January 29, 2010

Over 200 Minutes Without Allowing a Goal!

In a game where they totally dominated the opposition, the Ottawa 67's recorded their third straight shutout with a 6 - 0 drubbing of the Oshawa Generals.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Prince, Nesbitt (starters)
Nigro Lindsay, Toffoli
Janes, Merrett, Carnevale
Hanes, ,Graovac

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

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Smith (suspension), Martindale (upper body injury)

Well, not much to describe other than it was all Ottawa all the time. Oshawa was without their top defenseman, Calvin de Haan, who is out 4 - 6 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Michael Zador started the game but did not last long in his first start against the 67's getting pulled 12 minutes into the game having allowed 3 goals on 9 shots.

The first was early, less than two minutes into the game when Anthony Nigro tucked it far side after Tyler Toffoli got it to him from the face-off circle.

Then it was the power play a few minutes later. Cody Lindsay was left all alone right in front of Zador while the Generals chased the rest of the 67's as they controlled the puck. A great pass by Tyler Toffoli from out of the corner and it was in the back of the net before Zador knew what happened. Anthony Nigro got the second assist. It was a very well executed PP.

The Generals barely made it out of their zone after the faceoff following the PPG. And the final nail in the coffin for Zador was dealt by Jon Carnevale when his shot from the top of the faceoff circle got through. Cody Ceci got the lone assist.

Kevin Bailie took over in net and started strong with some solid saves. Including a great second effort to pounce on Toffoli's shot that was trickling to the goal line.

The Oshawa Generals had some strong moments but the Ottawa 67's were relentless for the entire game.

The bleeding didn't stop for the Generals when the 67's went up by 4 just 1:18 into the second frame on a nice passing play from Tyler Toffoli who fed it to Anthony Nigro who in turn fed it to Cody Lindsay for the nifty tip-in past Bailie.

And Cody Lindsay capped off the second period with his hat trick when his shot from the face off circle just went through Bailie and the 67's were up 5 - 0. Tyler Toffoli assisted.

The Generals thought they had one back with the very next play but the refs had whistled the play dead before the goal. It certainly was not a good night for the Gens.

The 67's did not let up in the third with Corey Cowick and Shane Prince teaming up for Ottawa's 6th goal. Players down the depth chart saw more ice time including PP but with a rash of fights and penalties in the final 7 minutes of the game, both benches were likely running out of players to put on the ice.

Here's the game sheet.

The team hits the road for the rest of the weekend. First it's Peterborough. It should be an interesting game in Oshawa on Sunday

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Jon Carnevale

Random Thoughts:
  • A year and change later, I would say that Ottawa came out way ahead of Guelph in the Latta - Gibbons, Nigro trade. Both Nigro and Gibbons have been solid gold.
  • You could see the frustration starting to mount in the Generals in first period as they started with the chippy moves and post-whistle shoving.
  • Tyler Toffoli was quite the playmaker in the game with 4 assists. That line (Nigro, Lindsay, Toffoli) did a lot of damage - 10 of the 14 points in the game.
  • Oshawa overager Alex Dzielski did not do his team or himself any favours with his attack on 16 year old rookie Tyler Graovac. tsk tsk tsk. Oshawa players clearly do not honour the code (recall Tyler Taylor and Ryan Hanes).
  • I really wish coaches would get fussier with players wearing their helmets correctly. With the recent rash of head injuries, you would think that players and team management would be doing everything to ensure maximum protection from their equipment. The OHL rule is weak:
    9.7 Helmets - Players must wear their helmets in such a fashion that the chin strap on the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. Failure to properly wear the chin strap shall result in that player being ordered off the playing surface.

    A better definition of "securely fastened" would help as would a penalty. Seeing players give their head a nod to reset their helmet is a sign that it is not being worn correctly.
  • Again, it was good to see the 67's playing hard right to the end. This work ethic will carry them far.

More Pictures:

Celebrating Lindsay's hat trick.

