December 30, 2010

Mrazek Finally Gets His Shut-Out: Ottawa 9 - Kingston 0

This game was over 4 minutes in when Tyler Toffoli scored the first of his 5 goals starting with a natural hat trick within about 10 minutes in the first period. Also scoring for Ottawa: Nesbitt (2), Ryan Shipley and Marc-Anthony Zanetti. Assisting in the rout: Martindale, Gibbons (2), Prince (2), Graovac, Foglia (2), Ceci (2), Linsday (2) and Smith. Whew!

Click here for the game sheet.

This is a work night so I don't have time to process all the pictures and write a decent post. Suffice it to say that this was not Kingston's finest effort where as Ottawa was on their game.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Marc Anthony Zanetti
Random Thoughts:
  • Kingston kept up with the shots on goal and several of them were good scoring chances that Mrazek thwarted. But as the game was winding down, he almost undid the looming shut-out on his own by mis-handling the puck and nearly putting it in his own net.
  • Both teams were short a number of players. Missing for Ottawa: Carnevale (concussion), Hanes (surgery), Monahan (U-17), Sedlak (WJHC), Fontana (concussion). For Kingston: Grubauer (WJHC), E. Gudbranson (WJHC) A. Gudbranson (U-17), Gaulton, Werek.
  • Ryan Spooner went MIA during the game (second period?). Not sure why.
  • The Ottawa rookies saw lots of ice-time in the third as the top line sat and watched most of the frame.
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

December 27, 2010

Game Set Up - Kingston

Welcome back to the second half of the 2010 - 2011 season. The Ottawa 67's return to Ottawa today to prepare for Wednesday's home game against divisional rival Kingston Frontenacs.

The Ottawa 67's will be without the services of Adam Sedlak who is playing on the Czech National Team for the World Junior Hockey Championship (WJHC) in Buffalo and Sean Monahan who is playing for Team Ontario in the U-17 tournament taking place in Winnipeg.

Adding to the 67's lineup will be Ben Dubois who was claimed on waivers from Owen Sound just before the Christmas break. The 19 year old Belle River native has played 110 games in the OHL (46 for Windsor and 64 for Owen Sound) amassing 3 goals, 4 assists and clocking 114 PIMs during that time. From the Owen Sound press release
"As an organization we wish to thank Ben for his service. He was a good teammate and a quality citizen while in Owen Sound and we wish him nothing but the best.”, stated Attack General Manager Dale DeGray.

The acquisition of goaltender Michael Zador yesterday mean the Attack had 26 players on their active roster and needed to cut down numbers.

Some commentary from The NOOF. One has to wonder if he is a short-term (or longer) replacement for Jon Carnevale who missed a number of games before the break with a concussion.

Kingston will be missing both Gudbransons (Eric with Team Canada at the WJHC and Alex with Team Ontario at the U-17) and Philipp Grubauer who is playing on the German National Team at the WJHC.

The crazy weather in Europe and on the east coast of North America wrecked havoc on the travel plans of many. Wonder if Petr Mrazek got home in time to enjoy the holidays with his family before scrambling to get back to Ottawa.

Hope to see you at the game on Wednesday!

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadKingston Frontenacs
24-9-1-1 - 50 pointsRecord17-12-2-2 - 38 points
2nd EasternConference - Rank5th Eastern
145 GF118 
101 GA121 
20.4 (10th)PP% (rank)19.9 (12th)
85.9 (1st)PK% (rank)80.8 (9th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sKingston Frontenacs
Prince (19-39-58)Moon (20-24-44)
Toffoli (29-27-56)Spooner (19-17-36)
Martindale (19-28-47)Werek (15-15-30)
Nesbitt (17-16-33)Fine (9-19-28)
Lindsay (14-15-29)Doherty (6-19-25)

December 18, 2010

Hard Work Beats Talent: Petes win 3 - 2 in OT

Apparently the above heading (or something approximating it) is posted somewhere in the Ottawa 67's dressing room. It would appear that the Peterborough Petes took it to heart.

