January 09, 2010

Ottawa Takes the First Game

The Ottawa 67's persevered through a tightly contested game to take the first game of a home-and-home series against their Eastern Division rivals Kingston Frontenac. With his last second empty-netter, Corey Cowick scored his third goal in two games in the 5-2 win.

Cowick, Martindale, Nigro (starters)
Prince, Lindsay, Toffoli
Smith, Merrett, Nesbitt,
Giftopolous, Graovac, Janes

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Carnevale (knee), Birkhoff, Hanes

The Kingston Frontenac were without wunderkind Eric Gudbranson (out with mono I believe) but their big goalie, Tyler Beskorowany, made up in defense what they didn't have in offense. There are a few 67's who probably replayed a few wicked saves over and over in their heads last night. But he turned out to be human after all as he was taken for 4 goals (in 49 shots).

Hamilton Bulldog callup Remy Giftopolous furthered his cause as he scored his first OHL goal and put Ottawa on the board first early in the game when he was able to take advantage of a bounce off the boards and tuck it past Beskorowany. Mark Anthony Zanetti and Tyler Graovac assisted in this memorial event.

But Kingston got this back less than a minute later on a PP when a scramble in the blue paint resulted in Ethan Werek being able to pop the loose puck past Mrazek.

Ryan Martindale continued his point streak and gave Ottawa the lead again just after an Ottawa PP had expired, taking a pass from Anthony Nigro from the corner and beating Beskorowany short side.

With 20 saves on 21 shots in the first period alone, clearly Beskorowany was the difference for the Fronts in this game. They got a bit more organized in the second period, pretty much keeping pace with the 67's for scoring chances.

In a perfect example of what can happen in a split second of inattention, the Fronts were able to score just 12 seconds into the third period. Ottawa won the opening faceoff but Zanetti was lazy on the puck and his attempted pass was easily picked off by Nathan Moon, who had an easy pass to Corey Durocher with an equally easy hand-off to Zach Harnden for the tip-in and tying goal.

It could have been a tide-turner. But, on the very next play, with Chris Byrne keeping the same line on the ice that just got burned, Ottawa regained the lead and kinda snuffed any momentum the Fronts may have built on that early goal.

Beskorowany moved to play the puck off the backboards but realized he was headed to the no-goalie zone. Tyler Toffoli got to the puck first and passed it to the open area to where Cody Lindsay was heading. Lindsay pretty much had the net all to himself as Beskorowany could not get back into position. Tyler Cuma had the second assist.

Both teams battled hard for the next goal; Kingston for the tying goal and Ottawa to build up the lead.

It was Corey Cowick with his second goal in as many games giving Ottawa the 2-goal lead as he cleaned-up the loose-ends in the blue paint. Ryan Martindale and Anthony Nigro got the assists.

With time running down, Gilmour pulled Beskorowany pretty early but the Fronts ended up with an icing call that sent the goalie back to his crease. Kingston regained control and again went for the extra attacker but they were unsuccessful and Corey Cowick got his second goal of the night when he sent the puck down ice and it went in just as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

Final score: 5 - 2 for Ottawa with shots 49 - 38 for Ottawa.

Here's your game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Petr Mrazek

Random Thoughts:
  • As was expected, overager Peter Stevens was released by the Ottawa 67's. Here's wishing Peter success as he moves forward with his career. I would expect he will find a job in the professional minors somewhere. I'll watch and let you know what I find.
  • This was a good game to watch. There were good scoring chances on both sides.
  • Kingston was playing with a short bench, the posted line-up only had 10 forwards.
  • It will be the third in three for both teams today. Wonder if Kingston will go with Beskorowany with all three games given how well he has been playing and the importance of these two points.

More pictures;
Prince standing his ground

Prince still standing his ground - he withstood a lot of manhandling

As did Toffoli

Tyler Cuma fending off Corey Durocher

Remy Giftopolous celebrating his first OHL goal

Derek Hartwick

Cory Lindsay

Corey Cowick

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