January 27, 2010

Breaking Down the Rest of the Season

With 20 games left in the season, the Ottawa 67s have played their way from out of the basement first place in the Eastern Division, third overall in the Eastern Conference and 6th overall in the OHL. Their P10 is 6-2-1-1 and their streak is 5-0-1-1. A pretty find job if you ask me.

Breaking down the remaining 20 games of the schedule:
  • 12 are against Eastern Divisional rivals:
    • Peterborough (4 games - 3 of them in Peterborough)
    • Kingston (3 games - 2 of them in Kingston)
    • Oshawa (3 games - 1 of which is in Oshawa; and
    • Belleville (2 games - 1 of which is in Belleville)

  • 4 are against Eastern Conference teams:
    • Niagara (one game - on the road)
    • Barrie (2 games - 1 away; 1 here)
    • Sudbury (the traditional season-ending home game)

  • 4 games are against Western Conference teams:
    • Guelph (home game)
    • Kitchener (road game)
    • Erie (1 away; 1 here)

  • 10 games are on the road; 10 are at home
  • 2 remaining 3-in-3 weekends
  • there are 3 3-in-4 weekends

With only 18 points between the Ottawa 67's and the 10th place Belleville Bulls, and most teams having 20 or 21 games left, there is no room for complacency. The 67's only have a 6 point lead on Peterborough and a 9 point lead on Kingston and they play those two teams 7 times. Every game will be critical to protect first place in the Division and second place in the conference.

The team is healthy (knock on wood - Martindale is skating with the team) and playing well together with some key players having career years.

This sure looks a lot better than it did in November with more excitement to come!

See you at the Urbandale Centre on Friday for their game against the Oshawa Generals before they head out on the road for games against Peterborough and Oshawa again.

Toffoli and Martindale and the Mid-Season Draft Ranking

Bob McKenzie of TSN fame (and author of Confessions of a (crazy) Hockey Dad") has compiled his mid-season ranking for the upcoming NHL entry draft and two of our boys make the list.

Tyler Toffoli ranks 26th from all available players (not just the North American skaters) and Ryan Martindale garners honourable mention.

Here is the link to the TSN article and here is the link to the video.

Keep it up guys! We look forward to seeing you get drafted in LA in June.

January 24, 2010

Perfect Finish to the Weekend: Another 3 - 0 Shutout

It was a perfect weekend for the 67's - another 3 - 0 shutout this time against Kingston. Today it was Petr Mrazek's turn for the shutout, his third of the year.

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

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Graovac

To be fair, the Kingston Frontenacs were missing some key players: Eric Gudbranson (still with mono), OA Kaine Geldard, Brian Lashoff and Michale Fine who has notched 10 of his 26 points against Ottawa.

John Cullen got one of his rare starts today but unfortunately it didn't last long. As Kingston was defending it's third penalty of the game, John was visibly in pain and struggling. He still managed to hold the fort but was unable to move to stop Cody Lindsay from reaching around and putting it in the back of the net. and Mark Anthony Zanetti got the assists. So with the first period just over half done, Cullen left the game and Beskorowany took over with the shots 9 - 4 in favour of Ottawa. Apparently Beskorowany was trying to rest up....not gonna happen this game.

The 67's poured it on, getting 11 shots on Beskorowany (while allowing none on Mrazek) for the rest of the period but they were unable to get any past the big guy - injured or not.

They came out firing on all cylinders in the second, keeping pressure on the Fronts pretty much the entire 20 minutes. I was at the end where Ottawa was defending so I didn't really see too much. But I could see the second goal develop as the 67's and Fronts were battling on the boards for the puck. Tyler Toffoli picked up the puck when it sprung loose and passed it up cross-ice to Anthony Nigro. Anthony then fed it nicely to Cody Lindsay as he was coming up the middle and he beat Beskorowany short-side for his second goal of the game.

And the scoring for the day was completed with just over 5 minutes left in the second period when Petr Mrazek got an assist for a rebound that went to Marc Anthony Zanetti. In a great heads-up move, he sent a sharp stretch-pass to Shane Prince who had just gotten on the ice from the bench. It resulted in a breakaway goal, his first as an Ottawa 67's as his shot beat Beskorowany top shelf.

Meanwhile, Ryan Martindale left the game with an apparent shoulder injury with 11:29 to go. He did not return.

With a 2-goal lead, I worried that the 67's might let up and for the start of the third period, you could see that their intensity was not the same as in the second period. The Fronts got some early shots on Mrazek. As the period went on, the 67's got back into it, playing aggressively rather than trying to protect the lead. For their part, the Fronts got their second win and started getting shots through to Mrazek but Petr was ready for the challenge and successfully defended his territory.

It was another great effort right to the end as the 67's were perfect against another divisional rival.

Final score 3 - 0 Ottawa with final shots 43 - 28 for Ottawa.

Ottawa's next home game is next Friday against the Oshawa Generals.

The game sheet can be found here.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Julien Demers (no decent in-game picture)

Random Thoughts:
  • Cody Lindsay had a terrific game. Pierre McGuire would have clearly declared him a monster. Aside from his two goals, he was pressuring the Fronts for the entire game - there simply was no let-up.
  • I also watched Cody Ceci for a while. It's hard to remember how young he is. He was having a good game, at least while I was paying attention to him.
  • This game it was the Kingston Frontenacs who kept up the parade to the sin-bin. Ottawa did a good job maintaining possession during their PPs and were rewarded with one PPG for their efforts.
  • Scouts in the house today - lots of them. I noted Columbus, Oilers, Phoenix and the NYI - including the gentleman I believe to be their head scout. There were others that I didn't recognize (or don't know who they scout for).

More Pictures:

Game Set Up - Kingston

If you're thinking "Didn't we just play these guys?" you're right. Today's game will be the third time these team meet this month and it will be the 5th of 8 scheduled games between these divisional rivals. Kingston has won 3 of the 4 previous games including the 5 - 4 OT win a couple of weeks ago in Kingston after Corey Cowick tied it up in the dying seconds.

Nathan Moon is among the Kingston players that seem to do well against Ottawa. But Ottawa has managed 10 goals against Beskorowany The Behemoth Goalie. The keys for the 67's will be staying out of the penalty box and getting The Behemoth moving.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadKingston Frontenacs
23-17-4-3 53 pointsRecord21-22-1-3 46 points
2nd EasternRank - Conference
5th Eastern
162 GF156
152 GA181
(36/205) 17.6 (13th)
PP% (rank)(37/248) 14.9 (17th)
(43/204) 78.9 (14th)
PK% (rank)(48/236) 79.7 (13th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sKingston Frontenacs
Lindsay (20-34-54)Moon (21-33-54)
Martindale (16-34-50)Harnden (20-31-51)
Toffoli (26-22-48)Werek (23-26-49)
Nesbitt (24-16-40)Pleckaitis (13-19-32)
Nigro (11-27-38)Farrell (9-20-29)

January 23, 2010

Perugini and the 67's Shut out the Bulls

With their 3-0 shut-out of the Belleville Bulls, the Ottawa 67's have won 5 of the 6 times these two teams have met, outscoring them 19-8 in the last 5 games.

Forward Combos:
Cowick, Martindale, Nesbitt
Nigro, Lindsay, Toffoli
Smith, Prince, Carnevale,
Graovac, Merrett, Janes

Zanetti, Cuma
Demers, Gibbons
Hanes, Ceci

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Hartwick

Belleville had a pretty good first period, forechecking hard, cycling well and getting some good scoring chances. It looked like it was going to be a tight game.

However, it was an entirely different game after than. Belleville opened with 1:36 remaining in Corey Cowick's penalty for delay of game (puck over the glass). Having put 11 shots on Perugini in the first period, they only managed 2 in the entire second (Ottawa had 13). Ottawa simply took control.

