October 24, 2011

Lethal Powerplay Gives 67’s a 6-3 Win in Kitchener

By Alex Quevillon

Playing in front of nearly 6,000 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, the Rangers were expecting to take advantage of a tired and shorthanded Ottawa squad that had played the previous night in Erie.

It looked as though they were in control, too, outshooting Ottawa 12-6 in the opening frame and taking a quick 2-0 lead in the second. However, a trio of penalties in the second period swung the momentum in Ottawa’s favour, and the 67’s never looked back.

With Kitchener’s Cody Sol in the box for roughing up Ryan Van Stralen, Jake Cardwell cut the lead in half with a snap shot from the hashmarks.

After the whistle, Julian Melchiori was called for slashing Tyler Toffoli. As Toffoli skated away, he was straight-armed in the head by Andrew Crescenzi, who was assessed a checking to the head penalty.

Cody Ceci and Sean Monahan scored powerplay markers exactly a minute apart.

For Ceci, it was his second goal of the weekend and fourth of the year. Less than six minutes later, Monahan went on to score his second of the afternoon and tenth of the season, finishing off a perfect cross-ice pass from Toffoli.

Radek Faksa brought the Rangers to within one goal just before the 18-minute mark of the second, finishing off a 4-on-2 rush. Kitchener thought they had tied the game in the opening minutes of the third, however the goal was waived off and Faksa was given a goaltender interference penalty.

Edmonton Oiler prospect and German-born Tobias Rieder would have been credited with the goal had it counted. He was also given credit for the first goal of the hockey game on a goalmouth scramble behind Petr Mrazek.

The former Ranger, Shane Prince, scored shortly thereafter to regain the 2-goal cushion, and Steven Janes closed out the scoring with an empty net goal.

Crescenzi had the other marker for Kitchener, placing a perfect wrist-shot past Mrazek for the second goal of the game.

Mrazek made 47 saves in the winning effort. He started all three games on the road trip with Shayne Campbell injured.

Road Trip Overview
October 20th @ Niagara Ice Dogs

An impressive 36-save performance from Petr Mrazek, along with Ryan Van Stralen’s 2nd goal of the season, weren’t enough as the Niagara Ice Dogs (5-6-1) coasted to a 4-1 win.

Joel Wigle, Freddie Hamilton, Mitchell Theoret and Jesse Graham tallied for the Ice Dogs in front of 2,760 fans at the St. Catharines Gatorade Garden City Complex.

To make matters worse, Captain Marc Anthony Zanetti suffered a broken foot trying to block a shot in the second period. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Zanetti was joined in the dressing room by defensive partner Cody Ceci who left the game after two periods with symptoms of the flu. Tyler Graovac also all three games with the flu, while Ceci returned for the games Saturday and Sunday.

October 22nd @ Erie Otters

Ottawa rebounded well on Saturday, taking advantage of the struggling Erie Otters who fell to 1-10-0 after the 4-1 loss to Ottawa.

Shane Prince scored his first goal since returning from a shoulder injury. Tyler Toffoli, Cody Ceci and Brett Gustavsen also scored for the 67’s. Connor Brown responded for Erie.

Unfortunately, this game was not televised in Ottawa. However, for 67’s fans who may have seen the game, it might have been a look into the 67’s future.

Erie is in a tough position with five overagers (Mike Cazzola, Brett Cook, Derek Holden, Ramis Sadikov, and Brett Thompson). The Otters find themselves in last place in the Western Conference, and will have to lose least two of their overaged players. With Ryan Martindale signing in Edmonton, Ottawa has an overage spot free on its roster, and as such could be an ideal trade partner.

Martindale’s departure also leaves the 67’s with only two natural centers (Tyler Graovac and Sean Monahan), a void that could be filled by Thompson or Cazzola.

Ottawa improves their East Division-leading record to 8-3-1. Next up, the 67’s head to Peterborough this Thursday trying to defend their East Division lead.  On Friday, the Central Division-leading Mississauga St. Michaels Majors come into the J. Benson Cartage Centre.

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