Hard work and determination by the Peterborough Petes fueled their comeback from a 2-goal deficit to force overtime and take a great road-game win to end the Ottawa 67's 7-game winning streak.

Click here for the game sheet.

After being thoroughly dominated in the first period, where the Ottawa 67's played a fast, physical game and where the Petes couldn't make two passes, the Petes found their legs and their game and took it to the 67's.

Ottawa's two goals came in the first period off the sticks Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince. But then Ottawa took the rest of the game off, getting only 14 shots on goal in the remaining 41 minutes while Peterborough bombarded Mrazek with 41 shots. 41! That's a shot for every minute of play in the rest of the game. Except that they didn't come at a nice even pace - they came in bunches.

The real back-breaker for Ottawa was controlling the puck in the Pete's zone with less than 25 seconds, the Pete's goalie pulled for the extra attacker and Ottawa missing the net not once but at least twice. The Petes came away with the puck on the transition and Ottawa native Alan Quine beat Mrazek to tie the game with 20 seconds left.

As the OT period started, the tension of the 67's was palpable and the Petes were loose and confident. And Austin Watson finished it off just 1:24 into OT.

Both teams play again tonight in Peterborough. It will be the third game in a row for Peterborough but you can bet they will be buoyed by their win in Ottawa and playing in front of their fans for their last game before the Christmas break.

We should get a good picture of what the 67's are made of coming off this loss.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (third star Austin Watson did not take a turn)

Hardest Working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Cody Ceci

Random Thoughts:
  • Some may argue that, with 4 players out of the line-up, the 67's were depleted. And indeed, once again, they were not able to ice four complete lines (neither did Peterborough for the record). But Carnevale, Hanes and Fontana have all been out for a while now and the only new missing player is/was Adam Sedlak. The team should be able to compensate better than that. They will be without Sean Monahan from the end of December until possibly January 4th when he competes with Team-Ontario in the U17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg. During this run the 67's will play Kingston, Barrie and Owen Sound (who current sit 3rd in the Western Conference).
  • If this team has ambitions of challenging Mississauga for the Conference Championship they are going to have to tighten up on their defense. Based on the OHL stat this morning (not sure if last night's numbers are there) Petr is facing an average of over 36 shots per game. That's the second highest in the league by a very slim margin over divisional rival Philip Grubauer.
  • This team is much better than it played. /rant
  • Former 67's Thomas Kiriakou is one of the 22 CIS players who will represent Canada in men's hockey at the 24th Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey. Thomas leads the Guelph Gryphons with 7 goals and 13 assists through 14 games this year. Thomas was also part of the CIS team that played the Team Canada hopefuls in their game before the last cuts.
  • When the 67's finish their game in Oshawa on Sunday, most players will head home right from there. I am told that the schedule is planned that way to get as many boys back to their families as fast as possible for the holiday break. That's a nice, thoughtful touch.
  • Happy Holidays everyone - see you again when the Kingston Frontenacs visit the Rona Centre on December 29th. Have fun - be safe.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

December 16, 2010

Game Set Up - Peterborough

Heading into the final weekend before the Christmas break, the Ottawa 67's have another home-and-home series with the Peterborough Petes before finishing on Sunday in Oshawa.

Friday will be the 4th time these two teams meet this year with Ottawa having won all three previous matches.

The Petes come to the Rona Centre having beaten the Brampton Battalion 4 - 2 at home where Matt Puempel had 2 goals and an assist (not sure these are reflected in his stats below). Former Frontenac Alan Quine had one of the other Peterborough goals. Both these players enjoy a decent record against the 67's with Quine having scored 2 goals and an assist this year, Puempel has 2 goals and Kalle Ekelund with 3 assists against the 67's this year. With Ryan Spooner being traded to Kingston, these are the three most successful Peterborough players against Ottawa.

For their part, the RST line has been particularly damaging to the Petes with Ryan (Martindale) scoring 4 goals and 3 assists, Shane with 1 goal and 6 assists and Tyler (Toffoli) having scored 5 goals and 3 assists for a total of 22 points.

