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April 17, 2010

Post Season Housecleaning

2 comments:
I hope to launch a website for my photography soon. In preparation, I will be reorganizing all my photos where they are hosted. This is likely to cause broken links until I get around to putting the new links back into the posts.

Please be patient and have a great off-season.

Cheers!

April 12, 2010

The Majors Take Game 7: 5-3

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Game 7 and the series goes to the Mississagua St. Michael's Majors with their 5 - 3 over the 67's at the Urbandale Centre tonight.

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

D-pairs
Zanetti, Cuma (starters)
Demers, Gibbons
Hanes, Ceci

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Harwick, Foglia, Anderson

It's a heartbreak for sure. Not going to write too much about the game. I can't say much about the goals. 5 of the 7 goals were scored where I wasn't. I'll let you read the game sheet.

Missy got a two goal jump in the first period but Ottawa got even in the second with goals from Cody Lindsay and Thomas Nesbitt. Tyler Toffoli, Marc-Anthony Zanetti, Shane Prince and Ryan Martindale had the assists.

With the game tied going into the third, and with Ottawa's record as a third period team, a win seemed possible. But to their credit, the Majors came out with the pressure in the third and scored two goals to re-establish their lead. The game winning goal actually went in off an Ottawa player. It was that kind of period.

But the team didn't give up and with under 5 minutes left in the game Ryan Martindale go the team back within one. Thomas Nesbitt and Anthony Nigro assisted.

The Majors pretty much salted the win away when Riley Brice's rebound went right to the stick of Casey Cizikas who had it past Mrazek before he could react.

And then the season ended.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200


Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Ryan Martindale


Random Thoughts:
  • It would be easy to point out what the 67's could have done better to win the game and the series but we really have to give credit to the Majors for being the strong team that they are. They probably didn't expect such a tough series from the 67's.
  • The 67's had quite the year - from dead last in the league to winning their division and taking round 2 to 7 games. That's quite a lot of ice to cover. And they had their share of injuries and illnesses along the way.
  • I may do a summary post later but in case I don't, Thanks to the team for an entertaining year. No one wanted it to end but only one team can win. Best wishes going ahead to all.

More Pictures:




















April 10, 2010

Game 7 is on - Winner Takes All

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The Mississauga St. Mike's Majors tied up the series at 3 games each with their 4 - 1 win in Mississauga today.

Ottawa started the game really well, controlling the play and getting shots through but once again it was the Majors getting on the score sheet first very late in the first period.

Ottawa was unable to solve JP Anderson until Tyler Toffoli's unassisted goal with about 5 minutes left in the game. They put some pressure on and were able to prevent Missy from getting an EN but it was simply too little way too late.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200:
first star: Casey Cizikas
second star: Cameron Gaunce
third star: Dustin Ekelman

Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Travis Gibbons

Random Thoughts:
  • The 67's started taking some undisciplined penalties during the game. Their mini-meltdown in the second period, gave the Majors the powerplays and turned the momentum. Cowick lead the penalty parade with 3.
  • Petr Mrazek once again made some fantastic saves.
  • Surprized to see Anderson in net for the Majors but he did the job he was asked to do.
  • They will have to do better mentally on Monday if they have notions of winning.

More Honours for Petr Mrazek

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Petr Mazrek was named the OHL Boston Pizza Player of the Week last week.

He has also been named to the second rookie all-star team. I haven't seen the official announcement but the news is making the rounds.

Congratulations Petr!

Martindale, Smith and Toffoli Invited to the Scouting Combine

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From NHL.com:

The top 100 players available for the 2010 Entry Draft will meet in Toronto at the end of May for the annual NHL Scouting Combine.

The combine, which will run May 24-29, is an opportunity for teams to meet and interview prospects, as well as see them tested in an off-ice setting.

*****************

Of the top 100 players invited, 55 are players from the CHL:

25 from the OHL with Ottawa and Windsor each sending 3 players
21 from the WHL with Portland sending the most at 4
9 from the QMJHL

The next biggest contributions come from the USA High School teams with 10 and U-18 with 8 players.

Follow the like at the top of the post to see the entire list of invited players.

It's great to see Ottawa sending 3 players this year (none sent last year). It will make the draft more interesting to watch this year.

Congratulations gentlemen - your hard work has been noticed.

(But lets concentrate on the playoffs for now.)

April 08, 2010

Cowick's 2 Goals Paces the 67's to a 6 - 3 Win!

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The game didn't start so well for the 67's but they managed to take control and score 4 unanswered goals to win the game and take a 3 - 2 lead in the series.

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

D-pairs
Zanetti, Cuma (starters)
Demers, Gibbons
Hanes, Ceci

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Harwick, Foglia, Anderson

Tonight's post is going to be very short as morning gets here really quickly.

The game started very slowly with both teams pretty much skating around with no real intention of doing much. The Majors started controlling the play much more and, once again, scored the first goal of the game. This time it was off the stick of Devante Smith-Pelley (and I believe off the body of Zanetti) just 3 and a half minutes into the game.

Ryan Martindale got it back just 25 seconds into their PP 4 minutes later on Ottawa's first shot on goal of the game. Cody Ceci had the lone assist.

Greg Sutch restored the Major's lead shortly thereafter but it was short-lived as Corey Cowick tied it up again with a drive to the net to score despite being toppled himself. Anthony Nigro assisted on the goal.

But before the announcement was finished, Kelly Geoffrey scored what would turn out to be their last goal of the game to once again, take the lead.

At the end of the first period, it was 3 - 2 for the Majors with Ottawa being badly outshot 17 - 9.

Ottawa started coming to life in the second and with about 3 minutes left, Anthony Nigro notched his 6th goal of the playoffs to tie it up. His line mates Andrew Merrett and Corey Cowick were his helpers. For his part, Petr Mrazek made some awesome saves to keep his team in the game and Tyler Toffoli was unable to score on a beautiful breakaway when he was fed the puck as he jumped out of the penalty box. It would be the first of two golden opportunities that he couldn't bury.

The 67's started the third period on the PP and they came at the Majors very aggressively. They didn't score but they set the tempo for themselves and it paid off with that top line combining once again, this time to take the lead. This time it was Corey Cowick scoring the goal with Andrew Merrett and Anthony Nigro helping out. Goals from Cody Lindsay and Thomas Nesbitt gave Ottawa breathing room and made the Majors open up to try and get back into the game. Dalton Smith, Julien Demers and Tyler Cuma all got assists on those goals.

The 67's were able to recover from a not-so-good game on Tuesday and a not-so-good start today to get that important win at home and send the series back to Mississauga with the lead.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200


Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Anthony Nigro


Random Thoughts:
  • I listened to and watched a bit of the game on Tuesday and as I watched the start of this game I thought they were toast. Mississauga was simply not giving the 67's any room to get anything going. The 67's were lucky to get out of the first period down just one goal.
  • The back half of the game was an entirely different story. I think it was an entirely different team that returned to the ice. Someone said or did something to throw the switch on these guys.
  • 10 of the 15 points handed out to Ottawa in the game came from 10 different players, although 8 of the points came from the line of Cowick-Nigro-Merrett. Watch for them to be played much closely on Saturday. That should give more opportunities to Lindsay, Toffoli and others.
  • I would not be surprised to see Carrozzi back in the net for Mississauga on Saturday.
  • The 67's have shown that they can skate, hit and score against the St Mike's Majors - they just need to do it one more time to get to the third round. Get 'er done on Saturday boys! (I have plans for Monday that I would prefer not to change.)

More Pictures:
Lindsay's shot that scored Ottawa's 5th goal


















Welcome back Thomas!

April 07, 2010

Final CSS Rankings Are Out

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The final CSS Rankings are out and we have some 67's in the mix.

