January 29, 2011

A Natural Hat-Trick For Lindsay in 67's 3 - 2 Win

Who is this guy and what have they done with Cody Lindsay?

One year to the day since he scored his first hat trick, Cody Lindsay scored a natural today making it two hat trick-games in a row. Good thing he was on fire because the Kingston Frontenacs scored two goals in the last 6 minutes to make a game of it so his third goal stood as the GWG.

Click here for the game sheet.

This was the second game in less than 24 hours for both teams in a rare Saturday matinee in Ottawa. Kingston rode into town off a 1-goal loss to Peterborough on Friday, not only wanting to rebound with a win but likely remembering the 9 - 0 loss when these two teams last met on December 29th.

Kingston started with a jump, getting the early shots on Mrazek and keeping Ottawa from organizing any sustained possession for the first 6 or 7 minutes of the game. But it was the recent hot stick of Cody Lindsay who picked up where he left off yesterday, literally, with a tap-in past Grubauer off the left post. Linemates Sean Monahan and Thomas Nesbitt with the assists.

Kingston put on the pressure to tie it up, leading with SOGs but with Jeff Braithwaite in the penalty box for hauling down Tyler Toffoli, Cody Lindsay buried Cody Ceci's rebound to make it 2 - 0 Ottawa. Sean Monahan assisted on that one too.

And with just over three minutes left in the game, Cody Lindsay made it a natural hat-trick thanks to his linemate Thomas Nesbitt who waited patiently to dish the puck off for a beautiful snap by Lindsay past Grubauer.

The 67's managed to spend the bulk of the third period in the Kingston end, controlling the puck and frustrating any attempts of the Fronts to get organized. But this is a fast game and a couple of good bounces resulted in goals from Brown and Cajkovsky and a new game for the last three minutes and change.

With Grubauer pulled for the extra attacker, Kingston had a couple of chances to tie it up but the 67's prevailed for the important win.

So, the Ottawa 67's get 4 important wins for the weekend. No game tomorrow as they start preparing Peterborough and London next weekend.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (Michael Cajkovsky did not take a turn)

Hardest Working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Sean Monahan
Random Thoughts:
  • Good to see the boys pick it up after their less than stellar play against Barrie.
  • Rookie Sean Monahan is playing really well between Nesbitt and Lindsay. Four points on Friday and two today, working hard, drawing attention and making room for his linemates. That line has been very productive in the last two games. Dalton may have his work cut out for himself when Prince returns.
  • Might as well put Lindsay's name on the left side of the crease. I think he must have scored 4 or 5 of his 6 goals this weekend from that spot.
  • How fast fortunes change. With about 8 minutes left in the game, the Kingston bench was dead and the guys on the ice couldn't get organized. Couple of bounces go their way, two goals scored and the bench was up on their feet and back in the game.
  • Some bumps and bruises to heal in the week ahead. Ben Dubois was hurt in a collision, Taylor Fielding got his nose bloodied in his scrap with Alex Gudbranson, Julian Luciani took a puck off the leg and Travis Gibbons was skating something off. All players finished the game but are likely looking forward to some time to heal a bit.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

A Toque-Trick for Lindsay For the Win

Timing is everything and three goals at home on a toque-giveaway night was good timing for Cody as many fans celebrated his accomplishment by throwing their Home Depot toques on the ice.

The Barrie Colts fought back from a 3-goals deficit to make it a 1-goal game for a while but the 67's prevailed for a 7 - 4 win.

Click here for the game sheet.

With Shane Prince out of the line-up (shoulder) and Jon Carnevale returning, the lines looked a bit different. Dalton Smith moved up to the top line and Sean Monahan centred Lindsday and Nesbitt.

Dalton Smith got his team on the board first with a goal just 39 seconds into the game with his drive to the net and a nice tip of a pass from Ryan Martindale. But it was Cody Lindsay who restored the Ottawa lead in the first period and went on to give his team a couple of insurance goals in the third period resulting from hard work and good timing.

