December 29, 2009

Rough Ride for the Bulls

With their 4 - 2 win over the Bulls, the Ottawa 67s take over first spot in the Eastern Division over the idle Peterborough Petes. Both teams have now played 38 games and are one point apart.

Forward Combos:
Nigro, Martindale, Nesbitt
Smith, Lindsay, Toffoli (starters)
Janes, Merrett, Stevens,
Hanes, Foglia (call up from Trenton, check out this video)

Birkhoff, Gibbons
Demers, Zanetti
Birkhoff, Hanes

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Cowick, Cuma (foot), Carnevale (knee), Ceci (U17)

This will be quick as this is a work night and I get up very early.

The 4-2 score doesn't tell the story. The rebuilding Bulls were seriously outplayed for pretty much the entire game. Philipp Grubauer, fresh from backstopping Germany's success at the IIHF World U20 Championship DIV I Group A tournament, kept the score as close as it was. Many 67s scoring chances were thwarted by the goaltending skills of Grubauer.

Quickly, Ottawa goals came off the sticks of Dalton Smith, Tyler Toffoli, Cody Lindsay and Ryan Martindale. Take a look at the game sheet to get the details.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Nigro

Random Thoughts:
  • A lot of penalties called in the game - mostly against Ottawa. While their PP stats are unlikely to improve based on this outing, their PK stats should benefit from keeping the Bulls off the board in 8 tries.
  • Based on the looks of the three stars, you would hardly guess that the 67s won this game.
  • Great first outing for Foglia. Fast, engaged and willing to go to the dirty areas. Based on the video clip, he doesn't lack for confidence either.
  • There were some seriously hands of stone out there at times - it seemed that no one could make or take a pass too well in the first period.
  • During the Nigro double minor, Ottawa seemed to have more scoring chances than Belleville. Great PK! Should get double stats-points for that kill.

Hope everyone has a great slide into the new year. The 67s are on the road this weekend for one of those 3-in-3 endurance tests.
More pictures:

The new kid: Nicholas Foglia

December 13, 2009

Cuma is Going to Camp!

From the Ottawa Sun:

"Senators prospect Patrick Wiercioch will not be a member of the defending champion Canadian team at this year's world junior championship tournament.

Wiercoch, who was part of the original invite list, is experiencing problems with a "pre-existing" knee injury.

Going to the team's camp in the big defenceman's place will be 67's blue liner Tyler Cuma, who was in contention for a spot on last year's squad before suffering a knee injury at the tryout camp.

Cuma, who was left off this year's list, said yesterday he is "overjoyed" at getting the invite now. "

And here's another article from TSN.

We're going to miss him but also wish him every success.

Tyler Toffoli LIghting It Up

The OHL site has a feature article on Tyler Toffoli. Click here to read it.

He had the lone goal in Ottawa's 3-1 loss to Barrie last night.

December 12, 2009

Another Battle Won

The Ottawa 67s have won all three games against the Battalion with their 3-1 win at the Urbandale Centre last night. The win is a good start to a tough weekend.

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

Zanetti, Cuma
Demers, Gibbons (starters)
Hartwick, Ceci

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Cowick, Birkhoff

The first period got to a slow start, including a long delay to replace a plastic connector between two panes of glass. No flow before the repair and by the time the period was half over, each team had only mustered 3 shots each. With Ottawa's 4th shot on goal, Anthony Nigro finally got the first goal of the game when he beat Carp native and Pittsburgh prospect, Patrick Killeen. Ryan Martindale fed the puck to him from behind the net for the quick goal. Mark Anthony Zanetti had the second assist.

Jon Carnevale, who had two goals against Brampton the last time they were here, scored his 6th goal of the year when his sharp-angle shot from the corner near the goal line went in through the legs of Killeen. He was unassisted in what turned out to be the game-winner.

Perugini made a fabulous glove save on Carrick when Tyler Cuma gave the puck to Carrick away deep in his own zone. Carrick had Perugini dead to rights, down and having to move across the crease but he was denied! But Ottawa was scrambling and with 56 seconds left in the period, Phillip Lane tucked it past Perugini to make it a 1-goal game.

3 goals between the teams from a total 16 shots on goal.

The second period was scoreless and not particularly noteworthy. Not that it was a bad period, it just wasn't all that exciting.

The third had a bit more entertainment value including each team springing a player on a break-away. The first was a Brampton break-away when Jones got the puck at mid-ice and was all alone in on Perugini from the blue line. He tried to go stick-side but was denied.

The Ottawa break-away was a beaut. Anthony Nigro connected with Thomas Nesbitt with a long pass that went between the legs of the defender. Nesbitt's fast shot beat Killeen high glove-side and restored the two-goal lead. Tyler Cuma with the other assist.

Mark Anthony Zanetti took an unnecessary penalty with 1:27 left in the game. Brampton called a time out and with the face-of in the Ottawa zone, they pulled Killeen for the extra attacker and a 6-on-4. Ottawa did a great job putting pressure on the Battalion and forced an icing. That put the face-off back into the Brampton zone and Killeen back into the net and sealed the deal.