The big news going into the weekend is that the Ottawa 67's have finally cracked the CHL top 10 list this week - weighing in as the 9th best CHL team in the country. Congratulations team - you have certainly worked hard for this recognition.

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadPeterborough Petes
22-9-0-1 - 45 pointsRecord9-20-1-1 - 20 points
2nd EasternConference - Rank9th Eastern
135 GF91 
92 GA140 
9thPP rank7th
1stPK rank13th

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sPeterborough Petes
Prince (16-38-54)Puempel (18-21-39)
Toffoli (27-24-51)Watson (10-18-28)
Martindale (19-25-44)Quine (15-12-27)
Nesbitt (15-14-29)Martschini (7-16-23)
Lindsay (13-13-26)Ekelund (6-17-23)

December 12, 2010

RST: A One Line Wrecking Crew in Ottawa's 5 - 1 Win Over Belleville

Ryan, Shane and Toffoli (the RST line) accounted for 10 of the 14 points awarded in Ottawa's 4th win over divisional rivals, the Belleville Bulls. And today the score really is the story as the 67's dominated the young Bulls all game.

Click here for the game sheet.

Cody Lindsay and Thomas Nesbitt played their 298th game today for the Ottawa 67's breaking the club's record and it seemed like the entire team played the game in celebration of this feat. There were no passengers in today's energetic romp at the Rona Centre.

But it was the top line that did most of the damage with Ryan Martindale getting two goals and two assists, Shane Prince with a goal and three assists, and Tyler Toffoli with 2 assists.

Julian Luciani scored a goal against his former team as well as had a scrap with Brendan Morris who was pestering Thomas Nesbitt.

And Nicholas Foglia scored his 4th goal of the season and the final goal of the game on the 67's sixth PP of the game. Cody Ceci and Sean Monahan with the assists.

The Belleville Bulls were only lacking experience. They worked hard and tried to make it a physical game but only Andy Bathgate could beat Petr Mrazek with what looked like a back-hand with his back to Mrazek that went over his shoulder.

It was a relatively quiet game for Petr Mrazek who only saw 27 shots (although there were a few that were excellent scoring chances. Meanwhile Belleville tender, Tyson Teichmann had to deal with lots of shots (44) and lots of traffic.

After the Bathgate goal, the 67's stepped it up had Belleville pinned in their zone for long stretches at at time for the rest of the game. They worked hard in the corners, along the boards, in all areas of the ice and pretty much held court. The Bulls didn't help their case with penalties.

To wrap it up, the two captains, Luke Judson and Thomas Nesbitt dropped the gloves after Judson ran Zanetti into the boards. No one got the take-down, they pretty much tired themselves out for the linesmen to safely step in.

The Ottawa 67's are now on a 7-game winning streak. They have a home and home series against Peterborough next weekend and finish on Sunday in Oshawa before a one week Christmas break.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Tyler Toffoli
Random Thoughts:
  • Very crappy weather today and still over 5000 fans out for the game.
  • Taylor Fielding was out after the hit he took in Friday's game.
  • More vuvuzeals today. They are best played far far away.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

December 11, 2010

Outshot 37 - 22; Ottawa wins 6 - 1 Against Brampton

It was a strange affair at the Rona Centre last night. There were some good moments by both teams but it can't be said that Ottawa dominated in the way the score might suggest. Or perhaps it was a case of quality over quantity.

For Cody St. Jacques, this clearly was not his most fun game since leaving the University of Guelph Gryphons to return to the OHL. 6 goals on 22 shots, including two shorties - ouch!

Click here for the game sheet.

The Ottawa 67's finally iced a full complement of players which may have contributed to some (if not all) of the discombobulation that took place on the ice from time to time. Ryan Martindale returned to centre the RST line, Lindsay rejoined Smith and Nesbitt and for the first time in a while, the 67's had a full 4th line with Remy Giftopolous playing centre to the two rookie defensemen Ryan Shipley and Taylor Fielding.

