Jake Middleton and Joseph Blandisi, acquired in the trade that sent Janes and Ceci to Owen Sound, had an assist each against their former team.
"It was a very good game, we played hard against a very good team," said Chris Byrne, who returned to the bench after taking Friday night to scout. "We've got to do that every night from here on out. Our guys played hard and played the game we asked them to play and gave ourselves a chance to tie it up or win it in the third period."
Ottawa quickly struck twice on the powerplay in the first period to erase a pair of one-goal deficits. Down 1-0, Sean Monahan came out of the penalty box and finished off a pretty passing play 15 seconds into the 67’s first powerplay of the day. Michal Cajkovsky scored four seconds into a man advantage late in the period to tie the game at 2.
Kurtis Gabriel originally opened the scoring for the visitors 38 seconds into the game. Daniel Catenacci scored on the powerplay midway through the opening frame and Zach Nastasiuk gave Owen Sound the last lead they would need before the period was done.
A very chippy affair, the two teams combined for 64 penalty minutes. "Sometimes that's the way it shakes out," added Byrne regarding the number of penalties.. "It was a tough, hard game out there today." Ottawa converted on two of their seven man advantages, while Owen Sound went 2-for-10.
Ryan Van Stralen renewed hostilities with Gabriel, their second fight in as many seasons, off the faceoff after Monahan’s goal, while Sean Callaghan dropped the gloves with both Jaden Lindo and Daniel Zweep.
Brandon Hope made 27 saves to preserve the win for the Attack. After allowing a goal on the first shot of the game, Clint Windsor stopped 23 of the next 26 shots he faced.
The 67’s stay at home to play the London Knights on Thursday night, before heading on a two-game weekend road trip.
Game sheet can be found here.
- Both former Attack players were shaken up late in the game, but appeared to be okay. Blandisi took a Cajkovsky slapshot in the ankle, only to return on the next shift and block a shot at the other end of the ice. Middleton also appeared to limp off the ice shortly thereafter, favouring his right foot.
- Middleton had arguably his best game as a 67, constantly pinching in from the point and not getting burned on any of them. "He was solid playing big minutes with Mike (Cajkovsky) and I thought they were a really good pair for us," said Byrne.
- With the NHL announcing that they're going to get tougher on slashing and interference calls, it appears as though the NHL is following suit. A couple of checks from behind went uncalled, while some borderline hooks and interference calls were made.
Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200
Hardest Working 67's: Mike Cajkovsky
Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
- What a different game - what a great effort from the team and the emphasis is on team. This one was fun to watch. Hope the players get it that this is the level of effort they need to bring every game. While the playoffs are unlikely, the 67's can still play spoiler and keep the opposition honest. Should be no easy games for anyone - especially on home ice.
- Having played with and against each other in various combinations over their short careers, players are able to sort out on-ice and off-ice relationships. Before the teams were dressed for the warm-up, Ceci, Janes and Van Stralen were chatting in hallway between the two dressing rooms like there had never been a trade.
- As sad as it was to see Ceci and Janes leave (I would be a lousy GM - couldn't trade players), it sure looks like Byrne made a great trade. Really liking what Middleton and Blandisi have brought to the team. Middleon already a fan favourite - overhead from a kid in the third period "Middleton, I believe in you!" as Ottawa pressed for the tying goal.
- Also liking Petaccio's effort as well.
Some pictures from the game:
Joseph Blandisi getting oh so close to scoring on his former team. Just couldn't bury it.
Dante Salituro winning the face off.
Click here to see more pictures.