After Norm Ezekiel tied up the game going top shelf on Shayne Campbell, Cody Lindsay gave Ottawa the lead as he popped in a loose puck from a goal-mouth scramble.

Up 3 - 1 going into the second period on Ryan Martindale's 27th goal of the season and having out shot Barrie 20 - 8 in the first frame, the Ottawa 67's let Barrie carry the play for the first half of the period. For a good portion of the period, neither team created any scoring chances with a lot of the play taking place between the blue lines it seemed.

Sean Monahan got the scoring started with an unassisted bullet from the hashmarks that beat Clint Windsor top shelf to make it 4 - 1. But with a goal late in the period from Trent Hawk and another early in the third from Steven Beyers, the 67'w were toying with another late-game melt-down.

With last Sunday's collapse hopefully still in burning in their guts, the 67's started to play again and take over the game. Tyler Toffoli gave Ottawa some breathing room on their only PPG of the game as he snapped it past Windsor from the slot.

Ottawa went up 6 - 3 when Sean Monahan drove the net in a slick move on the defender. Nesbitt picked up the rebound, fed it to Lindsay who popped it in for his second goal.

Barrie's top scorer Colin Brehenna got his team back within two with 4 minutes to play but Cody's wrap-around goal for the toquie put it out of reach.

So after giving the fans, the coaches and themselves another scare, the 67's beat the last place team in the league 7 - 4.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

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

Random Thoughts:
  • Shayne Campbell was in net for only his 7th start of the season and perhaps only his second or third start at home.
  • The Barrie Colts made Ottawa work for this win. Any team can beat any other team on any given night. With Oshawa just 4 points behind and for the Divisional lead and 1 game in hand, Ottawa cannot afford to take any shift off, much less take any team lightly.
  • Good to see points spread around the roster a bit: goals from Smith, Lindsay, Martindale and Toffoli; assists from Toffoli (2), Martindale (2), Monahan (3), Zanetti, Gibbons and Nesbitt.
  • Ottawa went 1/5 on the PP against the weakest PK in the league.
  • Thomas Nesbitt and Dalton Smith teamed up on a crucial penalty kill in the third as they kept the puck in Barrie's zone for a long stretch, running down the time.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 23, 2011

Guelph Storms Back for 4 - 3 Win Over Ottawa

That, or some version of it, will headline a number of summaries of this game. 2 goals in the final 30 seconds of the game gave Guelph the tie and then the win with just over 10 seconds left.

Click here for the game sheet.
The Guelph Storm played their third game in three and were coming off a 5 - 2 loss in Belleville last night. But they came to play and play they did. The first period was an even affair with both teams getting a goal and getting 13 shots on goal.

Cody Lindsay started the scoring with his 19th goal of the year in a goal-mouth scramble that got the puck past Garret Sparks. Thomas Nesbitt with the assist. But just 1:15 later, Richard Panik tied it up. It too was a goal-mouth scramble.

The Guelph Storm play a very aggressive penalty kill that limited Ottawa's shots on goal but with an 11-second 5-on-3 power play Marc Anthony Zanetti gave his team the lead with 4 seconds left. Cody Lindsay with the assist. But Ottawa was unable to score on the remaining PP.

Thomas Nesbitt gave Ottawa a two goal lead early in the third (assists to Cody Lindsay and Cody Ceci but it was a series of penalties in the middle of the third period got Ottawa off their game entirely. Guelph captain Taylor Beck got his team within one with 13 seconds left on a 5-on-3. Ottawa withstood the rest of the man-disadvantages but also stayed on their heels.

They were unable to play for puck possession and Guelph maintained momentum. With Sparks pulled for the extra attacker, Taylor Beck tied the game with 31 seconds to play.

