February 05, 2010

Well, It's a Win

At times it seemed like they just weren't that much into winning but they pulled it off - the Ottawa 67's won 3-2 over the tenacious Belleville Bulls. At times it wasn't pretty - but it was enough.

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

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

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Prince

I was at the Senators - Vancouver game on Thursday where the Sens pounced like hungry predators on prey in the first period. It was surgical and merciless. With both my Ottawa teams doing so well, I may have had unrealistic expectations for the Ottawa 67's tonight.

The 67's didn't seem so interested in winning this game judging by the first period. Over the duration of the game, there were moments of motivation, but not much of what I would characterize as inspiration...as a team. To be sure, some players distinguished themselves, but as a cohesive unit of 22 players - not so much to my untrained eye. But, as they say, there's no picture on the scorecard - it's still two points.

The Belleville Bulls on the other hand, played like they had something to say. They were likely wanting some revenge for the previous shut-out and they started strong. Ottawa didn't get their first SOG until almost 7 minutes into the game. They looked somewhat uncoordinated out there.

They started the second period on the PK with Nigro in the box for a penalty assessed at the end of the first period. And just after that penalty ended (Belleville didn't get a shot through during their advantage), the 67's generated a 3-on-1 and Cody Lindsay's attempted pass to Anthony Nigro went into the net off the skate of the Belleville defender for the unassisted goal.

And about 5 minutes later, Cody Lindsay notched his 28th goal of the season when he parked himself off the post and slammed home a cross-crease pass from Tyler Toffoli. Anthony Nigro had the second assist.

The Belleville Bulls came right back and in a goal-crease scrum the puck ended up up and over Perugini and into the net. The refs ruled that the puck was knocked in by a high stick and ruled it a no-goal. There wasn't too much complaining from the Bulls. But they weren't giving up either by a long shot.

At the half-way mark of the game, Scott Howe picked up a huge rebound off Perugini, spun around and beat Perugini far side.

After starting the third period on a powerplay for 1:11 that produced a couple of shots on goal, the 67's were caught in a flat moment that left Richard Panik alone at the crease to take the pass from Kyle DeCoste and put it past a sprawling Perugini to tie the game.

Ottawa was not skating and they were not winning the battles on the boards. But somehow, they still managed to get the go-ahead goal before the period was half over. It was that dangerous second line again - this time when Tyler Toffoli picked off the top corner as he and Cody Lindsay were skating in on a 2-on-1. Mark Anthony Zanetti got the other assist.

They seemed to get their mojo back after this goal but not for long - Belleville managed to wrestle the momentum back as it seemed Ottawa was playing to not lose.

And, despite Belleville's best effort to get the tying goal, Ottawa held them off and pulled this 3 - 2 win out of the bag.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Chris Perugini

Random Thoughts:
  • Tyler Graovac took a puck in the face during his first shift and was done for the night. We heard the dentist being paged to the dressing room. ouch!
  • Luke Judson was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty early in the game for not wearing a mouthguard. First time I've seen that assessed. The rule is clear:
    9.9 Mouth Guards - All players must properly wear a full colored dentist fabricated mouth guard that covers the back molar teeth. Should an official be informed by a coach or player or notice himself that a player is not wearing a mouth guard the referee shall then assess the player a misconduct penalty
    for “mouth guard violation”

    If it is noticed before play commences, the misconduct shall be assessed immediately.

    If it is noticed during play, the misconduct shall be assessed upon conclusion of the play.

    If a player wears his mouth guard improperly during play, he shall be assessed the misconduct penalty upon conclusion of the play.

  • Despite my complaining, there were some ooh-ahhh worthy moments. But they were just moments. This was not one of their better games. For the record, Belleville dressed 8 rookies and were without Andy Bathgate.
  • Chief among the Ottawa players that continue to distinguish themselves is Cody Lindsay. He is having a great year. Every conversation I have with a 67's fan has the same theme - this kid has to be generating some interest among the scouts. It's fun watching him on the ice.
  • Perugini made some big saves to keep his team in the game.

More Pictures:
Dalton Smith and Luke Judson go toe-to-toe

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