Ottawa gets an important win at home to start a tough weekend.

Here's your link to the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (third star Carrick did not take a turn)

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Thomas Nesbitt

Random Thoughts:
  • It seemed to me that there wasn't a lot of emotion from the team during the game. They seemed a tad tense to me. They worked hard, and played tough but just didn't look like they were having fun.
  • Some really good defensive play - blocked shots, rebounds cleared, pockets picked.
  • There were some solid hits by both teams. Including the hit by Clark on Hanes that resulted in Peter Stevens challenging Clark. The call goes to Stevens - no question.
  • While Brampton had more shots on goal, many of them were really long-distance pucks on net that weren't real scoring threats.
  • I have no idea who the fastest skater is on the 67s but I would put my money on Nesbitt. His quickness puts pressure on other teams including a great short-handed scoring chance in the second in this game.
  • The Olympic torch was in the house but was not lit. Apparently it is not supposed to be lit prior to the official run in Ottawa on Saturday. Guess that rule does not apply to politicians and Parliament Hill. Too bad for us mere mortals.

This will be my last game before Christmas as I will be in Edmonton this time next week. Here's to a happy and safe Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa or however you celebrate the season.

More Pictures:
Ceremonial Face-off with the Olympic torch

December 11, 2009

Game Set Up - Brampton

The Brampton Battalion return to the Urbandale Centre for their last regular season game. The first two games between these two teams were wins for the 67s (7-4 and 4-0). The Battalion are coming off a weekend where they lost twice to Sudbury. The 67s are likely (hopefully) still feeling the sting of their 4-0 loss to St. Mike's last Sunday.

Ottawa will have to stay focused on today's game and not get ahead of themselves; they travel to Barrie for a same tomorrow (Barrie's on a 19-0-0-1 streak) and they are in Mississauga on Sunday.

The Olympic torch will be at the UCC tonight.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadBrampton Battalion
14-12-3-2 33 pointsRecord12-13-4-2 30 points
4th EasternRank - Conference
6th Eastern
107 GF78
103 GA86
(29/137) 21.2 (10th)
PP% (rank)(16/141) 11.3 (20th)
(29/136) 78.7 (14th)
PK% (rank)(25/144) 82.6 (7th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sBrampton Battalion
Lindsay (12-22-34)Jones (19-7-26)
Martindale (11-22-33)Carrick (10-10-20)
Toffoli (17-15-32)Tanski (4-12-16)
Nesbitt (16-14-30)Lane (7-7-14)
Nigro (7-17-24)Thorne (8-5-13)

December 07, 2009

Former 67s: Deadly Sharks

Our 67s alumni are thriving in the San Jose pod.

Here's a great summary of their contributions from the Worcester Sharks site.

And here's a feature on Logan Couture from NHL.com.

And even more love for Logan (this guy's cleaning up in the man-crush category).

Great work guys!

December 06, 2009

Game Set Up - Mississauga

The Mississauga St. Michael's Majors make their last visit of the regular season to the Urbandale Centre this afternoon. Their previous visit on October 23rd resulted in a 7-4 loss by the 67s where Devante Smith-Pelly was a one-man wrecking crew scoring 4 goals.

Much has changed for the 67s since then. They are playing much better team hockey and are now second in the Conference as opposed to last place when these two teams last met met. While both teams are close in GF, it's clear that the key to Missy's success is their ability to keep pucks out of their own net.

Their goalies rank 1st and 5th in the league for GAA (Chris Carrozzi 2.28 and JP Anderson 2.55). But their rankings change quite a bit when looking at their save percentages (7th with .915 and 25th with .898 respectively) which I interpret to mean that getting the pucks to the net is hard but profitable.

One of Ottawa's keys to victory will be not turning the puck over so much. While they have been playing much better on this latest run, they still have too many turn-overs and the Majors will be only too happy to pounce on them.

I will not be at today's due to another obligation. I'm counting on you to cheer the 67s on to an important victory.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadMississauga St. Michael's Majors
14-11-3-2 33 pointsRecord20-6-2-0 42 points
2nd EasternConference - Rank3rd Eastern
107 GF102
99 GA69
(29/135) 21.5 (9th)
PP% (rank)(34/147) 23.1 (7th)
(29/135) 78.5 (14th)
PK% (rank)(21/128) 83.6 (4th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sMississauga St. Michael's Majors
Lindsay (12-22-34)Smith-Pelly (17-16-33)
Martindale (11-22-33)Cizikas (11-15-26)
Toffoli (17-15-32)Gaunce (4-18-22)
Nesbitt (16-14-30)Mayer (12-9-21)
Nigro (7-17-24)Wallen (9-12-21)

December 05, 2009

Tyler Toffoli - OHL Clips

Check out the OHL site for two video clips involving Tyler Toffoli. In the upper right corner of main page, hit the "Features" tab to get to the video for "OHL Top Performers for the Month of November" then go to the "Plays of the Week" tab to see Tyler's highlight reel headliner goal against Oshawa. It's been a while since the 67s fans have seen one of their players featured among the elite in the league.