The Ottawa 67's were unable to manage their nerves for 31 seconds and a chance at overtime. Cody McNaughton popped the puck 5-hole on Mrazek with 10 seconds left and secured a great come-back win for his team.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200 (Lindsay did not take a turn - understandably)

Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Travis Gibbons

Random Thoughts:
  • Shane Prince left the game in the second period with what is reported as an upper body injury Timeline: 1 - 2 weeks (so far). Dalton Smith moved up to the first line.
  • Wonder if the boys are believing their own press a little too much. Losing a game like this, against a team that was playing their third game on the weekend .... well, there aren't any excuses for it. In his post-game interview with Jon Abbott Thomas Nesbitt was pretty straight-up about this not being acceptable. A full 60 minutes every game will be necessary if this team as aspirations of going deep in the playoffs.
  • Certainly teams are going to target the top line but to my eye, they just were not clicking today. RST hasn't been so taxing lately.
  • Meanwhile, while they were getting ice-time, the 4th line of D-rookies Shipley and Fielding centred by Foglia were putting a lot of energy into their time. Foglia moved up to the third line once Prince was out of the game. I like him on the first PK unit - he reminds me of Kiriakou.
  • On the upside, secondary scoring accounted for all the goals today and 5 of 6 the goals this weekend. Cody Lindsay had a great game with a goal and two assists. His breakaway on the PK drew a penalty when Richard Panik cross-checked him in frustration.
  • Adversity like this can bring focus to a team. Better to hit this challenge now while there is time to correct it. They are at home for the next 5 games (18 days) and can work on what they need to work on without the distraction of traveling. They'll be OK.
More Pictures: Third Star
OHL Rule Book: 54.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who holds an opponent by using his hands, arms or legs. A player or goalkeeper is permitted to use his arm in a strength move, by blocking his opponent, provided he has body position and is not using his hands in a holding manner, when doing so.
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 22, 2011

67's in Great Spirits With 3 - 0 Win Over Saginaw

The 67's exorcised whatever spirits possessed them last weekend and Petr Mrazek got his third shut-out as the Ottawa 67's blanked Western Conference leading Saginaw 3 - 0.

And this time, it wasn't the top line doing all the scoring.

Click here for the game sheet.

Coming off a weekend where he had a total of 18 goals scored against him, Petr Mrazek was focused and on top of his game as he made 36 saves in his 3rd shut-out in front of the home-town fans.

He was also helped by the rest of his team playing a solid, 60-minute game where they played strong at both ends of the ice.

Saginaw started the game fast, carrying the play to Ottawa for the first half of the first period, aided by a couple of power plays but Ottawa held the league-leading power play to a total of two shots during the man-advantages.

Tyler Toffoli resumed his scoring ways with a bullet off the face-off that beat Mavric Parks blocker side. Of course Ryan Martindale got the second assist for his impressive face-off win to get the puck to Tyler.

Ottawa played with fire a bit, giving the Spirit 7 power plays in the game, including a 5-on-3 for 1:18 in the first period after Tyler's goal but the 67's kept the Spirit to the outside and Mrazek deftly dealt with the two shots that got through - kicking them out to the boards. His rebound control was strong all game.

Before the period ended, Sean Monahan scored his 7th goal for the season on another strong face-off effort in the Saginaw zone. Dalton Smith picked up the puck and fed it to Sean who beat Mavric Parks blocker side with a quick wrister from the hash marks.

Tyler Graovac gave Ottawa the 3-goal lead in the second period when he tipped a Ben Dubois pass past Mavric Parks. Sean Monahan with the second assist.

Saginaw picked up the pace in the third but was unable to solve Mrazek or the rest of the 67's team who kept skating hard and looking for the next goal (no doubt the the loss in Oshawa still fresh in their minds).

It was a solid, 60-minute effort by the entire team resulting in well-deserved win against a very good team and back into the winning column.

