March 20, 2011

Regular Season Finished with 7 - 3 Win Over Sudbury

The final game of the season was a preview of the first round of the playoffs and although the 67's sent a strong message in their 7-3 win over Sudbury, it came at a mighty price as Travis Gibbons' season came to a painful halt late in the first period. A puck was deflected into his mouth and he injured his leg as he buckled from the hit.

This horrific injury overshadowed Tyler Toffoli's 5-point, 4G and 1A, to end up tied with Jason Akeson of Kitchener for the OHL scoring race.

Click here for the game sheet.

I don't know how long this has been happening but once again the final home game of the season was against the Sudbury Wolves. The playoff brackets are already set and these two teams are schedule to meet in the first round.

The 67's were still playing with a short bench. Tyler Graovac's season came to an end on Friday when he broke his forearm early in the game. Fortunately Remi Giftopolous was available for today's game so the team started with 3 whole lines (!).

The Wolves rested their starting goalie and played their backup goalie, Brendan O'Neill, who had only 4 previous starts this season.

Taylor Fielding started the scoring just 2 1/2 minutes into the game with his first goal of his OHL career. Nick Foglia quickly picked up the puck for Taylor.

Ottawa got into some penalty trouble late in the first, having to defend a 5-on-3 for 1:04. This is where Gibbons was injured. Ottawa held Sudbury off the scoreboard during the 2-man advantage but with 55 seconds left in the second penalty, Josh McFadden tipped it in for the PPG to tie up the game.

Sean Monahan restored the Ottawa lead early in the second with a pretty goal driving the net and backhanding it over the outstretched pad. Dalton Smith and Marc Anthony Zanetti with the assists.

Ottawa kept up the pressure and Brett Gustavsen put Ottawa up by two three minutes later when he picked up his own rebound, had his back to the net and shot it between his legs that beat O'Neill. That one should make the OHL high-light reel. Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli assisted.

Sudbury got within 1 with a PPG from Scarbossa who tucked it under Mrazek.

But that's as close as they would get as Tyler Toffoli took over the scoring for Ottawa with two goals in the second and two in the third for a 5-point night to briefly regain the scoring lead in the OHL and finish with 57 goals on the season. One of those goals came from behind the net as he tried to centre the puck to Martindale but it went in off the goalie.

And the game ended 7 - 3 with shots 31 - 29 for Ottawa. Both teams have had a decent look at each other. It would be a mistake for anyone to think that today's game is an indication of how the next four or more games will go.

See you at Scotia Bank Place next Saturday at 2:00 for game 1 of round 1 of the playoffs.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Jake Cardwell

Random Thoughts:
  • Shayne Campbell went into the net for the third period. I presume to give him some ice time against Sudbury and to give Mrazek a bit of a rest.
  • There were a number of Sudbury fans on hand for the game. No sign of Nick Foligno - he may have kept a low profile.
  • Sean Monahan moved back to centre the second line and had a great game - worked hard all game.
  • Surgery on Wednesday for Graovac for pins and plates. 4 - 6 weeks which could equate to the rest of the season.
  • Gustavsen certainly has taken advantage of his call up - playing on the top line today, scoring a goal, and assist and just getting everywhere quickly.
  • Jake Cardwell played against his former team - was today's Hardest Working 67's. Good start to the playoffs for him.
More Pictures:
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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