Ottawa's number 16, Tyler Toffoli has been ranked the 16th NA Skater. That is a healthy jump from number 22 in the mid-term rankings and likely reflects his hard work and great results in the second half of the season. A first-rounder for sure. If the draft was held today, it would put him in the drafting range of St. Louis (and team mate Anthony Nigro).

Ryan Martindale is still in first-round territory at 27th (a slight drop from mid-year).

Dalton Smith is still in the top 100 at 73 (down from 66).

And finally, Petr Mrazek has played his way up into the 25th spot on the NA goalies list.

Well done gentlemen! Great reasons to watch this year's draft (even if it's in LA).

April 03, 2010

An Impressive Ottawa 7-2 Win over Mississauga Ties the Series

1 comment:
Anthony Nigro's hard work paid big dividends as his 2 goals and 2 assists led the Ottawa 67's to a 7 - 2 win over Mississauga to tie the series at one game apiece.

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

D-pairs
Zanetti, Cuma
Demers, Gibbons
Hanes, Ceci

Goal: Mrazek

Scratches: Hartwick, Nesbitt (injury), Anderson

It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It would seem that Coach Chris Byrne is on top of this and decided to tweak his top two lines for this game and put Petr Mrazek in net.

The start of the first period didn't indicate that he was going to get the different result he was looking for. Missy was all over Ottawa from the puck drop and Riley Brace scored with a shot that rung in off the post just 1:12 into the game and on the second shot on goal.

The 67's didn't look like they would match St. Mike's intensity. Ottawa's clearing passes ended up on Mississauga sticks and their outlet passes weren't working so well. Mississauga were strong defensively and didn't allow Ottawa to set up much in their offensive zone. Mississauga looked much more organized than Ottawa.

Then Ottawa started skating harder and getting physical and it's these two traits that resulted in the tying goal. Dalton Smith tapped in a pass from behind the net from Cody Lindsay, finishing his hard work from chasing down the puck against Parlett. Andrew Merrett dug out the puck and got it to Cody. The 67's had awakened!

The 67's continued their pressure, causing Jordon Mayer to take a hooking penalty. Just 13 seconds in the PP, Anthony Nigro's tenacity in front of the net put Ottawa into the lead when he picked up his own rebound and tucked it past Carrozzi. Tyler Toffoli and Corey Cowick with the assists.

It took until mid-way through the game for the next goal and it came off the stick of Casey Cizikas to tie the game. And that would be the last goal Mississauga would score.

Ottawa responded with 5 unanswered goals - 4 in an 8 minute span in the second period. It started with a PPG by Tyler Toffoli less than two minutes after the Majors tied the game. Anthony Nigro assisted. Then it was Tyler Toffoli returning the favour by feeding Anthony Nigro a sweet pass in the slot that Anthony wristed top shelf for his second of the game to put the 67's up by two. Julien Demers had the second assist.

After killing Missy's 3rd PP, including a point-blank save by Mrazek, Ottawa went back on the PP and Corey Cowick gave Ottawa a 3-goal lead with a wrap-around. Anthony Nigro and Tyler Toffoli were in on that one too. That line was clicking!

The in-house announcement had just finished when Shane Prince beat Carrozzi up high. Ryan Martindale and Jon Carnevale contributed to Shane's first playoff goal of the season.

So after 40 minutes, the 67's were leading 6 - 2 and seriously outplaying the Majors.

J.P. Anderson replaced Carrozzi in the third, as expected. And while he allowed only one goal, a PPG by Ryan Martindale halfway through the period (assisted by Cody Lindsay and Dalton Smith), the Majors were not able to mount anything remotely resembling a come-back. They were beaten and undisciplined, playing chippy and taking 5 penalties.

The game ended 7 - 2 for Ottawa with shots 39 - 28 for Ottawa. The series moves to Mississauga with games 3 and 4 going on Sunday and Tuesday. Game 5 will be back at the Urbandale Centre at 7:30 next Thursday.