They have today to prepare for their Sunday game against the Guelph Storm. Former 67's Michael Latta was a one-man wrecking crew with 3 goals in a 6 - 4 win when these two teams met in November.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

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

Random Thoughts:
  • Things to work on: the PP. As the 67's held off all 7 of Saginaw's PPs, the Spirit were equal to the task in keeping Ottawa from scoring on any of their 7 power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 1:49 in the third where Ottawa only had 1 shot on goal. In fact, I believe that Ottawa had more scoring chances short-handed than they did with the man (men) advantage.
  • Petr Mrazek is sporting a new paint-job on his brain-bucket. He finally received it for the game in Mississauga last Sunday. It didn't do much for him then but he sure was happy with it in this game as his kissed it when it was all over.
  • Jon Carnevale, Cosimo Fontana and Steven Janes were still scratched (injuries) but the 67's still iced a full complement with Shipley and Fielding playing as forwards centred by Foglia. Jon has started skating again (non-contact) so he's on his way back to the line-up.
  • Shipley is a scrappy fellow. He's had a couple of tilts this year including one in this game with rookie Terry Trafford. Decision to Ship.
  • There were more scouts in the media room than I recall ever seeing. It was a chance for scouts based in eastern Canada and the US to see the Saginaw Spirit.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 21, 2011

Game Set Up - Saginaw

The Western Conference leading Saginaw Spirit roll into town after their 6-1 win in Peterborough to take on the 67's who are coming off their first 3-game losing weekend of the season.

With losses to Windsor at home and Oshawa and Mississauga on the road last weekend, the Ottawa 67's were dropped from the CHL Mastercard 10 top teams in the country. They also may be without the services of Travis Gibbons who was injured on a very questionable hit in Oshawa that not only went without a penalty, it appears that the league did not subsequently review it. So much for taking dangerous head hits out of the game.

The game in Mississauga on Sunday also saw the end of Tyler Toffoli's scoring streak.

So the boys have a lot to play for tonight. Hopefully Ryan Martindale will be sufficiently recovered from the flu earlier this week. If not, the already short bench will have some serious work cut out for them.

Shane Prince was added to the CHL/NHL Prospects game at the ACC in Toronto on Wednesday and scored the only goal for Team Cherry. Post game reviews indicate that his performance improved his standing in eyes of scouts.
Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadSaginaw Spirit
28-14-1-1 - 58 pointsRecord31-9-3-1 - 66 points
2nd EasternConference - Rank1st Western
188 GF168 
138 GA121 
24.4% (2nd)PP% (rank)25.3% (1st)
82.2% (4th)PK% (rank)85.3% (1st)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sSaginaw Spirit
Toffoli (41-38-79)Shalla (36-17-53)
Prince (21-55-76)Szwarz (19-26-45)
Martindale (26-34-60)Trocheck (19-25-44)
Nesbitt (22-21-43)Saad (23-20-43)
Lindsay (18-19-37)Telegin (10-24-34)

January 15, 2011

Good Effort Effort but Ottawa Loses 6 - 3 to Windsor

The Ottawa 67's started their hardest three-in-three weekend of the year so far on a losing note with their 6 - 3 loss to the Windsor Spitfires at the Rona Centre. The 67's played better than the score suggests but they were unable to get pucks behind a sometimes very floppy/sloppy Jake Campbell and Petr Mrazek had an characteristically bad game. It was a good game to watch even in the loss.

Click here for the game sheet.

With the trade deadline having come and gone last Monday, we now see the teams that are set for the rest of the season.

The 67's stayed pat having added what they believe were the necessary pieces well before the deadline. The Windsor Spitfires however, did not stand pat at all. In fact, once it was clear that there weren't any takers for the Ellis - Kassian pair, Windsor decided to go for it and acquired D Adrian Robertson from Peterborough, F Jake Carrick from Sault Ste. Marie, F Taylor Carnevale from Barrie and F Jeff Brown from Oshawa. So Windsor is pretty loaded with talent heading down the back stretch (the also have three medalists from the WJHC2011 tournament).

The 67's started the game a little in awe of their opponents - giving them a lot of space. The Spitfires easily kept Ottawa from generating any effective offense. Alexander Khokhlachev opened the scoring for Windsor on their 4th SOG just 4 minutes into the game. It took Ottawa almost 11 minutes to get their first SOG but they slowly started picking up their game and carrying the play to Windsor. Tyler Toffoli tied it up with 29 seconds left in the first period with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. Shane Prince got the first assist for his heads-up pass from behind the net.

Tyler Toffoli gave the 67's their only lead of the game on the power play when he one-timed a pass from Travis Gibbons and fired it upstairs on Jake Campbell.

But two quick goals (20 seconds apart) restored Windsor's lead and another one before the period ended would be all the scoring that they needed to take the game.

Ryan Martindale pulled the team within 1 by finally capitalizing on another misadventure by Jake Campbell with an easy shot into an open cage. Tyler Toffoli with the only assist.

The 67's continued to play hard and kept up with Windsor with shots but they did not not create a lot of great scoring chances nor did they take advantage of the ones they had. Goals from newly minted Spitfire Jake Carrick and tough guy Zac Kassian sealed the deal for Windsor but to their credit, the 67's played hard right to the final buzzer.

The 67's are on the road for a game tonight against divisional rival Oshawa (who lost in Kingston on Friday) and a game on Sunday against the conference leading Mississauga St. Mike's Majors who also made moves at the trade deadline. This weekend will be a good measuring stick for the team.

3rd Star - Tyler Toffoli (Windsor players Jeff Brown and Jake Carrick did not take a turn for the many Windsor fans present)

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

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

Random Thoughts:
  • The 67's are still unable to ice 4 lines with Jon Carnevale, Steven Janes and Cosimo Fontana still out due to injuries. Jon should be skating soon and Steven's schedule has him ready by the playoffs (hopefully) but there is no timetable for Cosimo. Remy Giftopolous was quietly sent down after the holiday break. Fielding is playing as a forward and Shipley is the 7th D.
  • The Windsor coach bellowing instructions from the bench reminded me of the minor coaches yelling at their young charges at the Bell Capital Cup.
  • The 67's were able to convert on one of their 3 power plays and were able to hold Windsor off on both of their chances.
  • If the team has aspirations of going deep in the playoffs, they will have to get some secondary scoring going. A one-line team will not do it.
  • The Ottawa 67's lost long-time fan Walt King on Wednesday. Until this season, Walt was a familiar face to the fans in section 21. He prepared and shared his great game sheets and was always up for a long chat. I particularly remember Walt for his encouragement for the blog and my photography. He always had a kind word and it was appreciated. My condolences to his daughter and co-67's fan Elizabeth, and the family and friends of Walt.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 09, 2011

Toffoli Counter-Attack Results in Ottawa 6 - 4 Win Over Owen Sound

A 10 minute time-out for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the first gave Tyler Toffoli a ring-side seat as his team struggled to gain control over the 3rd-in-three visiting Owen Sound Attack. It also served as the motivation when he returned to the ice to spark his team to comeback from a 2-goal deficit and go on to beat Owen Sound 6 - 4.

Click here for the game sheet.

You would have been hard pressed to believe that the Owen Sound Attack were playing their third game in three days. They skated hard, fore-checked relentlessly and generally made it very hard for the 67's to get much going in the first period. The Attack went into the first intermission with a two goal lead on goals from Joey Hishon (with 4:21 left) and Liam Heelis just as the first period ended.

The second period saw 5 goals from both teams starting with Tyler Toffoli getting the first two to tie up the game with less than 4 minutes left to play. Cameron Brace capitalized on a Shane Prince turn over in the Ottawa zone and beat Mrazek to give Owen Sound the lead again with 1:32 left in the period. It would have been reasonable for most folks to think that this would be how the period ended.