Ottawa opened the scoring with a quick goal off a faceoff when Ryan Martindale got the puck to Corey Cowick who beat Teichmann before he had a chance to figure out what was happening.

Belleville did a good job clearing rebounds out of harm's way in front of their goalie but there were completely unable to mount any sort of attack of their own.

Ottawa's second goal came while Belleville's Judson was tying up Gibbons deep in the Ottawa zone. It sure looked like interference to me but whatever he was hoping to achieve with that little stunt, I'm sure he wasn't expecting his team to get scored on. So, while he was taking Gibbons and himself out of the play, the 67's took the puck up-ice and Cody Lindsay scored 5-hole on the backhand. Tyler Toffoli and Julien Demers with the assists.

And the third period didn't fare any better for Belleville. Although they managed a few more shots on Perugini (5 to Ottawa's 10), Jon Carnevale pretty much put it away early in the period, beating Teichmann 5-hole on sharp pass from Dalton Smith from behind the net. Julien Demers got the second assist for the dump in that started it all.

Ottawa kept it up but were unable to generate any more goals.

With just 47 seconds left in the period, whatever bad blood was brewing during the game spilled over. It started with a fight between Dalton Smith and Luke Judson. As the combatants were being dealt with, Belleville's Luciani was at the 67's bench carrying on a conversation with someone. As he was leaving the vicinity, something set him off and he went after someone on or near the bench. There was quite the scrum including Cuma and Strong getting into the act. A whole lotta PIMs were handed out but the outcome of the game was already sealed.

So, the battleground has intensified for the next time these teams meet. It will be interesting.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Travis Gibbons

Random Thoughts:
  • Neither team was effective on the PP although Ottawa at least spent more time in the offensive zone than the Bulls did on their PPs.
  • It was good to see the 67's continue playing hard right to the end.
  • Gibbons was everywhere! He had a great game.
  • George Burnett shared his thoughts with Byrne and the ref as he left the ice. I'm guessing it had to do with the shenanigans at the end of the game. I certainly hope he wasn't defending his boy. The kid had no business standing at the bench and chirping the 67's.
  • Toffoli and Martindale were in Windsor for the CHL Top Prospects game earlier this week. Both players were on Team Orr. They lost to Team Cherry. Here's the article from the Ontario Hockey League site. It provides a link to the game sheet.
  • Earlier this week, Dave Schrieber, The Voice, announced his semi-retirement. He will still be calling games but will also have time for other interests. I was in Brussels last Friday and took advantage of the free wifi in the hotel to listen to the game on Team1200. I set my alarm for 1AM local time and just closed my eyes and listened - no distractions like driving or working on something or whatever. What a great job he does of it - it's easy to "see" what is going on in the game. I strongly suggest you take the time to close your eyes and just listen to Schriebs call a game if you get the chance. Glad to hear that he will still be at it for a while. (I didn't make it through the whole game though - fell asleep at the second intermission - I was still jet-lagged and pretty much sleep-discombobulated.)

More Pictures

January 17, 2010

Game Set Up - London

London makes its last stop in their swing through the Eastern Conference with this afternoon's game at the Urbandale Centre.

They found the net behind Kingston behemoth Beskorowany 3 times for the 3-2 win in Kingston on Friday and won 4 - 2 in Belleville last night.

As for trade deals (which I define as anything after Christmas), London sent Phil McRae to Plymouth for Tyler J Brown and picks, Zach Rinaldo was shipped out to Barrie for Chris DeSousa who was only in Barrie briefly as he was part of the Pietrangelo trade from Niagara, and Dominic DeSando was sent to SSM for picks.

Look for Michael Hutchinson to start in the London net today as he rested yesterday.

