Taylor Fielding and Tyler Graovac scored two goals apiece in a five-goal, second period outburst, leading the Ottawa 67’s (3-6-0-0) to a 6-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Fielding now has four goals on the year to match his previous career total, while Graovac moves into a three-way tie for the league lead in goals with nine.
“There have been some bounces and tough mistakes we've had in the first part of the season that were costing us games, and it was nice to see our guys play a complete game today,” noted Head Coach Chris Byrne. “I thought that our guys worked hard in the second period and gave us a chance to win the game.”
The 67’s may have dominated the second period, but the first was a much different story. They failed to register a shot in the first six minutes, and found themselves in a 2-0 hole that they’re all too familiar to seeing this season.
Richard Mraz got Ottawa on the board before the end of the opening frame with his first career goal, albeit not the flashiest marker he’ll score. Jake Cardwell’s point shot glanced off of Mraz’s skate before finding its way to the back of the net.
Fielding tied the game less than two minutes into the second and gave them a lead with a shorthanded marker midway through the period. Graovac, who assisted on Fielding’s shorthanded marker, then scored twice in three minutes. In between Graovac’s pair of goals, Brett Gustavsen netted his third of the season, chasing Kitchener goaltender John Gibson from the game.
The visitors heavily outshot the 67’s in the third, but Keegan Wilson held on and shut the door, finishing the afternoon with 38 saves. Gibson made 16 saves at the other end before being pulled, while Franky Palazzese made nine stops in relief for the Rangers (3-4-0-1). Tobias Rieder and Owen Stewart had Kitchener’s two tallies.
Ottawa heads on another two-game road trip next weekend when they visit Barrie and Owen Sound. They return home on the 24th to play the Oshawa Generals.
Game sheet can be found here.
- Senators prospect Matt Puempel was completely silenced in his future building. He was a -3 on the afternoon.
- Kitchener’s 0-for-4 powerplay has plenty of talent, but they didn’t move their feet or set up well at all. Ottawa completely took over after Fielding’s shorthanded goal.
- Daniel Walsh has eight left on his fight card after soundly beating Darby Llewellyn in a second-period tussle.
- Both Byrne and Graovac had high praise for Fielding. "We saw some skill in him offencively, and I think for him and our team, the biggest lift is that he plays so solid and so sound," added the bench boss. Linemate Graovac went on to say, "(he's) been getting me the puck in the middle of the ice, he's great on the walls.".
- Graovac on the team's pink uniforms for Breast Cancer Research: "It's styling, I love it! It's a good cause, what can I say?".
Three Stars as selected by the Team1200
Hardest Working 67's as Selected by the Team1200: Keegan Wilson
Thoughts from behind the lens:
- Nice crowd for the game today, including a number of Kitchener fans. We know which fans went home happy.
- The jerseys were a much nicer shade of pink this year, although when seen in bunches, it's still a whole lotta pink.
- For a team with 8 NHL draft picks, I expected the Rangers to be harder to play against. The 67's played a very solid game. This is the team we are used to seeing, resilient, skilled, and focused. They played hard right to the final buzzer.
- It was linesman Steve Corlyon's 50th birthday and not only did his friends and family fill a box wearing linesman jerseys, they put signs on the glass level seats for fans to put on the glass where Steve could see them. He was very surprised. Happy Birthday Steve!
Some pictures from the game: