Cowick, Nigro, Merrett
Smith, Lindsay, Toffoli
Prince, Martindale, Nesbitt (starters)
, Graovac, Carnevale,
Cuma, Ceci (starters)
Scratches: Janes, Gibbons
To reset, the Sudbury Wolves needed the win, combined with a Niagara loss, to move up to 7th place and avoid a first round match-up with the Barrie Colts. That combination of events would make today's game a preview of the first round playoff bracket.
From a Sudbury perspective, it certainly started on the right skate with Eric O'Dell scoring 16 seconds in on the first shot on goal. From my vantage point it looked like a simple shot that just beat Perugini 5-hole.
The Wolves played like they were hungry, controlling the play for the most part and taking the game to Ottawa - such as it was. Ottawa didn't get its first shot on goal until over 6 minutes in and it wasn't until Dalton Smith's fight with Daniel Maggio that the 67's seemed to engage in the game. They finally started getting shots through to Andrew Loverock, and the posts.
Ottawa finally tied it in the second period up after having a possible PP goal overruled as being gloved in. It was Corey Cowick with a shot from the face off circle that beat Loverock blocker side. Ryan Martindale and Julien Demers were the helpers.
As the period went through the final 5 minutes, each team took turns controlling the puck in their offensive zone with strong cycles. First it was Sudbury who moved the puck around at will in the Ottawa zone for what seemed like 2 minutes or more. Finally, it was Ottawa's turn to put on a puck-control clinic and with 2 seconds left in the game, Corey Cowick got it by Loverock for his second goal of the game and 14th of the season. It took another lengthy review but this time it was a good goal. Ryan Martindale assisted on this one too and Anthony Nigro got the second assist.
The third period was another see-saw affair with each team having its strong moments. During the game, the in-arena announcer was updating us on the out of town scores. Remember that Sudbury needed a win here today combined with a Niagara loss to move from 8th spot to 7.
With just under 3 minutes left in the third, Sudbury was doing a good job controlling the play in the Ottawa zone. At a whistle, the announcement came that Mississauga was leading Niagara 2 - 1. This was motivation for Sudbury and sure as shootin' Steve Reese tied it up with just under two minutes left in the period. With their dominant play in the final minutes, it looked like it just might be an Ottawa - Sudbury first round match-up.
At the end of regulation, it was tied at 2 with Sudbury outshooting Ottawa 34 - 30; 10 of which came in the third.
So we were on to overtime. It looked about even between the two teams but Sudbury was getting more shots through. But it was Thomas Nesbitt with just under 3 minute left, driving to the net and burying the puck for his second GWG in as many games. Ryan Martindale assisted on this one too to make it all three goals and Julien Demers had his second assist for the night.
Here's today's game sheet.
- Thomas Nesbitt is so much fun to watch. He's fast, he's hardworking, and he's good. I hope the scouts are taking notice.
- It would have been soooo great to see Cody Lindsay get his 40th goal of the regular season. But we will take the win.
- It's always fun to listen to the kids. During the second 67's PP in the third, when Sudbury got on the attack, a young lady about 8 years old yelled out "Cowick - back check!!". I think she was into the game.
- So now it's on to the playoffs against the Niagara IceDogs - the team that eliminated Ottawa in the first round last year. The two teams split the 4-game series this year - each team winning one on the road and one at home. The playoffs start on Friday at the Urbandale Centre with game two there on Sunday. I expect to see you there! Nothing like a full house to pump up the team.