September 29, 2012

67's lose Wilson to injury & game to Niagara

The Ottawa 67’s (0-3-0) remain winless after a doubly costly 4-2 loss to the Niagara Ice Dogs on Friday Night.  Goaltender Keegan Wilson left the game at the conclusion of the first period after tweaking his groin, and although Jacob Blair was solid in relief, Niagara’s offence was too much as they came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the home side.

Wilson stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period.  Blair stopped 22 of 25 shots after coming off the bench, facing 18 of those shots in a dominant second period by Niagara.  Chris Festarini made 20 saves at the other to pick up the win for the Ice Dogs (3-0-0).

Ottawa opened the scoring late in the first period when Dante Salituro finished off a perfect cross-crease pass from Ryan Van Stralen.  The marker was Salituro’s first career OHL goal and also gave the 67’s their first lead of the season.  Tyler Graovac extended the lead in the second period, taking a drop pass from Brett Gustavsen and beating Festarini from the hashmarks.

However, before the middle frame was done, Niagara had stormed back to tie the game.  Ryan Strome caught the defence flat-footed, starting a 2-on-1 rush that he eventually finished off with his first goal of the year to get the Ice Dogs on the board.  The visitors tied the game just over a minute later when Shane Rover’s point shot beat Blair for a game-tying shorthanded goal.

The two teams stayed relatively even for the third, but a bad bounce lead to the deciding goal at the 12:22 mark.  Andrew Abou-Assaly and Sean Monahan collided with one another in the defencive zone, leaving the puck for a wide-open Brett Ritchie who beat Blair blocker-side. 

“It's unfortunate that it was a bit of a tough bounce, it ends up on one of their better player's stick and ends up in the back of the net," said Chris Byrne of the third goal.

Strome scored his second goal of the night into the empty net.

The game sheet can be found here.

The 67’s get another chance to pick up their first win of the season tomorrow afternoon when they take on the OHL’s first overall pick Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters.  

Hardest working 67's.

Hardest working 67's as selected by the Team1200:  Ryan Van Stralen

Assorted Notes:
  • A pre-game ceremony honoured longtime play-by-play announcer Dave Schreiber as he called his final 67's game for the Team 1200.  "The Voice" had been announcing 67's games for 38 years.
  • The 67's only went with seven defencemen tonight (and Nevin Guy at forward).  Jonathan Duchesne lost out to the numbers game as Daniel Walsh made his first appearance ot the season.
  • Despite the loss, Byrne had a positive outlook.  "I'm much happier with our game tonight, there were lots of good plays and plays that we want to see.  We had a lot more positives than negatives tonight.  If we continue on this path, the wins will come."
  • Although nothing is set in stone, the bench boss added that it's "probable" Wilson will sit out tomorrow's game with his groin ailment.
Thoughts from behind the lens:
  • As Alex mentioned, it was Dave Schreiber appreciation night.  So many folks congratulating him on his long career calling 67's games.  He's still going to call Senators' games (if they ever get started again).
  • Brian Kilrea was on hand for the game.  Looks like he's recovering quite well.  Good to see him around the rink. 
  • Former Missy bench boss (and now Senators assistant coach) Dave Cameron was in the building.  Brian Kilrea asked him if he was still yelling.  "NO!", he yelled back.  
  • Daniel Walsh was back and tried to make up for lost time.  If his shoulder bothered him, it didn't show.
  • If you've been to a Senator's home game, you know there is a box in the 100's where the occupants feel obliged to yell "Leafs suck!" at every opportunity.  I'm pretty sure it was the occupants of the same box who were yelling "Ice Dogs suck!". Must be something in the air in that box.
  • No three star selection showcase for you - none of the players even looked my way to get a decent picture.  
Some pictures from the game:
Brian Kilrea and Jeff Hunt presented Dave with a jersey and a golf bag.

Click here to see more pictures. 

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