March 29, 2010

Cowick's 4 Goal-Game Leads the 67's to the Series Win

It was a statement game at Scotia Bank Place by Corey Cowick and the statement had as much to say about his desire to get a spot in the Senators' locker room as it did about his leadership on the 67's. His 4 goals led the 67's in their 5 - 1 win over the IceDogs to win the first round playoff series.

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

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Anderson, Hanes

The 67's had their bags packed just in case they had get on the bus for game 6 in Niagara on Monday and they really didn't want to make that trip. So after a couple of good scoring chances by the 67's, Tyler Toffoli put the 67's on the scoreboard 5 minutes into the game taking a beautiful cross-ice pass from Travis Gibbons and putting it into the open net. Cody Lindsay had the second assist. The teams were playing 4-on-4 due to penalties handed out to Foglia and Theoret. Foglia got 2 minor penalties and Theoret got 2 for instigating and 5 for fighting (and a game) so once the Foglia penalties were over, Ottawa was on the PP for 3 minutes.

And that's when the Cowick scoring machine got primed.

With 1:05 left in the PP, Tyler Cuma's shot from faceoff circle went in off Corey Cowick's skate. Anthony Nigro got the second assist for the pass from the half-wall to Cuma. Visentin tried to make a case for the puck being kicked in but the ref didn't give it a second thought.

Corey's first and eventual GWG

Ottawa was up two before the game was 10 minutes old and they never really looked back. The SOGs at this point were 7 - 1 for Ottawa.

Niagara had some good chances but they either shot wide / high or Mrazek made the save.

After a great start to the second period by the 67's with lots of puck control and shots at the net (not too many on the net), IceDog import overager Marco Insam's shot from the faceoff circle beat Mrazek short side and made it a one-goal game just 3 and a half minutes in. Were we going to see another second period melt-down? Ottawa's record in the second period was not stellar up to this point.

Niagara started winning more of the one-on-one battles for the puck that resulted in more shots through to Mrazek but he made the saves, more than a few big ones to keep his team in the lead.

To bookend the scoring in the second period, Corey Cowick got his second of game with 3 and a half minutes left when Visentin couldn't quite get his glove on the shot from close in. Andrew Merrett and Travis Gibbons assisted.

All saves are important ones but Petr Mrazek's save with just 2:25 left in the second frame must have taken the wind out of Niagara's sails. Reggie Traccitto drove the net with the puck and passed it to Freddie Hamilton who was coming in fast on the other side. Mrazek anticipated the pass and moved to glove the quick shot from Hamilton from the top of the crease.

Ottawa started the third period on the PK with Cuma and Demers in the penalty box. Ottawa did a good job - no shots got through.

Neither team was showing much intensity early in the third which is not at all what I expected. But the IceDogs started realizing that their season was on the line and they started pressing harder - even on their PKs (they got more shots that Ottawa on one of Ottawa's PPs). But they couldn't make it happen.

Corey Cowick continued his dangerous ways. He had one goal called off due to being hit in by a high stick, he had one EN awarded to him and then he he put the final touch on the win with another EN with just over 30 seconds left in the game. Julien Demers got an assist on the final EN.

And with that convincing win, the 67's finally get out of the first round and now get ready for the Mississauga St. Mikes Majors. The series starts on Thursday with game 2 going on Friday. Hope to see you at the games.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Andrew Merrett

Random Thoughts:
  • More than a few fans worried about playing this game at SBP. It appears that having Senators prospect Corey Cowick in the line-up was the secret weapon.
  • The game was not as intense as I expected. I thought the IceDogs would have been much more motivated to play hard for the whole game.
  • Nicholas Foglia was stapled to the bench after his boarding incident. His playoff career may be a short one.
  • I still don't think we have seen the best that the 67's can play in this series. They will have to bring it big time against the Majors.
  • From the Jack Gatecliff Arena, the oldest rink in the OHL to an NHL rink - it must have been quite a difference for all the players.
  • Stick taps to Reggie Traccitto, Marco Insam and Josh Moes who have finished their OHL careers. None of them have been picked up in the NHL. Perhaps Marco will return to Italy and play in Europe if he doesn't take advantage of his OHL scholarship.
  • Shock Wave are my number two favourite anthem singers. Lyndon Slewidge holds the number 1 spot and is unlikely to lose it anytime soon.
  • Other photographers had mentioned it but I didn't believe it - the lighting in SBP is not as good as the Urbandale Centre for photography. There's a reason the pictures are kinda soft.

More Pictures:
Nice move by Cowick to get around Johnson Andrews for an early scoring chance

Rookie Mitchell Theoret not pleased with Nicholas Foglia's hit on Andrew Shaw

Celebrating the series win!

A great hockey tradition - I believe the only sport to do this

Loyal IceDogs fans

Happy 67's fans

The final numbers

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