February 07, 2010

Note to the Players: The Game is 60 Minutes Long...

...and always respect your opponent.

Not sure what happened to my Ottawa teams this weekend. Seems like all this recent success has gone to their heads and they forgot that they actually have to show up and play for an entire 60 minutes - even against teams well down the standings.

The Guelph Storm, playing their third game in three days, out-worked and out-lasted the Ottawa 67's in a 4 - 3 that really wasn't all that close for much of the game.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Martindale, Nesbitt
Nigro Lindsay, Toffoli (starters)
Smith, Prince, Carnevale,
Janes, Merrett,

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Graovac

As with the game on Friday, the 67's had some really good moments, in fact the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period had the most sustained effort from the 67's, but looking at the game in its entirety, it really was much less than what they have shown us in other games this year.

The team started with a jump, with Travis Gibbons scoring just 1:57 into the game when his quick wrist shot from the faceoff circle beat Foote over the blocker. Julien Demers got the assist.

Good jump, but it didn't last. The passing started getting sloppy, the feet stopped moving, a couple of penalties and bad PKs and before they knew it they were behind the 8-ball. Half of Guelph's SOGs came on the PP as did two of their goals. The first of their PPGs came with 5 seconds left on their 5-on-3 to tie the game. That was Adam Comrie's first of two goals of the game.

Guelph went up by one at the halfway mark when Taylor Beck jammed home a rebound off Zanetti's skate. Their third goal came on the PP when Adam Comrie's quick shot from the slot beat Mrazek. And that was it for him after allowing 3 goals on 11 shots. With just under 2 minutes left in the game, Chris Byrne wasn't taking any more chances.

The 67's had a burst of energy right after that change resulting in Andrew Merrett getting Ottawa within one when he picked up the rebound off Dalton Smith's shot on Foote. Tyler Cuma got the second assist. They had some pretty good energy for the rest of the period but were unable to solve Foote.

Just 3:21 into the second period, Connor Tresham put the Storm back up by two and scored what would be the game winning goal when his hard work and tenacity paid off causing the bouncing puck to get by Perugini.

The game winning goal

Shane Prince's 10th goal of the season got the team back within one but that was the last goal by the Barberpoles. Thomas Nesbitt got the assist on the goal.

And that wrapped up the scoring for the day.

As the 67's returned to the ice for the third period, I couldn't help thinking that they looked deflated and completely unenergetic. They started the period flat but something got them fired up about halfway through. They really started pouring it on as if they finally figured out that they just might lose the game.

The 67's thought they had the tying goal late in the third but the play was whistled dead just before the goal. It seemed like a quick whistle. So, not long later in another goal mouth scramble, the ref waited forever to whistle the play - perhaps acknowledging that the previous one was fast. The 67's were not able to capitalize on the ref's attempt to even it out.

The Guelph Storm weathered the storm and took these two important points from the 67's in their 4 - 3.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Shane Prince

Random Thoughts:
  • Tyler Graovac's injury on Friday resulted in surgery - screws and plates holding his jaw together. Not sure what they were able to do with the teeth that the Belleville players found and returned at the end of the period. 4 - 6 weeks is the prognosis. Man that's gotta hurt!
  • One of the refs forgot his jersey and had one jury-rigged (a linesman jersey with ad hoc red stripes). Perhaps his ad hoc red stripes affected his blood flow - interesting calls and non-calls.
  • Brandon Foote had some great saves to keep his team in this game.
  • Mike Fisher has some reasonable success using wrist and snap shots. Not sure whether the 67's had ANY success with slap shots today. The wind-up gave the Storm players enough time to get in the way with their bodies - which they were very willing to do. Travis Gibbons scored with a wrister. Speed verus brute force....hmmmm.
  • Seemed like the Guelph players were better prepared to sacrifice themselves to block shots and get in the way.
  • I checked out the display on meningitis prevention and had a chance to chat quickly with Garry Galley. He's very friendly and engaging - a great spokesman. I really liked him when he was on the Team1200 - he really explains the game well. And he can be quite funny too. Interested in more information on preventing meningitis? Check out the Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada website and Menactra.ca which provides information about how parents/youth can protect themselves from meningitis.

More pictures:
Belated Happy Birthday to Chris Perugini.

Garry Galley and Team Take a Shot for Meningitis Awareness

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