchener Rangers traveled to Ottawa to rest up for Friday's game.

The Rangers are fighting to make the playoffs (they are 5 points out) while the Ottawa 67s are trying to keep the home-ice advantage and move up the standings. Ottawa has clinched a place in the playoffs.

On the player front, Kitchener is moving on after sending Mike Mascioli home for the rest of the season. The Ottawa 67s are still playing with 5 players out of the roster.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Smith, Blunden, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Paryzek, Zanetti
Hartwick, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli (concussion), Birkhoff (knee), Anderson (shoulder), Cuma (knee), Martindale (mono)

It was an exciting game played by two evenly matched teams but overall I would give the edge to Kitchener. They just seemed to have more puck possession and more control. But they lacked a bit of puck-luck as they rang a few off the post.

Ottawa's depth in scoring was evident in that the 5 goals came from 5 different players although from just two lines. But the other lines had a lot of energy and held their own.

Ottawa went up by two in the first period with Thomas Nesbitt's 21st when his rebound shot beat Van Buskirk short side and with Anthony Nigro's unassisted short-handed goal. Assists on Nesbitt's goal went to Cody Lindsay and Thomas Kiriakou.

Ottawa native Jason Akeson (and cousin to former 67 Jeremy Akeson), tied the game up with back to back power play goals. Then the see-saw started. Ottawa regained the lead with Logan Couture credited with a goal that went in off a Kitchener player. Chris Perugini got the assist. He now has 4 assists on the season I believe. But before the goal was finished being announced, Jacob Lalonde tied the game up when he was left alone in the slot.

Cody Lindsay restored the Ottawa lead just before the halfway mark in the third period but once again Kitchener came right back less than 3 minutes later with a goal from Chris MacKinnon.

Kitchener still kept working hard and it felt like they were going to score but Perugini made the saves and his team cleared away the debris.

Thomas Kiriakou put Ottawa ahead for good with about 3 minutes left in the game beating Van Buskirk high glove side as the penalty was winding down. It was Ottawa's first and only power play goal of the game. He was assisted by Thomas Nesbitt and Martin Paryzek.

Then it got really exciting. Kitchener turned it on and pressed for the tying goal. Logan Couture took a hooking call with 2:18 left in the game. With the Rangers in full control in the Ottawa zone, Van Buskirk was pulled for the extra attacker which made it 6-on-4 for 1:22. They poured on the pressure and got shots through to Perguini which he stopped. The game saving move may have been when Gibbons got his stick in the way of wrap-around that looked to have an open corner.

It went right down to the buzzer and the 67s were able to hold off the desperate Kitchener Rangers. I thought for sure that they would tie it up with the two-man advantage but the 67s prevailed.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Travis Gibbons (as he leaves the ice in pain after a blocked shot)

Random Thoughts:
  • Ottawa has been playing without some key players but even with these absences they were scrambling more than perhaps they should have been. They iced the puck several times (too many times) trying stretch passes or just plain missing their guy.
  • The power play was not so powerful - 1 PPG on 6 power plays.
  • Despite allowing 2 PPGs against (1 was a 5-on-3), they did a pretty good job on the 8 PKs and the 2-man disadvantage at the end of the game. But they are taking too many unnecessary penalties.
  • Had a chance to chat with Jason Akeson's dad. We first met at the Memorial Cup when he was watching the warm-up (we had ice-level seats). Also met Shane Prince's dad who was up from west NY to take in this Kitchener road trip.
  • Dalton Smith has been called up and, depending on his play, will likely stay for the rest of the season. This is his 7th game with Ottawa but his first in the Civic Centre. He had a good game.
  • The 67s now have 6 players with more than 20 goals with Thomas Nesbitt joining the ranks with his 20th goal in Peterborough on Thursday. We were at the Sens - Canuks game on Thursday (sigh!) and the guys behind us mentioned the 67s playing that night. Turned out they are related to Nesbitt and have been following his progress. Small world.
  • Crazy George was in the house (and it was a pretty full house) and he certainly got the crowd going. There were a lot of Kitchener fans in Ottawa.

More Pictures:

It was Military Appreciation Night at the Civic Centre

67s bench fly-by after Lindsay's goal

Call-up Dalton Smith plays his first game at the Civic Centre.

February 14, 2009

The Score Doesn't Tell the Story; Barrie 8 Ottawa 5

Ottawa playing its second game of the weekend, traveling to Barrie after their 3-1 win at home against Peterborough. Ottawa got some good news in that Cowick's tests for possible mono came back negative. That would have been a big loss to an already depleted team for a long road trip.

Barrie lost in 4 - 2 in Mississauga last night, having given up 3 power play goals. Barrie has the 7th best PK in the league.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Blunden, Carnevale
Hanes, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli, Smith (must be a just-in-case call-up), Anderson, Cuma (not shown as a scratch on the broadcast), Martindale

Looks like neither of my Ottawa teams want to give me a valentine tonight. Minnesota (or perhaps more accurately Owen Nolan), scored 3 goals early on the Sens (who have since tied it up). Like Perugini, Elliott was pulled.

Barrie came out strong and kept it up even when Ottawa tried to make a game of it. Here's the game sheet - you can see the carnage yourself.

Not a good game for the entire team. Sure Kiriakou got a couple of goals but no one looks good when there are 8 goals scored against you.

Everyone needs to sharpen up if there are any aspirations for a deep playoff run.

Random Thoughts:
  • Perugini always makes me nervous when he plays the puck behind the net with opposing players in the zone. I worry about him not getting into position fast enough if the puck goes astray.
  • The Rogers' feed was pretty choppy on the action pack channel.
  • Hutchinson could play soccer with that dive after a slight touch from Nigro.
  • A pretty bad outing by the 67s. And Mississauga gets closer. 4th place is a possibility if they don't get back to their old form soon. The missing players are certainly missed.

67s over the Petes: 3 - 1

A pumped up and motivated Peterborough Petes team rolled into Ottawa after a solid 7 - 4 win over Guelph in Peterborough on Thursday. Peterborough is in 9th spot in the Eastern Conference and looking to catch Sudbury or Oshawa for a playoff spot.

Ottawa was looking for a better result than last Sunday's disappointing loss to the Kingston Frontenac here at the Civic Centre. Whatever the 67s were hoping to accomplish, there would have to do it with a depleted roster.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Blunde, Carnevale
Hanes, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli (concussion-like symptoms), Anderson (shoulder), Cuma (knee - probably gone for the season), Martindale (mono)

Peterborough started the game with purpose, taking play to the 67s, fore checking hard and cycling well. But it was the 67s that scored first less than 5 minutes into the game when Martin Paryzek's shot from the point beat a screened Daniels. Anthony Nigro and Logan Couture got the assists.

The Petes continued to play physical and control the puck but were unable to get too many quality shots through to Perugini and were unable to score. The shots on goal at the end of the period were 13 - 7 in Ottawa's favour but it seemed that the play was in the Ottawa zone for most of the period.

With 45 seconds left in Ottawa's second power play, Anthony Nigro put Ottawa up by two when his snap shot from the hash marks beat Daniels blocker side. Logan Couture and Julien Demers got the assists.

The second period was a scoreless affair. Ottawa looked flat. They held off Peterborough on their two power plays and Perugini stopped all 13 shots from Peterborough but they were unable to capitalize on their 4 power play opportunities, including a 4 minute stretch (against the 4th worst PK in the league) nor on their 11 shots on Daniels.

The Petes made it a bit of the game in the third when Chad Lowry cut the lead in half with his goal halfway through the final frame. He was left all alone and former 67 Pat Daley fed him the puck in the slot and he beat a moving Perugini. Ottawa native and Peterborough first round pick Ryan Spooner got the other assist on what would be the Petes' lone goal of the game.

But just 1:30 later, the two goal lead was restored. It started with a stretch pass from Martin Paryzek from below his own goal line. It was on the tape of Corey Cowick who's shot hit the goal post. Logan Couture prevented Peterborough's clearing attempt and got the puck to the slot where a Anthony Nigro's shot from his knees beat Daniels.

Ottawa gave the Petes every chance to get back in this game with a couple of late period delay of game penalties. The second one came when the Petes had already pulled Daniels for the extra attacker so they had a 6-on-4 advantage that the Ottawa defenders held at bay. Thomas Nesbitt had a chance for an EN but he was in too deep.

The depleted 67s squad came away with the 3 - 1 win with shots on goal of 32 - 30 in their favour.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Zanetti

Random Thoughts:
  • It was Ladies Day at the Civic Centre and some 67s moms and a grand mom were honoured at the start of the game. The boys gave their respective special ladies (who wore the boys' warm-up jerseys) flowers and a hug.

  • Ottawa survived two episodes where two players broke their sticks effectively giving the Petes a couple of 5-on-3s, even though the extra bodies were on the ice. When this happened in the third period, the Petes kept the play in the Ottawa zone for a long time before Ottawa was able to get a whistle.
  • Logan Couture has scored 17 points in his last 11 games.
  • A few 67s having careers seasons or on their way to a career year: Kiriakou with 46 points (41 in his best previous year), Lindsay with 29 points this year (27 in his previous best year), Nesbitt with 40 points so far (27 in his best previous year), and of course Corey Cowick with 49 points this year so far (25 in his best previous year) to mention a few players.
  • The 67s are starting to take more penalties. This game saw them spend 19 minutes on the kill for penalties. They are still the least penalized team in the league with 681 PIMs, averaging 12.6 per game but I bet this number is rising.
  • Looks like Cuma is done for the rest of the regular season. The Minnesota Wild brought their unsigned first round prospect to Minnesota to check out the knee and determined that he needed some arthroscopic surgery to clean up the meniscus. Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson came back after 10 days when he had his surgery but I wouldn't hold up and hope for the same result with Tyler, it was a different repair. Wonder if Tyler will be in the press-box when the Sens are in Minnesota tonight.

It's a 5 1/2 hour trip to play the 6th place Barrie Colts at 7:30 tonight, followed by a 1 1/2 hour trip to Owen Sound for a 2:00 game on Sunday and then a 7 hour return trip to Ottawa. That's a lot of time on a bus.
More Pictures:

67s fans Thomas and Connor wanted their picture taken

Ryan Hanes' first game back - played as a (desperately needed) forward

February 07, 2009

Fronts Do It Again! 8 - 6 Over Ottawa

Kingston has won only 11 games this year and 3 of them have been against the Ottawa 67s; two at the Civic Centre including today's win.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Blunden, Carnevale

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Courchaine

Scratches: Toffoli (neck injury), Anderson (shoulder), Cuma (knee), Martindale (strep), Hanes (ankle)

With Ottawa playing its third game in three and dressing only 10 forwards, including 2 rookies, I figured they would be in tough. Kingston has been playing well lately including beating the London Knights last weekend and taking Brampton to overtime last Thursday. They came to Ottawa rested and with a full roster.

Ottawa started the game with jump but Kingston shook off the bus legs and got on the score board first.

Any game that features 14 goals is not a good game for the goalies. Here's the game sheet so you can check out all the scoring yourself.

Despite the result, this was a very good game to watch. Fast, up and down, lots of transition, lots of scoring changes (obviously) and for those who prefer goals over saves, lots of goals. Kingston didn't put the game away until the last minute of play with Ottawa down a goal and a face-off in the Kingston zone. Pulling the goalie got Ottawa within 1 but the 67s weren't able to get two. Dzerins got his hat trick into the empty net.

Kingston played hard for a full 60 minutes and Ottawa could not withstand the pressure. Mavric Parks also kept more pucks out of the net than the Ottawa goalies.

For the second time in as many games, Adam Courchaine was pulled from the game. Today it was with just over 4 minutes left. That's not gonna feel too good.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Thomas Nesbitt

Random Thoughts:
  • I thought it was much more intense today, they outshot Kingston, and Parks didn't have the hot hand per se. So what happened? Was it goaltending? Was it defensive coverage? Or were they just out of gas? 5 of the goals on Ottawa were scored at the other end of the rink during the third period so it's hard to say what happened. One of the goals was during a 5-on-3.
  • Corey Cowick scored his 3oth goal today. Gibbons had 2. Logan had a goal and three assists.
  • Ottawa had a number of scoring chances that they just could not bury from close in. Kingston did a very good job of getting their sticks in the way.
  • The Ottawa power play connected again, scoring within 15 seconds on the two PP goals.
  • But the 4th best PK in the league allowed 3 PPGs from the worst PP in the league. hmmm.
  • Belated 18th happy birthday to Chris Perugini.
  • St. Mike's won today bringing them 2 points closer to third in the conference.
  • On another note, Jakub Petruzalek made his NHL debut and notched his first point. Here's the recap from the 'Canes.

2 of 6 points this weekend. Not a great result. Here's hoping that at least two of the wounded return next weekend; Ottawa needs to get back on the winning streak.
More pictures:

Stephen Francella just before scoring his unassisted goal in the second period to tie the game at 2.

Finally an OT Win!! Ottawa 3 - Oshawa 2

Watched this one on TV.

Ottawa came in still looking for their 30th win to overtake their total win count from last season. This was the final time for these two teams to play each other in the regular season.

Ottawa was also looking for a better effort than they had last night in their 5 - 2 home loss to the Conference leading Brampton Battalion.

Oshawa won 4-3 in Kingston last night. At home, they were looking for their first goal in their own arena in over 216 minutes. They played without James DeLory who was assessed a match penalty in Kingston for slashing and jumping Nathan Moon. Here's the video of the Oshawa captain's fine work. What every team wants to see from their leader.

This last time for Brian Kilrea and Bert O'Brien behind the visitor's bench in General Motors Centre.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Smith, Kiriakou, Carnevale
Blunden, Lindsay, Carnevale
Sonnenburg, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Toffoli (elbow to the head in yesterday's game), Anderson (separated shoulder yesterday), Hanes (ankle), Cuma (tweaked his knee, out for precautionary reasons), Martindale (strep throat)

Initially my thoughts were that the Ottawa 67s didn't seem to get it that they have to play with intensity if they want to keep winning games. Then I realized just how much talent was out of the lineup for today's game. Missing Martindale and Toffoli up front really matters. Running into a really hot goalie makes it harder.

So I have tempered my initial reactions somewhat.

The Oshawa Generals played very hard and Conway did everything he had to do to win this one for them but they came away with just the point for all their effort.

Despite being pretty much outplayed in the first period, it was Ottawa that scored first. Thomas Kiriakou drove the net and his shot bounced off Conway and then off his leg into the net. Thomas Nesbitt assisted.

Oshawa kept putting pressure on the 67s and was about to score just as the buzzer sounded to end the period. At the end of the first period, Oshawa had gone 236 minutes since the last time they scored a goal in their own barn (almost 12 periods). But Oshawa finally got off the schneid when Zanetti didn't get to the puck that Perugini had gently sent behind the net. Oshawa's Jeff Brown got to it first and Nick Esposto neatly sent the pass past Perugini to tie up the game. Oshawa's hard work finally paid off; Ottawa's not so fine work, cost them.

Oshawa went ahead at about the halfway mark of the third period when Tony DeHart's wrist shot from the hashmarks beat Perugini glove-side. Conor Stokes got the assist.

With Ottawa getting a face off in Oshawa's end with 1:22 left to go, Kilrea called a time out and kept Perugini on the bench for an extra attacker.

