Playing their second game in as many nights on their annual swing through the Eastern region of the OHL, the Whalers were feeling strong after their 7 - 0 shut out against the Peterborough Petes. The Ottawa 67's were looking for another strong performance after last Sunday's strong win against the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors.
As both teams were limiting shots on their goalies, it was 67's veteran and Oilers prospect Ryan Martindale started the scoring with a deft shot over the outstretched leg of Wedgewood at just 5 minutes into the game. Thomas Nesbitt and Shane Prince assisted.
With all the energy expended by both teams, only 4 shots had made it to both goalies at at that point.
Garrett Meurs tied it at about the halfway mark on a rebound after Mrazek made several great saves. Mrazek tried to make a case for interference but the ref didn't see it the same way.
With a scoreless second period that saw Plymouth out shoot Ottawa 13-6, the third period appeared to be for the taking for either team.
The Whalers had the early pressure but just over 5 minutes in, the hard working 4th line of rookies created the pressure that put Nicholas Foglia in position to beat Wedgewood over the shoulder with a wrist shot from the hash marks. Sean Monahan assisted on this all-rookie GWG.
We hadn't heard much from Toffoli or Lindsay in terms of scoring this year yet so when Toffoli created his own break away, it looked like that would change. But Whaler Trutmann hooked him on the way in and Tyler's shot just missed the net. In the ensuring PP, Cody Lindsay scored his first for the season as Tyler Toffoli's shot deflect off him and into the net to give Ottawa a two-goal lead. Zanetti assisted.
Down two and with almost two minutes left in the game, Vellucci pulled his goalie for the extra attacker. Plymouth was unable to threaten and Stephen Janes finally put an end to the extra-man drill by the Whalers with an unassisted EN.
Click here for the game sheet.
The 67's have a couple of days off before traveling to Oshawa to take on the team that is ranked as second-best in the CHL. Oshawa is 4-0-0-1 in this early season. The 67's will be looking to turn in a much better performance than they did against Oshawa in their 6 - 3 home opener loss on October 1.
- Lots of post-whistle and behind the officials shenanigans by the Whalers. They got away with a few stunts.
- The young guys are working hard and bringing lots of energy to their shifts. They kept their feet moving, were hard on the puck, hard on the Whalers and caused more than a few turn overs. Liking this fourth line a lot.
- Travis Gibbons took the worst in a mid-ice crash with Garrett Meurs. He left the game in the first, came back briefly in the second and left for the rest of the game. It appears to be a knee. This does not look good.
- On the bright side (well - there really isn't a bright side when a key player goes down with a serious injury), the rest of the team really stepped up to make up for Travis' absence. Sustaining that intensity over the long haul will be tough. I wonder if Ryan Hanes will find himself back on the blue line.
- Ottawa had some great pressure and fore checking - pinning the Whalers at length on occasion.
- Not sure if there were any issues with the ice - there was a lot of falling down by both teams.