Neither team could be accused of starting the game with intensity although Brampton had a great scoring chance early into the first period that Petr Mrazek saved (which is becoming a typical start to most 67's games).

Then Ottawa got its first of what would eventually be 9 power plays and it was pretty weak. No precision, no sustained pressure and no shots. In fact, for all 9 PPs (including a 4-minute double minor) the 67's managed to muster a total of about 7 SOGs (none during the double minor) and yet they scored 3 PPGs.

For their 2 PKs, they had about 4 SOGs and scored twice. Go figure.

For long stretches of the game, Ottawa struggled to sustain pressure in their offensive zone but when they were there, they were lethal. Brampton did a better job at times spending time on the Ottawa side of the blue line but were unable to produce anything tangible for their efforts.

Ottawa opened the scoring while defending against Brampton's first PP of the game. The first PK unit of Foglia, Graovac, Gibbons and Cardwell generated one scoring chance for Foglia and Graovac. Then the second unit scored with 18 seconds left when Thomas Nesbitt took a nice feed from Cody Lindsay and flipped it over the stick hand of St. Jacques. Marc Zanetti got the second assist for his great stretch pass to Lindsay. That goal was at 7:05 of the period and was Ottawa's first shot on goal.

Tyler Toffoli scored his 26th goal of the year (and the only full-strength goal the 67's would have in this game) taking a big pass from Adam Sedlak and flipping a back hand shot over the stick hand of St. Jacques (think that's his weak side?). Julian Luciani got the second assist.

Travis Gibbons closed the scoring for the first period with a PPG buzzer-beater when he buried a rebound from the hash marks. The 67's led 3 - 0 on 5 shots in 20 minutes.

The only scoring for the second period was Ottawa's second SHG of the game that came off the stick of Tyler Toffoli. Shane Prince assisted on the nice give-and-go between them that put the puck on Toffoli's stick for the tap-in past St. Jacques. Meanwhile, Petr Mrazek saved all 17 shots that Brampton threw at him.

Brampton had life, briefly, very early in the third when Scott Tanski back-handed the puck past Mrazek from the side of the net. But that was all they could muster.

Thomas Nesbitt and Dalton Smith added a pair of PPGs (Thomas' goal was on a delayed PP) while Brampton racked up 8 minutes of penalty time to effectively snuff any chance for a come back. But the play of the period was Mrazek's poke check on Philip Lane and scramble back to the net from the hash marks to make the second save. Yes - he is considered a very athletic goalie.

And the 67's skated away with the 6-1 win on only 22 shots.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

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

Random Thoughts:
  • The collision between Nicholas Foglia and Jon Carnevale took quite the toll on Jon. He's been sent home to rest up. They will re-evaluate his situation after Christmas. Cosimo Fontana has stayed with the team and is progressing well.
  • It's official - Petr Mrazek is not joining the Czech Republic national junior team. Not because they don't want him but because he refuses to be extorted by the team that holds his rights. Don Campbell from the Ottawa Citizen has the story here. Sometimes you have to wonder who the adults are.
  • Trades in the OHL have been active leading up to the mini-trade deadline (the so-called Steve Mason rule that keeps teams from trading players once Team Canada's camp starts for the World Juniors). Barrie and Sudbury are having a fire sales to contribute to their rebuilding while Oshawa, Niagara and Saginaw are paying up to boost their chances.
  • Speaking of boosting, the Booster Club held their Christmas Banquet on Monday. It was very enjoyable and gave me insights to the many things they do for the players and their families. There was a gift for each player (given by Santa) as well as monetary awards for one-ice results. Everyone looked like they had a good time largely because the players are so good with their fans. If you get a chance, check out the Booster Club and give them your support.
  • The attendance (4819) was pretty good considering that the Sens had a home game too (16,471 attendance). Both teams won (a rarity when they play on the same day). The relatively small crowd (Brampton and Mississauga would love to see crowds that size) made up for it with boisterous and loud enthusiasm. Nothing like lots of kids (and a sprinkling of vuvuzelas - as long as you are not sitting in front of one) to create a great atmosphere.
More Pictures: Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Click here to see more pictures from the game.

December 05, 2010

Goals Galore as Kingston Takes it 6 - 5 in the Shootout

With the one-sided victory last Sunday in Kingston still ringing in their ears, as well as the SO loss to Peterborough on Friday where Alan Quine secured the win against his former team, the Fronts were in no mood for another loss. They had Saturday to rest and prepare.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa 67's played their third game in less than 2 days technically, including a trip to Belleville and back yesterday. They needed to dig deep to take the one point.

But when it was all said and done, it was the Frontenacs taking the win on the shootout goals of Spooner and Jones. Neither Toffoli or Prince could put it past Grubauer to keep it going.

Click here for the game sheet.

It's getting to be a habit, and a bad one at that, where the Ottawa 67's give up the opening energy and shots to their opposition and Petr Mrazek keeps them in the game. Today it was the same thing with the Kingston Frontenac getting the jump with scoring chances early in the game. A 4-minute double minor PP certainly helped.

Ottawa's fatigue was apparent throughout the game, especially at the start of the second period where they had a 25-second PP. Maybe it was because I was shooting the game from the behind section 19, but they looked pretty flat in that period. But that didn't keep it from being a wild one with the two teams scoring 5 goals between them.

With goals from Cody Lindsay, Mitch Lebar and former Brampton Battalion Sean Jones in the first period, Toffoli tied it up on the PP to start the second period rush of goals. But before the announcer was finished, Charles Sarault restored the Kingston lead with Ryan Spooner adding some insurance less than a minute later.

But the 67's are not fragile (like the Ottawa Senators) and despite the fatigue the game was tied again on goals from Marc Zanetti and Shane Prince.

Nathan Moon gave Kingston the lead, once again, three and a half minutes into the game but Shane Prince got it back three minutes later by banking it in off either a Kingston skater or Phillip Grubauer.

That was it for scoring in the third and OT but is wasn't for lack of trying by both teams. The 67's managed to outshoot the Fronts while running on fumes.

Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince were the first two shooters for Ottawa but were unable to get the puck past Grubauer. Both Spooner and Jones were successful against Mrazek and that's all she wrote.

The Fronts outshot the 67's a whopping 41 - 27, and were good for 2 of their 7 power plays. The 67's were good for 2 of their 6 PPs.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Tyler Toffoli

Random Thoughts:
  • 5 of a possible 6 points for a three-game weekend. The one-pointer was a hard-fought game where the 67's came back from deficits a couple of times. They were also missing a couple key players. Great work!
  • Shane Prince - what a weekend! 5 goals and 3 assists. And he now stands at the top of the scoring race in the OHL. Does he get the call from Team USA on the 7th? Mixed feelings (clearly for only selfish reasons - he is certainly deserving)
  • Tyler Toffoli is in third spot in the OHL scoring race.
  • Steven Janes is going under the knife later this month for shoulder surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • Lots of Kingston fans at today's game which was an announced sell-out.
  • Carnevale and Fontana are out due to head injuries (Fontana courtesy of Eric Gudbranson and Carnevale courtesy of Foglia). To Gudbranson's credit, he apparently apologized to the team and Cosimo after the game in Kingston last Sunday. The league still saw fit to suspend him for 5 games.
  • Adam Sedlak has been named to the Czech national junior team. No word if the Czech Republic is going to follow through on their threat to not select Petr Mrazek as "punishment" for coming to play for Ottawa. Who's losing out on that call - really?
More Pictures:
Call-up Brett Gustavson
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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.

December 01, 2010

Then and Now: Catching Up with Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture

With the San Jose Sharks in town for their game against the Ottawa Senators, it seems like a good time to catch up with former 67’s captains and current Sharks players Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture.

Both players spent their entire 4 years in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s. Jamie started in the 2004 – 05 season with Logan joining the following year.

