Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist to lead his Niagara Ice Dogs to whopping 9-0 victory over the Ottawa 67’s.
On the road for the seventh game in a row and first of three this weekend, this was not the start the 67’s were looking for. But still without the likes of Tyler Graovac, Sean Monahan and Mike Vlajkov, the 67’s knew it was a tough task ahead.
NOTES: Graovac is still nursing the lower body injury that sidelined him for 7 games and will not suit up this weekend. He is still expected to leave Monday for World Junior camp in Calgary along with teammate Sean Monahan. Brett Gustavsen and Taylor Davis drew back into the lineup. The 67’s also called up some help for this weekend: Alex Morgan from the Chatham Maroons (GOJHL), Doug Harvey from the Kanata Stallions (CCHL) and Kevin Groulx from the Stittsville Royals (EOJHL).
Ondrej Kopta opened the scoring for Niagara after tipping in a Shane Rover point shot for his first career OHL goal. Later in the period, Dougie Hamilton gave the Ice Dogs a two goal cushion, wiring in his 8th goal of the season on the powerplay. First period shots ended 19-9 for Niagara with Clint Windsor making some key saves to keep his team in the game.
But that’s as far as he could take it tonight. The Ice Dogs came out firing at all cylinders scoring three quick goals within the first two minutes. Brett Richie, Steven Shipley and Ryan Strome had the three goals. Six minutes later, Trevor Petersen intercept a puck in the 67’s zone and beat Windsor on a long shot to put the Ice Dogs up 6-0. That would chase Windsor from the net as Jacob Blair came in for relief.
A scary moment for the 67’s as Mack Lemmon hit Brett Gustavsen with a knee-on-knee hit that cause him to leave the ice for the remainder of the second period. He would return in the third. The hit cause a big scuffle at the other end to the ice. Mike Robinson was tossed from the game for being the third man in while Taylor Davis and Ondrej Kopta were also given the gate for the second fight in the stoppage.
After everything was settled up, the teams went four-on-four for the first two minutes where Ryan Strome would pick up his second of the night right on the door step giving the Ice Dogs a commanding 7-0. The 67’s would get a three minute powerplay advantage but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. The number one powerplay in the league finished at 0/2 on the night.
The 67’s seemed to play better in the third period, but still unable to solve Christopher Festarini in the Niagara net. Rookies Broderick Kelly and Anthony DiFruscia would round out the scoring in the third to hand the 67’s their 7th straight loss. The 67’s hope to regroup Friday night as they travel across the border to take on the also struggling Erie Otters.