Here's the game sheet.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200


Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Dalton Smith


Random Thoughts:
  • Boy, when bounces go your way, they really go your way and little things can really change the emotions of your team. A big save by your goalie, a big hit and the bench can go from tight and tense to relaxed and connected.
  • In the early going, it looked like the Majors were sticking to a system and Ottawa wasn't. Ottawa finally got organized.
  • And just days after Gordie Howe's birthday, Dalton Smith had a Gordie Howe hat trick with his goal, fight and assist.
  • Ottawa specialty teams were indeed special - 4 PPGs and none against in 5 PKs. They really limited the chances that Mississauga had with the man advantage.
  • Byrne gave his 4th line some serious ice time in the third including first PP unit duties.
  • Playoff beards - another hockey tradition - are amusing at this level. Between 16 year-olds and 20 year-olds there is a wide range of facial hair looks.
  • Mississauga fell apart when they lost the lead. This may be their Achilles tendon.

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April 02, 2010

Mississauga Wins 4 -1

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The Ottawa 67's battled hard and the game was closer than the score indicates but the result is still that the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors won the first game of the series.

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

D-pairs
Zanetti, Cuma
Demers, Gibbons
Hanes, Ceci

Goal: Perugini

Scratches: Hartwick, Nesbitt (injured), Anderson

The 67's came out with jump and a bang - getting physical with St. Mike's right from the puck drop.

It was fast, up and down play with occasional scoring chances, lots of missed nets, blocked shots, some great saves, cleared rebounds and not a lot of whistles. Very entertaining.

But St. Mike's got on the scoreboard first with less than two minutes left in the first period on a tic-tac-toe passing play among Cramarossa, Bureau and Wallen who beat Perugini over his glove. Ottawa came back with a good scoring chance of its own but Carrozzi was there to stop the puck.

It took Ottawa until the mid-way point of the game to beat Carrozzi just as Devant-Pelley's interference on Cowick expired. Corey Cowick beat Carrozzi five-hole from the hash-marks. Julien Demers and Travis Gibbons got the assists.

Thanks to IceLevel Photography for sharing this great photo of Corey's goal celebration!


T.J. Battani got it back a few minutes later with a pretty backhanded goal over a sprawling Perugini. The second period ended with Mississauga back up by 1 although Ottawa was outplaying and shooting Missy by a big margin for a while.

After two very strong periods, one would have thought that the 67's would come out just as strong or stronger in the third given that they were down a goal. St. Mike's stepped up their game and controlled more of the play. Early in the third, Gregg Sutch put his team up by two with a puck that deflected off his skate got past Perugini. Nothing he could do on that 3-on-2.

With Perugini pulled for the extra attacker, Ottawa worked hard for another goal but with 40 seconds left, T.J. Battani sealed their fate with a EN.

So, St. Mike's strikes first and on the road with a 4-1 win and take the 1-game early lead in this series.

The second game is tonight in Ottawa. Hope to see you there. This is good hockey - even if we are not enthusiastic with the outcome.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200


Hardest Working 67 as selected by the Team1200: Shane Prince


Here's the game sheet.

Random Thoughts:
  • It was a hard fought game by the 67's but the Cowick, Nigro, Merrett line stood out for me. Man, they were everywhere and pushing hard. None of the Missy goals on their shifts.
  • The 67's had a number of good chances but they just couldn't bury them. They got a lot shots through to Carrozzi - he earned his pay (as meager as it is). A couple of good bounces would have been nice.
  • Tyler Cuma made a great blue line save on the 2nd PP and Ceci was there to complete the save.
  • While the 67's were not able to cash in on their PP chances, they also stayed out of the penalty box and killed the few PP's that St. Mike's had.
  • I didn't hear any news on if/when Nesbitt will return to the lineup. We miss him.
  • Got to give credit where credit is due - St. Mike's is a good team and the 67's knew that they would capitalize on mistakes. Also, Carrozzi is a good goalie. He was named CHL goalie of the week for last week.
  • A good day for Eugene Melnyk - both his teams played in Ottawa and both skated away with wins.

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