During the 2005 NHL lockout, hockey-starved fans in Ottawa were getting their fix from watching the exciting and, in some minds, over-achieving Ottawa 67’s as they proceeded through the playoff rounds and swept the Peterborough Petes to win the Eastern Conference Championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup in London. For Jamie, this is his best memory as a 67’s, riding the excitement all the way to the Memorial Cup where the underdog 67’s put up a good fight. Remember that this was the year of the London Knights juggernaut and the Sydney Crosby show.  During this same time, Logan was being courted by the club and was in attendance for a few playoff games to show him and his family the quality of the club, the city and its hockey fans. No one could have predicted then how connected these two players would be through their OHL, AHL and NHL careers.

Wearing numbers 88 and 89 respectively, Jamie and Logan were top line, go-to guys, putting up points and as they matured, providing leadership to their team. Jamie played 276 regular season and playoff games, scoring 123 goals and adding 128 assists getting close to a point a game. Logan played 254 regular season and playoff games, putting up 120 goals and 195 assists.

Neither player has a favourite Killer story, both commenting that every now and again, they and other former 67’s (Derek Joslin is with the team, Brad Staubitz was with the team until moving on to Minnesota this season, Sharks GM Doug Wilson is a former 67’s) will sit around with other players telling Killer stories and laughing for hours. While the stories are fun to remember, both players also said that they remember Brian for much more than his stories. Brian was always there for the players, always wanting what was best for them and for winning. Jamie was clear in his regard for Brian, noting how much he helped him in his development and his career, especially choosing him as team captain.

For Logan, being with the club for Brian’s final year as the coach of the 67’s stands out for him.

Both players were drafted by the San Jose Sharks and have played for the farm team, the Worcester Sharks and both have made that long trip a few times between Worcester and San Jose, although Jamie is the hands-down winner in the frequent flyer category. The Sharks were so tight against the salary cap, they had to ship Jamie up and down several times just to stay within the cap. He was travelling so much, it warranted its own story.

As team mates they are also supporting each other in the transition from well-tended billets to self-sufficiency. In the cooking department, everyone takes turns cooking and each has their dish that they do well (salmon for Logan, chicken stir-fry for Jamie). With all the travel, home cooked meals are a treat, even if the menu isn't very long.

Also part of the transition from junior to professional hockey is learning how to play the game in all roles. "You start at the bottom and try and work your way up. You have to learn to deal with the different roles - the 4th line role, the third line role...". Jamie also notes that some things stay the same "It's all about work ethic, hunting down pucks, and just creating energy for the guys.". 

Photo courtesy of the San Jose Sharks
Through serendipity, despite having played 24 games in the NHL last year, Logan is still considered a rookie for Calder Cup purposes (one more game would have blown that chance) and he is in the hunt right now. And despite all that experience from last year, Logan still feels very much the rookie, picking up the pucks, hanging back to take later elevators, watching, listening and learning - all the conventional rookie behaviors. Every now and again he steps back and realizes how lucky he is to be playing a game he loves, playing in the best league in the world and with some of the best players in the world. This reflection anchors him when things are not going well and it would be easy to get too down.

Photo courtesy of the San Jose Sharks

Jamie is in a contract year and is trying to not think about it too much. He just wants to work hard, focus on helping the team win and making it hard for them to send him back to Worcester. So far, it appears to be working as he has been with the team since the start of the year.

Both players are really excited to return to Ottawa, not only to play but to catch up with old friends. Jamie is particularly looking forward to reuniting with his billets who took such good care of him. Cody Lindsay and Travis Gibbons are on Logan’s look-up list. And for both players, they will be a bit nervous going to Scotia Bank Place as the visiting team. But they expect to settle down and get to the business of winning hockey.

Jamie and Logan remember Ottawa as a terrific place to play hockey, where the fans were great and made it hard for the visiting teams and where the club helped them develop into professional hockey players on and off the ice.

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

Many thanks to the San Jose Sharks for arranging the interviews with Jamie and Logan. Between time zone difference, practices and life, it took some patience for the schedules to align.