Congrats to the team - the hard work is paying off!

Teddy Bears Counter Attack

Owen Sound Attack goalie Scott Stajcer stopped 39 of 40 shots for his team but it was the 67s who skated off with the 2-0 win and the three game winning streak. Bit it was well into the third period before the fans got to exercise their throwing arms with the Teddy Bear Toss.

Forward Combos:
Nigro, Lindsay, Nesbitt (starting forwards)
Toffoli, Martindale, Carnevale
Graovac, Merrett, Janes
Hanes, -, Stevens

Zanetti, Cuma (starting D)
Demers, Gibbons
Birkhoff, Ceci

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Cowick, Smith

There's really not much of a story to tell when a game gets down to the last 7 minutes before the first goal is scored and the second goal is an EN with 6 seconds left. Owen Sound's goalie, Scott Stajcer did everything but skate up ice with the puck to help his team win. Between the two goalies, he had to work the hardest. He was positionally very strong and he didn't let out a whole lotta rebounds for second chances. Both goalies had some help from the posts.

It was Tyler Toffoli who finally got Stajcer moving across the crease and beat him 5-hole. Tyler Graovac got the assist for intercepting the clearing pass and the sweet feed to Toffoli.

With one minute left and the faceoff in the Ottawa zone, Owen Sound called a time out and pulled the goalie for the extra Attacker and Perugini had to make a couple of save. Thomas Nesbitt blocked the shot from the point, dug out the puck and skated in for the easy EN to seal the deal.

The 2-0 win gives the 67s get their third shut-out of the season, the second for Chris Perugini and they take over first spot in the East Division with a P10 of 9-1-0-0. A pretty amazing run.

Here's your link
to the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Andrew Merrett

Random Thoughts:
  • 67 shots on goal and the 67s win...hmmm. Not as creative as the numerology logic in the following clip:

  • Play was pretty even for the first period (nothing stellar from either team) but Ottawa owned the third. They had the Attack pinned in their zone for long stretches, passing and cycling almost at will and taking control of the neutral zone.
  • I shot from between the benches for the third period and the frustration of the 67s at not being able to score was audible. The lack of scoring certainly wasn't for lack of effort.
  • A lot of candidates for hardest working 67s. The spousal unit and I were guessing that it would be Thomas Nesbitt. He certainly played hard enough for consideration.
  • It's hard to believe that Cody Ceci is still only 15 years old (for a couple more weeks). Watching him improve over the next few years is going to be a real treat for the 67s fans.
  • One ref and two penalties - for the whole game. These were mighty polite players!
  • Homer moment: IMHO Hockey Canada got it wrong. If Hodgsen and McFarland were try-out worthy for the WJHC selection camp, Cuma and Toffoli definitely earned the opportunity to be invited. This is one of those character building moments and Cuma handled it very graciously and professionally in the interview clip I saw.
  • Tyler Toffoli was named the OHL Player of the Month for November. He currently holds top spot in the league for scoring streaks (6 games). There are three other players with a 6-game streak but Tyler has the most goals. Those stats were as at November 29th. His streak was broken in the Belleville game where he was held off the scoresheet.

I will miss the game against the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors on Sunday. The Majors lost in Kingston and will be in no mood for another loss. This should be a very exciting, competitive game.
More Pictures:
The warm-up pucks

Perugini - no rebound

Peter Stevens chatting with young fans during the warm-up

Looking up to the 67s

Teddy bears in flight!

December 04, 2009

Game Set Up - Owen Sound

The Owen Sound Attack kick off their weekend swing through the Eastern Conference with tonight's visit to the Urbandale Centre. Both teams are on a 2-game winning streak - one of which will be broken tonight.

Remember, it's the Teddy Bear Toss tonight (one of my favorite game-days) so bring your new or gently used teddy bear to toss on the ice when the 67s score their first goal.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadOwen Sound Attack
13-11-3-2 31 pointsRecord12-15-1-2 27 points
4th EasternConference - Rank8th Western
105 GF96
99 GA126
(29/134) 21.6 (10th)
PP% (rank)(24/156) 15.4 (15th)
(29/134) 78.4 (14th)
PK% (rank)(37/169) 78.1 (15th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sOwen Sound Attack
Lindsay (12-22-34)Mignardi (17-16-33)
Martindale (11-22-33)Shipley (7-23-30)
Toffoli (16-15-31)Wilson (15-9-24)
Nesbitt (15-14-29)Carroll (15-8-23)
Nigro (7-17-24)Schemitsch (2-19-21)

Some Owen Sound info:
  • #12 Jesse Blacker defense selected by Toronto Maple Leafs round 2 #58 overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft
  • #40 Scott Stajcer goalie selected by New York Rangers round 5 #140 overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft
  • #17 Garrett Wilson forward selected by Florida Panthers round 4 #107 overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft