Wilson was looking for his first complete game since last Saturday, but the visitors got to him just over two minutes into the game. Joseph Cramarossa fanned on one wide-open attempt at the side of the net, before capitalizing on a second, identical chance.
Garrett Hooey scored on another broken play at the side of the net with just over five minutes to go in the opening period, and Jordan Subban scored a minute and five seconds later to take a three-goal advantage and chase Ottawa’s starting goaltending, bringing in Jacob Blair for his third appearance between the pipes in as many games.
Ryan Van Stralen tried to light a fire under his team by lining up to fight Austen Brassard off the ensuing faceoff, but the linesmen stepped in to break up the pre-meditated scrap. The 67’s wouldn’t get their spark until the second period.
In the middle frame, Dante Salituro scored after Ottawa squandered a full two-minute five-on-three powerplay. Steven Janes brought the Barberpoles to within one goal with a fluke goal from a bad angle. The two goals came in a second period where the home side outshot Belleville 18-6.
"I figured at 3-0, in a tough first period where everything found its way into our net, that our guys could've gone south on us and not responded,” said Chris Byrne. “We've got a lot of character in our room to come back and have an 18-shot period to get us back in the game. We've got things to work on in our zone, but I thought our character was really strong and if we can have those efforts for entire games then we can be successful.”
Belleville gave Ottawa five powerplays in the final two periods, but the 67’s were unable to complete the comeback. Charlie Graham made 33 saves for the Bulls in just his fourth start of the season.
Blair made 15 stops in relief for Wilson. “He did a great job and it was a great thing for him to come back and play well for us,” added Byrne after Blair allowed eight goals on Friday night.
The game sheet can be found here.
- Richard Mraz and Jake Cardwell appear to have had their respective times with the 67's come to an end. Upon rampant rumours that Cardwell has gone home to await a trade, Byrne admitted that a deal was imminent and should be completed this week."
- "He's a player that has has done a great job here for us," said Byrne of his overaged defenceman on the way out. "Right now we're finding out some different options for him, and we have some things that we're looking at and we'll find something for him this week."
- Salituro was having a very solid game right from the get-go and benefitted from it later on. He had a goal and an assist and finished the game on the top line with Sean Monahan and Steven Janes, which Byrne attributed his "reward-based system" and the rookie's solid effort.
- Four times on the day, there were penalties for hits from behind. Two-minute penalties. Van Stralen and Brassard tried to fight, were broken up before they had a chance to go at it, and sat out ten minutes. So, according to the OHL, an attempt at an honest fight is five times worse than driving a defenceless opponent face-first into the boards.
Three Stars as selected by the Team1200
Hardest working 67's: Dante Salituro
Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
- Although not the desired result, the effort was much better. At least for the second period and parts of the third. They got into too much of a hole in the first.
- The jumbotron showed a shot of the Ottawa bench after the second Belleville goal. The definition of dejected. Big props to the team to battle back from that and make it a game.
- Cody Ceci was absolutely gassed at the end of the game. There simply wasn't any more to give. His team mates looked concerned.
- It is confirmed that Jake Cardwell is at home waiting for a trade that he requested. Pretty big disappointment for me. I had him pegged for big things this year based on what he showed us last year. Never figured him for someone who wouldn't push through it - especially given that he had an official leadership role this year.
- There are three rookies who have played every game (18) this year: Dante Salituro, Connor Brown and Nevin Guy. Matthieu Desaultels has dressed for 17 games and Andrew Abou-Assaly has dressed for 16. For Belleville, the rookie with the most games is Niki Petti with 16. Overall, 7 Ottawa players have dressed for all 18 games; 10 for Belleville. Ottawa has consistently been icing a younger team it seems.
Some pictures from the game:
Connor Brown and Nevin Guy
Brett Gustavsen crashing the net.
Cody Ceci rushing through the defender
Toe save by Blair
Click here to see more pictures.