The 67's had yesterday off following their shoot-out loss to Ryan Spooner and the Peterborough Petes. The Petes won 7-4 last night in a battle of the behemoth goalies - Front's Beskorowany and their own Missiaen Man. With the win, the Petes are once again tied with the 67s's for top spot in the Eastern Division.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadLondon Knights
21-17-4-3 49 pointsRecord31-11-0-1 63 points
2nd EasternRank - Conference
2nd Western
156 GF176
150 GA130
(34/193) 17.6 (12th)
PP% (rank)(42/229) 18.3 (10th)
(43/196) 78.1 (14th)
PK% (rank)(41/228) 82.0 (9th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sLondon Knights
Lindsay (19-33-52)Kadri (20-25-45)
Martindale (16-32-48)Tarasuk (11-32-43)
Toffoli (26-21-47)Knight (25-16-41)
Nesbitt (24-16-40)Taylor (25-16-41)
Nigro (10-27-37)Erlich (10-25-35)

January 14, 2010

Game Set Up - Peterborough

All Divisional games are important this time of year and with the Eastern Division as tight as it is, today's game against the Pete's is doubly important.

The Petes come to Ottawa after a solid 5 - 1 home ice win over the Belleville Bulls. The Petes made two moves around the trade deadline: Zack Kassian, Buffalo's 2009 first round pick (13th overall) was traded to Windsor for Austin Watson who was ranked 25th among North American skaters by Central Scouting in their recently released mid-year report. Both players have scored since reporting to their new teams. The other Petes trade was for the former Ottawa 67's D Brian Birkhoff for a 5th round pick. Brian was not in yesterday's lineup.

As I mentioned earlier, I won't be at these next two home games so there won't be any game summaries.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadPeterborough Petes
21-17-4-2 48 pointsRecord21-20-1-2 45 points
2nd EasternConference - Rank4th Eastern
153 GF145
146 GA172
(34/188) 18.1 (11th)
PP% (rank)(39/193) 20.2 (9th)
(43/192) 77.6 (16th)
PK% (rank)(40/217) 81.6 (9th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sPeterborough Petes
Lindsay (19-32-51)Spooner (19-34-53)
Martindale (16-32-48)Daley (20-27-47)
Toffoli (26-21-47)Doornbosch (9-27-36)
Nesbitt (23-16-39)Watson (12-23-35)
Nigro (10-26-36)Puempel (16-13-29)

January 11, 2010

Ottawa 67's in the News ... and other stuff

The OHL trade deadline was at noon today and there were a few moves involving current or former Ottawa 67's:

Brian Birkhoff was traded to the Peterborough Petes for their 5th draft pick. It will be a quick turnaround for Brian as the Petes are in town Friday night for a game. It will be weird seeing him in another jersey and I'm sure it will feel weird for him to sit on the other bench and go to the visitor's locker room.

Ironically, this picture is from December 2008 versus the Peterborough Petes where Brian was the third star.

I incorrectly posted that overager Peter Stevens was released by the club. He has been traded to the Sarnia Sting in exchange for Belleville's 14th round draft pick.

Thanks Brian and Peter and all the best (except when you play against Ottawa).

Former Ottawa 67's goalie Adam Courchaine was traded to Erie.

The Central Scouting Mid-Season Rankings are out and we have some Ottawa 67's in the mix for North American skaters:

Tyler Toffoli clocks-in at 22nd

Ryan Martindale follows close in the 24th spot

Dalton Smith registers at 66th

And for North American goalies we find Petr Mrazek (!) in the 26th spot.

And finally, I was at the game in Kingston. I am pretty busy with other stuff so I don't have the time to post pictures or a decent summary but I will note that Beskorowany is a monster! The 67's didn't lose for lack of trying. There were moments that they threw everything at him and he just managed to get some part of his 6'5" body and related parts in the way. He's the main reason that Kingston was in the game at all. The 67's could do with fewer penalties and their PP could use some work.

I won't be at the games this weekend...a business trip (and I will have to spend the weekend in Brussels - I know, you feel real bad for me).

See you in a couple of weeks.

January 09, 2010

Ottawa Takes the First Game

The Ottawa 67's persevered through a tightly contested game to take the first game of a home-and-home series against their Eastern Division rivals Kingston Frontenac. With his last second empty-netter, Corey Cowick scored his third goal in two games in the 5-2 win.

Cowick, Martindale, Nigro (starters)
Prince, Lindsay, Toffoli
Smith, Merrett, Nesbitt,
Giftopolous, Graovac, Janes

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

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Carnevale (knee), Birkhoff, Hanes

The Kingston Frontenac were without wunderkind Eric Gudbranson (out with mono I believe) but their big goalie, Tyler Beskorowany, made up in defense what they didn't have in offense. There are a few 67's who probably replayed a few wicked saves over and over in their heads last night. But he turned out to be human after all as he was taken for 4 goals (in 49 shots).

Hamilton Bulldog callup Remy Giftopolous furthered his cause as he scored his first OHL goal and put Ottawa on the board first early in the game when he was able to take advantage of a bounce off the boards and tuck it past Beskorowany. Mark Anthony Zanetti and Tyler Graovac assisted in this memorial event.

But Kingston got this back less than a minute later on a PP when a scramble in the blue paint resulted in Ethan Werek being able to pop the loose puck past Mrazek.

Ryan Martindale continued his point streak and gave Ottawa the lead again just after an Ottawa PP had expired, taking a pass from Anthony Nigro from the corner and beating Beskorowany short side.

With 20 saves on 21 shots in the first period alone, clearly Beskorowany was the difference for the Fronts in this game. They got a bit more organized in the second period, pretty much keeping pace with the 67's for scoring chances.

In a perfect example of what can happen in a split second of inattention, the Fronts were able to score just 12 seconds into the third period. Ottawa won the opening faceoff but Zanetti was lazy on the puck and his attempted pass was easily picked off by Nathan Moon, who had an easy pass to Corey Durocher with an equally easy hand-off to Zach Harnden for the tip-in and tying goal.

It could have been a tide-turner. But, on the very next play, with Chris Byrne keeping the same line on the ice that just got burned, Ottawa regained the lead and kinda snuffed any momentum the Fronts may have built on that early goal.

Beskorowany moved to play the puck off the backboards but realized he was headed to the no-goalie zone. Tyler Toffoli got to the puck first and passed it to the open area to where Cody Lindsay was heading. Lindsay pretty much had the net all to himself as Beskorowany could not get back into position. Tyler Cuma had the second assist.

Both teams battled hard for the next goal; Kingston for the tying goal and Ottawa to build up the lead.

It was Corey Cowick with his second goal in as many games giving Ottawa the 2-goal lead as he cleaned-up the loose-ends in the blue paint. Ryan Martindale and Anthony Nigro got the assists.

With time running down, Gilmour pulled Beskorowany pretty early but the Fronts ended up with an icing call that sent the goalie back to his crease. Kingston regained control and again went for the extra attacker but they were unsuccessful and Corey Cowick got his second goal of the night when he sent the puck down ice and it went in just as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

Final score: 5 - 2 for Ottawa with shots 49 - 38 for Ottawa.

Here's your game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Petr Mrazek

Random Thoughts:
  • As was expected, overager Peter Stevens was released by the Ottawa 67's. Here's wishing Peter success as he moves forward with his career. I would expect he will find a job in the professional minors somewhere. I'll watch and let you know what I find.
  • This was a good game to watch. There were good scoring chances on both sides.
  • Kingston was playing with a short bench, the posted line-up only had 10 forwards.
  • It will be the third in three for both teams today. Wonder if Kingston will go with Beskorowany with all three games given how well he has been playing and the importance of these two points.

More pictures;
Prince standing his ground

Prince still standing his ground - he withstood a lot of manhandling

As did Toffoli

Tyler Cuma fending off Corey Durocher

Remy Giftopolous celebrating his first OHL goal

Derek Hartwick

Cory Lindsay

Corey Cowick