March 06, 2010

Colts Finally Broken: Ottawa Wins 6 - 3

The Ottawa 67's extended their winning streak to 3 games with this strong 6-3 win over the number one ranked team in Canada, the Eastern Conference leading Barrie Colts. The win (and Kingston's loss to Oshawa) also puts them within one win (or one Kingston loss) of locking up the Division and second place in the Conference.

Long time since an update. Both the 67's and I were on the road last weekend (I was in Edmonton). The 67's took 2 of 3 games including a come-from-behind OT win in Kitchener.

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

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Hartwick, Graovac

When these two teams last met here in Ottawa, the 67's started the game by giving the Colts too much respect and before they knew it, they were in too deep a hole to score their way out of.

Not so this time.

The 67's jumped on the Colts right away, taking the game right to them and burning Barrie goalie Peter Di Salvo for three goals in 14 minutes and chasing him from the game.

Andrew Merrett started the scoring with his 7th goal of the season when he tipped in a shot from Anthony Nigro. Corey Cowick got the second assist. At this point the shots were 4- 2 for Ottawa.

With Anthony Gibbons in the penalty box, the 67's 16th place PK took on the league leading PP and held them to two shots - no goals. The 67's did a good job of getting control of the puck and shipping it down the ice.

Then it was an unassisted goal by Corey Cowick when he picked up a Colts turnover at the red line, skated in and beat Di Salvo blocker side with a fast wrist shot.

And a minute later, Ryan Martindale jumped on a loose puck in the goal-mouth scramble and tucked it in for the 3-goal lead (and his 19th goal of the year). Shane Prince was in on the action in the blue-paint and Thomas Nesbitt started it all with his shot from the face-off circle. And that was it for Di Salvo. 3 goals on 10 shots.

But the Colts were not about to give up at all. They came out of the first intermission ready to play hockey again and they started taking the game to Ottawa. They got the 67's running around in their own zone a few times and capitalized with 3 goals.

Matt Kennedy started the Colt scoring with a fast snap shot from the high slot that beat Mrazek stick side. They got within one at the halfway mark when Zac Rinaldo was left unattended and was in the perfect position to tip in a rebound.

Now we had a game!

After killing off Barrie's second PP (again only 2 shots on goal - and two on the posts) Ottawa was on it's first PP of the game and just 13 seconds in, Tyler Toffoli restored the 2-goal lead with a with a backhand that beat Parks 5-hole. Cody Lindsay was the give-and-go partner with Tyler. Dalton Smith got the second assist.

But before the announcer could finish the penalty and goal announcements, Barrie was back within 1 when Bryan Cameron got his 50th goal of the season as he shoved the puck past Mrazek. At this point the shots were 27 - 20 in Barrie's favour.

Both teams played hard for the win in the third period but it was Ottawa doing all the scoring (and Mrazek doing the saving).

With 5 minutes left in the period, Cody Lindsay took a very quick pass from Tyler Toffoli from behind the net and buried it before Parks knew what was happening. The play started with hard work on the boards by Dalton Smith. The 67's were back to a two-goal lead and just over 5 minute of hockey left.

Barrie pressed hard in the final 5 but the 67's were equal to the task. Parks was pulled with over 2 minutes left but the 67's kept Barrie from getting organized with the extra attacker. Finally Thomas Nesbitt sealed the deal with an empty-netter with 8 seconds left in the game and the Ottawa 67's celebrated a hard-earned win against the Barrie Colts.

Find the game sheet here.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Andrew Merrett

Random Thoughts:
  • While Merrett garnered the hardest working 67's honours, there were other worthy candidates, Anthony Nigro, Travis Gibbons and Shane Prince among them.
  • The Barrie Colts are fast! Fast and sharp when they are on their game. And they have a lot of talent. This was a huge win for the 67's against a very good team.
  • A scout asked how the 67's season was going and I remarked that the 67's specialty teams were...um...not so special. Well, didn't the 67's prove that wrong tonight: Barrie only got a total of 4 shots on Mrazek in their 2 PPs and Ottawa scored on one of their 2 PPs. Not a large sample size for sure but still pretty good. Glad to be proved wrong!
  • This was not as physical a game as I expected from both teams. The spousal unit opined that perhaps the 67's didn't want to wake the giant. My hypothesis was that the Colts are so fast, it doesn't pay to chase them to try and hit them.
  • Sections 20 and 21 are terrible at the wave. Yep - I'm calling out all you fans in those sections - get with the program folks (spousal unit and in-laws included).

More Pictures:

Assistant Coach Adam Dewan checks out the clock in the third period


mike2006 said...

Ryan Hanes gets ONE shift and two photos... very interesting, Val!! ;)

So that must be: Hanes your way!

Valerie said...

I don't choose pictures based on the number of shifts. In fact, I don't (and can't) keep track of shifts during a game. I thought they were good pictures of him and decided to post them. And I try to ensure that I post pictures of all the players over time.

mike2006 said...

Actually, I wasn't concerned about the shift /photo ratio anomaly. In fact, and maybe I should clarify, that was amazing to me that with the short amount of icetime Hanes received, that he was pictured at all. Let alone well, and twice by the same shooter! :)