It took a while to confirm the tying goal as the on-ice official's immediate response was that the puck had been kicked in. From his angle, it obviously looked like that but from another angle, it was clearly a goal. Kiriakou won the face off and Demers took a shot from the top of the face off circle. The rebound came out back to the circle where both Kiriakou and Couture going for the puck. It looked like Kiriakou was planning to stop the puck with his foot but before it got to him, Logan reached in with his stick and snapped it past Conway to tie the game. Julien Demers got the assist.

Both teams were careful in the remaining regulation time, both willing to take the point and take it to overtime.

Conway stood on his head all game but it was Thomas Kiriakou bookending the game with the opening goal and the game winning goal when he waited patiently for Conway to commit himself. Thomas put the puck past the sliding goalie to end the game. Thomas Nesbitt assisted in Ottawa's first overtime win this season.

Finally, Ottawa gets that 30th win of the season to overtake their win total for all of last season. With about 18 games left. Pretty good turn-around I'd say.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200
(all pictures from previous games against Oshawa)

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Logan Couture
(picture from a previous game against Oshawa)

Random Thoughts:
  • Ottawa has to keep winning...that image in their rear-view mirror is the Mississauga St. Michaels Marjors.
  • Not that I have been watching closely but it seems like Demers is having his struggles. Seems like a number of passes are getting past him on the point and pucks are not settling on his stick.
  • Dalton Smith was called up and wore number 33. He didn't have to travel too far - Oshawa is his home town.
  • Kiriakou had a couple of good scoring chances included a shorty but his stick came out of his hands (is that what they mean by soft hands?).
  • Tyler Taylor has some issues with Ottawa. He apparently felt the need to chirp the bench so Schinkelshoek stepped up for the team. Schinkelshoek took the worst of it and sat out for 2 mintues. Taylor went to the locker room to sit out his 10 minute misconduct. He's a piece of work.
  • The Rogers announcers were quite complimentary to the Ottawa 67s club.
  • In the rink three stars: Conway (first), Kiriakou (second), DeHart.

Ottawa returns to the Civic Centre for their Sunday afternoon game against the Kingston Frontenac. See you there.

Battalion Barrelling Along: 5 - 1 Over Ottawa

The last time the Brampton Battalion came to town they were on a winning streak and looking to set a franchise record which they did (14 games). This time, they are on another streak (11 games) and looking to make it 12. Kingston took them to overtime on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ottawa did not play since their solid win against London last Sunday.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro,
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Blunden, Toffoli, Carnevale
, Anderson, Schinkelshoek

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Courchaine

Scratches: Sonnenburg, Martindale (strep throat), Hanes

This Brampton team is loaded with talent: Cody Hodgson (Team Canada WJHC), Evgeny Grachev (Team Russia WJHC), Matt Duchene (late cut from WJHC and 2nd ranked NA skater for the 2009 entry draft), Thomas McCollum (Team USA WJHC) and they have won their way to the top of the Eastern Conference (by virtue of a game in hand over Belleville right now).

Earlier this week, those four Brampton players were team mates with Logan, Julien and Corey on the Eastern Conference Team at the OHL All Star game in Windsor (which the East won 11 - 6).

The Battalion are fast and play a strong fore check which for the most part kept the 67s from sustaining much of an attack all game. The first period was rather unexciting with neither team threatening much although Brampton had more puck possession and took the play to Ottawa for the most part. The best scoring chance for Ottawa came when McCollum came way out of the net to challenge Couture and missed his poke check. Cowick was not expecting the puck and was unable to corral it into the wide open net. And that might have been the signal of how Ottawa's luck was going to go.

Brampton opened up the scoring about 6 minutes into the second period. They were keeping good pressure on the 67s, getting shots through to Courchaine and finally one ricocheted off enough players to find the back of the net. Jason Dale was credited with the goal with assists going to Brad Albert and Anthony Peluso.

Ottawa responded 3 minutes later when Martin Paryzek's shot from the point was tipped in by Thomas Nesbitt. Thomas Kiriakou got the other assist on Ottawa's power play goal.

Brampton just cranked it up a notch and potted two quick goals to take the lead for good and give themselves some breathing room. First it was former Kingston Frontenac Matthew Kang lucking out when a rebound off the boards ended up right on his blade and he tucked it in before Adam could react. Adam Courchaine misjudged where the rebound was going. Cody Hodgson and Joshua Day got the assits on that power play goal. And just 45 seconds later, Tanski and Thorne executed a perfect two-on-one with Thorne redirecting a perfect pass from Tanski past Courchaine. Matt Clark got the other assist.

Evgeny Grachev also scored in the second and Matt Duchene added one in the third to finish up for Brampton.

Chris Perugini started the third period and stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced. Thomas Nesbitt scored his second of the game with just 45 seconds left when he picked up a rebound and easily put it in the net. Cody Lindsay and Tyler Toffoli got the assists in the power play goal.

The Brampton Battalion increase their winning streak to 12 while the 67s head to Oshawa thinking hard about their effort on the ice for this game.

Final shots on goal: 33 - 48 for Brampton.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Tyler Toffoli

Random Thoughts:
  • Ottawa certainly did not play with the same intensity as they did on Sunday. Perhaps it was all the changes in the line-ups (Martindale out, Toffoli centering Blunden and Carnevale) or too much rest, or perhaps too much respect for the Battalion. But this was uncharacteristic of the 67s we have come to expect this season.
  • Any team that expects to do well against Brampton will have to bring their skills up to their tempo. When Ottawa tried to play as quick, Brampton was able to take the puck away, force turnovers or Ottawa simply missed their passes. I should have kept count of all the icings - enough for at least a dozen wedding cakes.
  • Anderson left the game in the first with what appears to be a shoulder injury, Nigro was lost to the team for 17 minutes when he lost it and retaliated to something and Cuma also left the game. Cuma's game was off as expected but he was still logging decent ice time until he had an awkward stumble.
  • The game sheet is wrong - both Nesbitt's goals were PP goals.
  • About the officiating.....hmmm.

Martin Paryzek angling Matt Duchene away from the net and knocking the puck off his stick

Cuma back in action - briefly

Thomas Nesbitt's near-goal - off the post and out of harm's way

The entire fan-based from Brampton was here for the game - all 12 of them (attendance at the Bunker is notoriously low). The team must look forward to road trips where their success is at least seen by a few people.

February 04, 2009

Alumni Update: Jakub Petruzalek Called Up

Jakub has yet to make his NHL debut but he is now a step closer. He has been called-up by the Carolina Hurricanes.

From the 'Canes website:

"RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team will recall forward Jakub Petruzalek (YA-kuhb peh-troo-ZAL-ehk) from Albany of the American Hockey League (AHL) on Thursday morning. In order to make room for Petruzalek on the roster, forward Scott Walker will be placed on the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury. Hurricanes center Rod Brind’Amour will return to Raleigh and will not be available for Thursday’s game in San Jose due to a lower-body injury.

Petruzalek, 23, ranks second among River Rats skaters this season in scoring with 34 points (12g, 22a) in 47 games. Drafted by the New York Rangers in the ninth round (266th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Petruzalek has totaled 36 goals and 73 assists (109 points) in 185 career AHL games with Hartford and Albany. The Litvinov, Czech Republic, native was acquired by Carolina in 2006 in exchange for Brad Isbister, and has yet to make his NHL debut."

Link here.

He was the 67s for only one year but I enjoyed watching him play. I always hoped he would get a shot at the NHL.

He might get his chance tomorrow when the 'Canes play the San Jose Sharks. Former team mate Lukas Kaspar is not currently on the Sharks roster.

February 01, 2009

A Good Knight's Work: Ottawa 4 - London 3

It might be hard to believe it from the advertisements and the sports talking heads but there are 20-some other members of the London Knights other than John Tavares. This is London's swing through the eastern conference. They lost in Kingston on Friday (!) and won in Belleville last night.

Sportsnet chose this game for their national broadcast and the media and scouting contingent was larger than normal.

