February 12, 2011

Ottawa Digs for 4-3 Win Over Erie

It wasn't a masterpiece but the Ottawa 67's overcame a sluggish first period to take the win against Erie on Friday night at the Rona Centre and extend their winning streak to 5 games. The loss ended Erie's streak at 2.

Click here for the game sheet.

After missing 18 games with post-concussion symptoms Jon Carnevale returned to the ice with all cylinders firing, bringing energy, delivering big hits, and scoring 2G and 1A including a big goal in this game to get his team on the board.

Playing their first game of their East Division swing through the league, the Erie Otters played a strong road game. They had the early jump on the 67's, out-shot them 14 - 4 in the first got on the board early when Brett Thompson put a rebound over Mrazek's shoulder.

The 67's managed to sort out some of their sloppy, disorganized play and get going in the second period, getting more pucks on net but more importantly tying the game. In a hard-nosed drive to the net Jon Carnevale slipped the puck 5-hole to finally tie the game. Adam Sedlak assisted.

Both teams got down to scoring business in the third with Erie making good on a 43-second 5-on-3 advantage with Lindsay first in the box for high-sticking followed up by Zanetti for delay of game (puck over the glass). Szydlowski one-timed a great pass from Varone to put the Otters back on top. Ottawa successfully defended the remainder of the Zanetti penalty.

Erie played Ottawa close, doing a good job of taking time and space away but Shane Prince can be hard to contain which he demonstrated ably with a great wrap-around goal that beat big Sadikov to tie it up again. Tyler Graovac assisted.

But before the goal announcement was finished, Cazzola was sprung on a break-away and beat Mrazek glove-side to re-gain the lead for the third time.

To this point, there had only been two penalties handed out in the game and both were to Ottawa at the beginning of the third. Erie finally had their turn to defend and Tyler Toffoli tipped it in from in front of the crease. Ryan Martindale and Cody Ceci with the assists.

Then Dalton Smith surprised Radikov with a one-timer from the face-off dot that beat him short-side and finally give Ottawa the lead. The resurgent Jon Carnevale had the only assist on that critical GWG.

The 67's went on to protect their one-goal lead for the remaining three and a half minutes to deliver their 20th win on home ice in front of 5760 fans.

They immediately hit the road for their game in Barrie tonight and an important match-up against Mississauga on Sunday. Once again, they play the best team in the conference as a third-in-two-and-a-half-day game.

But first they need to focus their game in Barrie who was shellacked 7 - 0 by Niagara on Friday. They won't be in a good mood and despite their record (and that score), they can present tough opposition. The last time the Ottawa 67's looked past their opponents in anticipation of the Mississauga game, the Oshawa Generals stormed back from a 3-goal deficit in the third to beat the 67's 6 - 5. No team can be taken lightly and with Oshawa's loss on Friday, Ottawa now has a 6-point lead on them with tonight's game in hand. These 2 points are critical.

As for Sunday's game, the Majors were dealt a rare defeat on Friday, on home ice to boot, on a buzzer-beating PPG by Plymouth. Following the comments on twitter, many are calling out the officiating in that game. Mississauga has today off to prepare for the 67's on Sunday. They will be rested and in no mood for another loss at all, much less on home ice.

All in all a key road trip for the 67's.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

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

Random Thoughts:
  • Congratulations to Ryan Shipley who was named the East Division OHL Academic Player of the Month for January.
  • The Ottawa 67's drew back into the CHL Mastercard Top 10 rankings. Results will do that. Well done team!
  • A match-up between the two least penalized teams in the league and true to form only three penalties called, including one that was over the glass.
  • With such potent scoring power, the 67's have played more often with the lead than from behind (if memory serves me correctly). It was good to see them overcome their early sludge and dig hard for the win.
  • Nice to see point contributions from across the roster - makes the team more dangerous.
  • Happy birthday to Julian Luciani. His gift to the team - drawing the hooking penalty that resulted in the final tying goal. Well done.
  • I love the tradition of singing the national anthems before games and I really enjoy it when the club brings young choirs in. A very young lad (maybe 6 years old?) sitting in the first row lustily accompanied the Holy Redeemer Catholic School choir. Fabulous!
More Pictures:
Child cancer survivor Ziad delivers the game puck. The University of Ottawa medical students held their Shave for the Cure night at the game.
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

No comments: