November 12, 2011

Shutting Down the McFarland Show; 67's win 6-5 (SO)

By Alex Quevillon
Saginaw forward John McFarland scored four times in regulation, added an assist and a shootout goal, but it still was not enough as Dalton Smith ended a lengthy shootout, giving the Eastern Conference leading 67’s a 6-5 win on home ice. Ottawa won the shootout portion 2-1, with Brett Gustavsen scoring the other goal.

Ottawa took three leads in the first two periods, all of which were answered by McFarland, a high second round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2010. Shane Prince finished off a 2-on-0 break just 23 seconds into the game to give the 67’s the early lead. McFarland’s 12th goal of the year tied the game. Gustavsen put the 67’s ahead again, but McFarland responded with a goal of his own less than a minute later.

Spirit forward Michael Fine ended the night with assists on all four of McFarland’s goals, but it was his giveaway on a Saginaw two-man advantage in the second period that let Ottawa defenceman Jake Cardwell walk in on a breakaway. Cardwell deked out Jake Paterson to give Ottawa another one-goal lead.

Cardwell’s goal was one of many breaks that Ottawa had on the night. Paterson was forced to make 49 saves in the losing effort with a plethora of 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 rushes. At the other end, Petr Mrazek made 31 stops.

Once again, McFarland had an answer, finishing the hat trick and knotting the score up at three with a powerplay goal 20 seconds into the third period. From there, it looked as though Saginaw would pull away. McFarland put the puck past a sprawled out Mrazek, and just as the 10-minute mark passed, set up Garrett Ross for his ninth of the season.

Saginaw took their two-goal advantage into the final four minutes, Tyler Toffoli scored his league-leading 17th goal of the season on the powerplay. Michal Cajkovsky sent the game to overtime with a seeing-eye shot from the line with less than three minutes remaining.

After overtime solved nothing, McFarland continued right where he left off in regulation. Down 1-0 in the third round of the shootout and needing a goal to keep his team alive, he placed a perfect wrist shot top corner, freezing Mrazek and tying the shootout.

In the seventh round, however, Smith walked in on Paterson and snapped a wrist shot between his legs. Mrazek shut the door on Carlos Amestoy, who was acquired earlier in the day by Saginaw, securing the win for the home squad in front of 5,000 fans.

Today, the 67’s head to Oshawa to take on Nepean-born goaltender Dan Altshuller and his struggling Generals. Oshawa dropped a 7-0 decision to the Kingston Frontenacs Friday, letting Altshuller stay in the game for the full 60 minutes. Puck drop is at 6:00 PM. Ottawa finishes their weekend with a trip to Brampton on Sunday. The 67’s take on the Battalion at 2:00 PM on Sunday.

The gamesheet can be found here

Notes: Ottawa had to do without Sean Monahan, who also missed the subway series game the night before. Monahan is out with an undisclosed upper body injury…Saginaw came into tonight’s game missing forwards Brandon Saad and Vincent Trocheck, also lost Garrett Ross, presumably to a broken foot, late in the third period.

Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's:  Brett Gustavsen

Hardest Working 67's: Brett Gustavsen

Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens

  • Tyler Graovac is a using his big body out there creating space and chances for his line mates. He looked pretty good centering the top line in place of Monahan.

  • That was an exciting last 5 minutes of regulation as the 67's poured it on to tie it up and to try and win in regulation. Solid work and a great result.

  • Sometimes you have to wonder if some refs call the game by the reputation of the player. Dalton Smith was called for cross-checking in front of Paterson but when he was dumped more than once, in full view of the ref, no call.

  • Paterson had to make more than a few brilliant saves. And he got lucky on a few occaisions.

  • The Ottawa 67's were wearing Remembrance Day jerseys which were donated by the Legion and will be auctioned-off by the Legion to raise funds. I don't have any details on the auction.
Pictures from the game: Dalton Smith scores the winner in the shootout

Dalton Smith's game winning shootout goal.

Jake Cardwell's short handed goal while Ottawa was defending a 5-on-3 PP.

Jake Cardwell's 5-on-3 SHG. It was the Team1200's play of the game.

Shane Prince surrounded by blue jerseys

Click here for more pictures from the game.

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