December 04, 2010

Mrazek and Nesbitt Lead for an Ottawa Win Over Belleville

Another goalie duel and another win for Petr Mrazek. Don't let the 4-1 score fool you - this game could have turned out differently if Petr Mrazek hadn't made some sharp saves early in the game as the Belleville Bulls started with two quick shots on goal and had more chances in the first 10 minutes of the game.

With Martindale out of the lineup (ankle) and Monahan's strengthening play, the reconfigured lines might have needed a few minutes to get organized. Lindsay moved up to centre the top line, Monahan centred Nesbitt and the recently returned Dalton Smith, Graovac centred Foglia and Carnevale leaving Giftopolous and Fielding as the last two forwards (yup - Fielding as a forward again).
Click here for the game sheet.

The new top line was held to two points for assists but it wasn't for lack of opportunities, but Malcolm Subban denied them goals. In fact, he stoned a number of 67's who had one-on-one opportunities, including Remy Giftopolous who was awarded a penalty shot early in the first period which he shot wide.

Travis Gibbons must have been confused with all the line changes because there were several times where he certainly looked like a forward. And it payed off as he got the first goal of the game as he stepped into a puck that had bounced off a Belleville leg and blasted it past Subban from inside the faceoff circle. Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince assisted on the goal that launched the Teddy Bear Toss.

Two and a half minutes into the second period, Jake Cardwell caught Judson slightly from behind and found himself getting assessed a major penalty and tossed from the game. On the 5 minute powerplay, Ottawa did a great job for the first three minutes, almost getting a couple of break away and actually getting two shots on goal. But Judson tied it up as he fired it past Mrazek from the faceoff circle.

But that's all they would score in the Rona Centre as the 67's killed the rest of the PP and Mrazek shut down the Bulls.

Thomas Nesbitt put the 67's ahead with a wrist shot from the slot as he came off the wall and fired it over Subban's shoulder. He was unassisted.

Despite Belleville playing the trap, the 67's were able to get them skating and open up the ice as the third period saw a lot of fast, up and down play. With an early goal from Sean Monahan, a big hit on Judson by Cody Ceci, a few more great saves by Mrazek and an EN from Dalton Smith Ottawa finished the Bulls to win the game 4 - 1.

Final shots: 39 - 36 for Belleville.

Ottawa will travel to Belleville for the back half of this home and home series.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (3rd star Subban did not take a turn)

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Travis Gibbons

Random Thoughts:
  • If you could give two stars to the same player, I would have given Nesbitt a second star. He was all over the ice and worked hard all game. A great example of work ethic.
  • Jon Carnevale collided with Foglia and although he returned to the game, he didn't play for the whole game. With Cardwell's ejection from the game, Fielding moved back to defense and the 67's were down to 9 forwards.
  • Belleville is a young team and got younger when they traded Richard Panik to Guelph Storm for Carter Sandlak on December 1. But they played hard for the entire game and it could have been an entirely different result. Tonight's game on the large Yardman ice should be interesting given how short Ottawa's bench will be.
  • There should be a special place in hell for those who coach a trapping game.
  • I didn't blog the Kingston game although I was there. It should be noted that Cody Lindsay scored his 200th OHL goal (all with Ottawa) in the 7 - 1 win.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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