Not the 67's however.

33 seconds after Brace's goal, Thomas Nesbitt had the game tied again and with 12 seconds left, Shane Prince made up for the turn-over goal by giving Ottawa the lead once again. He was so pumped by his goal, he wiped out on his way to the glove-tap with Mrazek. The 67's went into the second intermission with a one-goal lead having come back from a 2-goal and a 1-goal deficit during the period.

The Attack were still going strong to start the third and Ottawa was still having some troubles clearing their zone and maintaining control at times. But it was Ottawa that controlled the scoring. Adam Sedlak scored his second of the season (and Ottawa's second PP of the game) when his shot rung off the post and into the net. It stood up as the game winning goal.

Then Tyler Toffoli notched his hat trick, his third of the season, to give Ottawa a 6-3 lead. Jessie Blacker gave Owen Sound one final goal, a PPG that beat Mrazek with 18 seconds left.

So the Ottawa 67's end the weekend with a 3-game sweep and with Tyler Toffoli continuing his point streak. They now prepare for next weekend where they host the Windsor Spitfires, who have been busy leading up to the tomorrow's trade deadline.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest Working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Ryan Martindale

Random Thoughts:
  • The Owen Sound Attack penalty kill was the strongest I've seen in a while. On at least two occasions the Attack had the better scoring chances while Ottawa had the man advantage. Ottawa finally got it figured out and scored a couple of PPGs.
  • Finally saw some hats hit the ice for the hat trick. Nice to see fans paying attention and upholding the tradition.
  • While Petr Mrazek's home-ice shut-out was ended, Tyler Toffoli continued his league-leading point streak - now up to 23 games. In that time he has scored 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points. Tyler and Shane Prince stand 1 - 2 in the league for scoring with 75 and 74 points respectively in 41 games. Jeremy Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers is in third place with 68 points and 3 games in hand.
  • Ottawa was still without the services of Carnevale, Fontana and Janes (all out with injuries) and Ottawa iced 11 forwards again with Fielding being the 11th forward. As the game went on, Byrnes worked with three lines, promoting Foglia to play with Monahan and Graovac.
  • Assists came from Prince (3), Martindale (3), Gibbons (2), Ceci (2), Smith and Toffoli. The top line accounted for 11 of the 18 points credited to 67's players.
  • With the trade deadline looming (January 10th) it will be interesting to see if Ottawa makes any moves. They could use another forward.
More Pictures: Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 08, 2011

Another Home Ice Shut Out for the 67's: 6-0 Over Peterborough

After a few close games between these two teams that included a last second game-winning buzzer-beater by Thomas Nesbitt, the Ottawa 67's broke out the goals for a decisive shut-out win in the second half of this home and home series with the Peterborough Petes. Ottawa won 4-3 in Peterborough on Thursday in a game where Ottawa had to fight back twice from one-goal deficits.

Click here for the game sheet.

Just over 6 minutes into the second period Thomas Nesbitt finally got one past Bryce O'Hagan who had made some big saves on the previous 21 shots from the 67's. Ben Dubois and Shane Prince assisted on the PPG which would stand as the game winning goal. Nice start for new-comer Ben Dubois.

And less than a minute later, Dalton Smith, who we haven't heard from too much lately, scored a SHG on rebound from Marc Anthony Zanetti to put Ottawa up by two.

At this point, Ottawa took over the game as the Peteborough Petes started feeling the effects of two games in two days and playing with a very short bench (only 16 skaters). Before the second frame was done, Ben Dubois scored his first goal as a 67's and Tyler Toffoli kept his point streak alive with his 35th goal of the season to make it a 4 - 0 game.

Tyler Graovac scored his 7th goal of the season during Peterborough's 5 penalty of the game when he wristed it over O'Hagan's shoulder.

