The Ottawa 67’s held on to edge the Niagara IceDogs by a score of 4-3 in regulation time. Keegan Wilson turned aside 35 of 38 shots to keep the 67’s in the game and lead his team to their first road win of the season.
With the IceDogs leading the season series at 1 game to none – a 4-2 victory they earned earlier this season in Ottawa, the 67’s came out with vengeance. Steven Janes and Jake Cardwell scored two goals on Christopher Festarini within the first 8 minutes of the opening frame. The IceDogs quickly found themselves in a hole. It was a situation they hadn’t found themselves in often so far this season. But Luke Mercer found a way to get past Keegan Wilson with a buzzer beating goal to put the IceDogs on the board with 8 seconds remaining on the clock.
The IceDogs dominated the next period firing 16 shots at Wilson but none made its way through. Instead, it was Jake Cardwell who scored his second of the game right off the faceoff to give the 67’s a strong 3-1 lead.
But the IceDogs wouldn’t quit. They shocked the 67’s this time 16 seconds into the 3rd period as Mitchell Theoret was open right in the slot and beat Wilson low glove side. Just over 5 minutes later, Niagara rookie Mike Robinson tied up the game at 3 after a Dougie Hamilton point shot bounced off his shoulder and into the net.
Both teams continued to press with some game saving stops by the netminders on both sides. It wasn’t until the 17:17 mark of the final frame when 67’s overager Jake Cardwell took advantage of an errant rebound and flipped the puck in on the short side. That would mark Cardwell’s second of the game and second of the season in front of his hometown crowd with the man advantage.
This was a huge win for the 67’s and was easily their best 60minute effort of the regular season. The 67’s travel to Mississauga tomorrow night for their first look at the newly name and newly owned Mississauga Steelheads. The game can be heard on Team 1200 and viewed on Rogers Cable 22.