After a heartbreaking 5-4 OT loss in Peterborough, you would have thought the Ottawa 67’s would come out with more urgency. Instead, it was the visiting Guelph Storm outshooting the 67’s 11-2 in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Scott Kosmachuk opened the scoring after squeezing past three Ottawa players, dragging the puck and shooting it top corner behind Petr Mrazek in the 67’s net. With momentum leaning Guelph’s way after an early powerplay chance, Tyler Bertuzzi picked up the puck behind the net and passed it out to the slot where teammate Patrick Watling was waiting. Watling wired it past Mrazek.
The 67’s would continue to get into penalty trouble when Mike Vlajkov was slapped with a minor for cross-checking. That didn’t stop Tyler Toffoli who notched his 39th of the season and 150th career OHL goal with a man down. He streaked in from centre ice, shot to puck from the top of the faceoff circle and lifted the puck over the blocker of Garret Sparks to cut the lead in half.
Just under 30 seconds later, Francis Menard tipped in an Andrey Paden point shot screening Mrazek to regain the Storm’s 2-goal lead after time still remained on the powerplay. The 67’s continued to improve their play, but it wasn’t enough to add more in the first period.
With Cody McNaughton in the box for hooking – his second straight penalty – Tyler Toffoli made a great individual effort after he skated into the open slot from the halfboards and sniped the puck high over the blocker of Sparks to get into the game within 1 goal. Guelph was quick to respond again as Hunter Garlent defected in a wrist shot to the open side of the net to regain the Storm’s 2-goal lead.
Early in the 3rd period, Mike Vlajkov gave up the puck at the side of the net. Kosmachuck jumped on it and fed the puck behind to Garlent who notched his second straight goal.
The 67’s continued to press but couldn’t seem to capitalize on any chances. It wasn’t until Sparks got caught outside of the net where Ryan Van Stralen was able to pass the puck out front to Remy Giftopolous who shot it into the open net. Less than 20 seconds later, the 67’s would cut the lead back to 1 after Cody Ceci’s point shot was redirected in by Shane Prince.
New life was shot into the 67’s play, however it wasn’t enough time and despite some great scoring chances, Garret Sparks came up with some great saves and some help from his goal posts.
The 67’s have the day off Saturday, but return to action Sunday as they host the Malcolm Subban and the Belleville Bulls for the final home meeting of the season. Meanwhile, the Storm travel down the 401 to face the Belleville Bulls Saturday night and Kingston Sunday afternoon.
Click here to see the game sheet.
NOTES: Tyler Toffoli’s two goals places him in a tie with Seth Griffith of the London nights for the goal scoring lead with 40 … Toffoli still leads the OHL scoring race with 80 points in 49 games … Shane Prince extends his point streak to 26 points in 13 straight games … The Ottawa 67’s announced its plans to move operations to Scotiabank Place for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons while construction is done on the Lansdowne Live project. See more information here: http://ottawa67s.com/article/67-s-relocating-to-scotiabank-place-during-lansdowne-construction
Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
- For guys who have played hockey most of their lives, it's surprising that they seem to have forgotten that it's 60+ minutes long.
- It was good to see Cardwell and Ceci return to the line up. Smith and McFarland are not ready to return and they are seriously missed. The rest of the team seems unable to step up in their absence.
- I get that this is very physical game and that the fans enjoy that, but I was seriously annoyed when a handful of young kids were yelling taunts at the Storm player down on the ice after being cross-checked into the boards by Gustavsen. The adult with them chimed right in. After suggesting that they would feel differently if it were them on the ice, they shut it down. Sheesh.
- The standard of officiating may not have been met for this game. Lots to complain about going both ways.