The top line wrapped it up at the mid-way point of the third when Ryan Martindale's backhand from the top of the crease got through O'Hagan and dribbled over the goal line for Martindale's 24th of the year. Linemates Prince and Toffoli with the assists.

The fans in Section 6 (I think) received their Subway sub cards for Ottawa scoring 6 goals and the 67's went on to help Mrazek get his second shut out (both coming in the last two Ottawa home games). Mrazek has gone a full 120 minutes without having a goal scored on him at the Rona Centre.

The team now prepares for the return match against Ben Dubois's former team, the Owen Sound Attack. When these teams met on New Year's Day, the Attack came from behind to beat the 67's. The 67's will be looking to correct that outcome on Sunday.

Hope we see you at the game.

Three Stars as selected by the Team1200

Hardest working 67's
Hardest Working 67's as selected by the Team1200: Tyler Toffoli who was also named the OHL player of the month for December

Random Thoughts:
  • Tyler Toffoli kept his league leading scoring 22-game streak going with his goal and assist. Tyler has scored 49 points (24G - 25A). Shane Prince is right behind him with a streak of 18 games where he notched 12G and 25 A although his streak was broken in Peterborough on Thursday.
  • Tyler Toffoli and Petr Mrazek were named as OHL top performers for the month of December. Click here for the OHL announcement.
  • With Jon Carnevale, Steven Janes and Cosimo Fontana still out with injuries, Ottawa iced 11 forwards. Martindale, Toffoli and Prince shared double-shift duties to form a line with Foglia and Fielding. I can't recall the last time the 67's have had a healthy scratch. Can't be anyone complaining about not getting chances to play. Rookies saw more ice time in different situations in the third period.
  • Toffoli had a couple of break-aways and Cody Lindsay had one too. No goals on any of them.
  • You may have missed it but the Ottawa 67's helmets are sporting white chin straps in a nod to old-style hockey. The players are pretty pumped about this uniform upgrade.
  • Not sure if there were problems with the ice. Lots of players losing their footing and fumbling with the puck.
More Pictures:
Sean Monahan was the leading scorer for the Gold Medal Team Ontario in the U-17 tournament
Petr Mrazek was named the Vaughn OHL Goalie for the month of December
Amazing goal-mouth save by O'Hagan in the first period
Click here to see more pictures from the game.

January 06, 2011

Breaking Down the Rest of The Regular Season

After tonight's game against the Peterborough Petes, the Ottawa 67's have 29 games left in the 68 regular-game season.

Going into tonight's game, the 67's are second in the conference with a record of 25-11-1-1 for 52 points, 7 behind the OHL leading Mississauga St. Mike's Majors (who have 2 games in hand), and 2 points ahead of the Niagara IceDogs (who have one game in hand).

Of the remaining 29 games, 12 are on the road with February being the hardest road-game month with 8 road games. They get a break in March with 6 home games including the last four games.

19 games are within the conference, 16 of which are are against conference rivals who are currently in playoff positions including 3 against Mississauga. All 10 games against Western Conference teams are against teams that are currently in playoff positions including 2 against the Western Conference leading Saginaw Spirit.

What does all this mean? Well, every point counts but certainly points against conference rivals are critical in that they are effectively 4-point games. With only 4 points separating Ottawa, Niagara and Oshawa (currently sitting in positions 2, 3 and 4 respectively) and Oshawa and Niagara having games in hand (2 and 1 respectively), Ottawa cannot afford to take any games off if they want to hang on to second spot in the Conference. They play Niagara once and Oshawa twice.

With losses in the their last game of 2010 and the first game of 2011 Ottawa will need to re-group and get back to what made them successful in the first half of the season. Other teams in the conference are gaining strength (Peterborough in particular) and are battling for playoff positions. Ottawa will have to improve their defensive play and not rely on Mrazek to bail them out as much as they did in the first half.

As the trade deadline looms, it will be interesting to see if Kilrea and Byrne make any roster changes. Welcome to the interesting part of the season.