Ottawa lost in overtime against Belleville here in Ottawa on Friday and had yesterday off.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Couture, Nigro
Blunden, Martindale, Toffoli
Lindsay, Kiriakou, Nesbitt
Sonnenburg, Anderson, Carnevale

Demers, Gibbons,
Birkhoff, Paryzek
Hartwick, Zanetti

Goal: Courchaine

Scratches: Schinkelshoek, Hanes, Cuma

This was a good game. Lots of speed, good scoring chances, great defensive plays and the good guys win. The game started with a bang when Zac Rinaldo tried to lay a big hit on Cody Lindsay but missed and hit the glass in front of me at full force. The boards really give alot! The first period was up and down hockey with both teams playing hard and both teams keeping the shots from getting through to their goalies. The shot count at the end of the first period was 6-5 in Ottawa's favour.

The game was over half-way done before the first goal was scored. Tyler Toffoli controlled the puck and fed it to Logan Couture who sent his wrist shot top shelf glove side from the hash marks. Julien Demers got the other assist.

Instead of the game slowing down in the third, it stayed fast with both teams battling for goals. And there were goals. Ottawa had the lead three times and London tied the game three times. It started with Zac Rinaldo tying the game by sliding a backhand shot under the left pad of Adam Courchaine during a London power.

Logan Couture restored the Ottawa lead when he wired it past Trevor Cann from the face-off dot. Anthony Nigro and Julien Demers got the assists.

Then the second best (perhaps now the best??) power play in the league notched another one. London's Phil Varone put one over Courchaine's shoulder pretty much right off the face off while Zanetti was taking a time-out for holding. The game was tied...again.

Anthony Nigro scored his 20th goal of the season when he took a nice pass from Logan Couture and buried it to restore the lead...again. Julien Demers helped on that one too.

John Tavares finally got on the board when he got around Julien Demers, went around the net and threaded the puck top shelf between Courchaine and the post to tie it up...again with less than 5 minutes left in the game.

I was pretty sure that the next goal would win the game - whichever team scored it.

The Ottawa top line wasn't about to leave it at that and while the Team1200 guys were musing about how exciting the overtime period might be, Logan Couture simply out hustled the London-D to the puck and fed it from the boards to Anthony Nigro who tucked it in nicely for the lead...and the game winning goal with less than 3 minutes left. Cody Lindsday assisted on that one.

Cann was pulled for the extra attacker but Phil Varone took an unnecessary penalty when he drilled Demers into the boards with 10 seconds left in the game and that effectively ended the game for the Knights.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (no picture of 2nd star Phil Varone)

Hardest Working 67s as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Zanetti
(sorry - no decent in-game picture)

Random Thoughts:
  • Before the excuse makers trot out the "it was London's third game in three" recall that when Ottawa lost in overtime in London on January 4, 2009, it was Ottawa's third in three having played in Kitchener on the Friday (won) and Sarnia on the Saturday (also won).
  • Logan's game has changed. He has become more physical. He seems to be playing with more confidence and he actually looks like he's having fun out there. Nigro just might be the winger he's needed this year.
  • Courchaine made some really great saves - especially during one of the London power plays.
  • Good to see Toffoli back.
  • The team played a good team game today. It would be great to see this intensity and hard work for the rest of the season. If they keep it up, they just might deliver Killer his 1200th win before he retires. That would be a pretty good retirement gift.
  • Gotta stay out of the penalty box!! They have been taking way more penalties lately. For the most part, their kill was good today although London still scored two PP goals (on 7 power plays). Ottawa was shut out in their 3 power plays.
  • Had a chance to chat with one of the Islander scouts who was sitting in front of us during the WJHC. He's based in Montreal and this is a short trip to see the London draft-eligible players. And the 67s too.

More pictures:

Now these are customized skates. How many JTs and 91s can you spot?

Nothing like children's voices singing the national anthem

Cowick getting close up and personal with Cann (he was pushed)

Montgomery trying to push Blunden around

Dylan Anderson