After splitting the opening weekend on the road with a loss in Sault Ste. Marie and a win in Sudbury, the Ottawa 67's were looking for a strong home opener in front of an announced sell-out crowd of 9987.
They started with a lot of jump in their skates and had a couple of early scoring chances but the Generals quickly moved the puck out of danger. It was the Generals who got on the scoreboard four and a half minutes into the game when J.P. Labrado picked up a rebound and put it past Mrazek top shelf.
Ottawa responded with goals from Shane Prince and Cody Lindsay to take a 1-goal lead into the first intermission.
But it took the Generals only 1:48 into the second frame to tie the game up with a goal from rookie Lucas Lessio. And the Generals pretty much took over from there scoring two more goals to take a 4-2 lead. The last goal lit a brief fire under the 67's and they stepped up their play in the dying minutes of the middle frame resulting in a goal from Ryan Hanes, assisted by Zanetti and Foglia.
But the 67's spent the third period penned in their own end, getting only 7 shots on goal. Mrazek held down the fort, turning away 16 of the 17 shots in the third but Christian Thomas' goal with 5:08 left sealed the deal. Lucas Lessio's EN with less than a minute left was simply a formality.
So the Ottawa 67's drop to 1-3 for this early season and look forward to taking on the St. Mike's Majors, the 10th best ranked team in the country and the team that bounced them in the playoffs last year. The 67's will have Jon Carnevale and Dalton Smith back in the line up each having served their two-game suspensions.
(I didn't catch the hardest working 67's)
- The Oshawa Generals came into the game as the 4th best ranked club in Canada. They looked like it was well deserved.
- Early predictions for the OHL had the Ottawa 67's pegged as possible repeat Divisional winners. They have a way to go based on this outing. Perhaps they have been reading too much of their own press.
- The Ottawa 67's went 0/5 on the powerplay, getting only 8 shots through. By comparison, Oshawa had 4 shots on Mrazek during these same advantages.
- There were some bright moments. Ottawa's penalty kill was equally effective, limiting Oshawa to 3 shots in their two, back-to-back penalties late in the third.
- Under pressure, the 67's handled the puck like a triggered hand-grenade - lobbing it anywhere hoping for the best. It usually landed in the possession of the Generals.
- On a final note, the rink formerly known as the Urbandale Centre is now the Rona Centre. Jeff Hunt made the draw for the naming rights during the second intermission.
Picture from the game will be posted later or you can go here to see them.