Clint Windsor had to stand tall, making 42 saves for a 67’s team that was outshot by a 3:1 margin. They weren’t able to take advantage of the Bulls, without star goaltender Malcolm Subban, only sending 15 shots on netminder Charlie Graham.
"They played their solid, safe road game and limited us to very few chances," said Chris Byrne.
Belleville got out to an early two-goal lead, dominating most of the first 40 minutes, before shutting down into a defencive system and coasting to a shutout win. Brady Austin and Aaron Berisha got the visitors on the board in the first 10:30 of the game.
Taylor Fielding tried to light a fire under his team, throwing a big hit on Niki Petti behind the opposing net, before dropping the gloves with Austen Brassard. Fielding, however, wasn’t able to land a punch during the scrap.
During the second period, as Belleville was dominating the game, salt was added to the wounds of 67’s fans, when it was released that Graovac and Monahan were cut from Team Canada. Byrne said that he hadn’t heard anything, and wasn’t focused on the news, saying "I have enough work here coaching, I'm not worried about what Hockey Canada does."
He added that the return of his two star centers would help, however. "It was a big difference on Sunday getting Graovac on Sunday. (Tonight) there was no offence and those two guys create a lot of offence for our team."
After sweeping the season series against Belleville last season, the 67’s have lost all four meetings to their divisional rivals this season. They play another East Division foe on Friday as they take on the Peterborough Petes and attempt to claw their way out of last place.
Game sheet can be found here.
- Graovac and Monahan, according to the PA announcer at tonight's game, will be in the lineup on Friday. However, there is some confusion, as the OHL website lists Monahan's return from suspension as December 18.
- Matthieu Desuatels started the game, logged a lot of minutes and saved a goal when Brassard caught Windsor out of position in the second period. He was an even +/-.
- Ottawa didn't have any trouble shutting down Belleville's powerplay which has struggled this year. They killed off four penalties including a 5-on-3 late in the third. Ottawa's powerplay didn't have any chances.
- The 67's late 5-on-3 penalty kill should have been uplifting, but Ottawa was far too reserved, not pulling Windsor for an extra attacker while with the puck in Belleville's end, and not rushing the Bulls' defence as they were allowed to rag the puck around their own zone and run out the clock.
Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200:
Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
- At 1:56 from beginning to end, including the intermissions, this game must rank among the fastest played. There were very long stretches between whistles at times including the first 5 minutes of the game. There were very few icing calls.
- There were two new faces in the lineup: Trevor Dulong and Doug Harvey (not THAT Doug Harvey). They did join the team on the road last weekend but you could tell that they were still figuring out where to be at what time.
- It sure wasn't a barn-burner - Belleville can do that to a game. While Chris mentioned "safe" and "solid" in his description of Belleville's game, others might say "boring". Then again, they took home the win and as they say in golf, "there's no picture on the score card".
- Disappointing that Ottawa won't have a player on Team Canada this year - again. I may have to take Hockey Canada off my Christmas card list. Their loss is our gain. Welcome back Tyler and Sean.
Brendan Bell's first home game as a new 67's
Click here to see more pictures from the game.