February 16, 2013

67's Allow Three Petes Goals in 96 Seconds En Route to 5-1 Loss

For the second time in nine days, the Ottawa 67's were unable to play spoiler for their divisional rival Peterborough Petes, as the Petes scored three goals in a 96-second span in the middle frame, leading to a 5-1 victory in Ottawa on Friday night.

With the Petes trailing 1-0 late in the second, Brett Findlay got Peterborough on the board to tie up the game.  Jonatan Tanus beat Jacob Blair from a bad angle 56 seconds after Findlay's marker, and Stephen Pierog added a goal 40 seconds later to round out the second period scoring.

"We had a great first two periods and didn't have the result we wanted, but that doesn't mean you get to skate through the third period without effort like we did here," said Chris Byrne.  "I thought our effort in the two periods was really strong.  Lots of chances, lots of shots, lots of effort, and in the third period they played a little bit back.  Our guys didn't fight through to get the puck in."

"Every game, you have a choice of how hard you want to work.  If we play a full game the way we played two periods here, that's a solid game for us."

Michael Clark and Nick Ritchie each scored in the final five minutes of the third period to put the game out of reach for the Petes, who are within two points of the Kingston Frontenacs for the eighth and final playoff spot.  They're now 13 points up on the 67's.

Sean Monahan, whose draft stock appeared to drop earlier in the day when International Scouting Services ranked him eighth amongst eligible prospects for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, had countless scoring opportunities and in the first period, had Ottawa's lone marker.

"I don't think it really affects me," said the captain on his draft ranking with ISS.  "If I'm getting ranked lower, I guess I've got to play better or do whatever I can do.  I try to play the same game and just try and build on that, I'm trying to get better every day."

Blair, who has now started in five and appeared in six of Ottawa's last seven games, stopped 37 shots in the loss.  Rookie goaltender Michael Giugovaz made 36 saves to earn his third win over the Barberpoles on the year.

"We were a little snakebitten there where the puck was in the crease and not going in," added Monahan.  "If we had a few more bounces there, I think it could've been a different game."

The Petes won't visit the 67's again this season, although Ottawa will have two more opportunities to play spoiler with a pair of games in Peterborough late in the season. 

Ottawa's next contest comes on Family Day (Monday) against the Battalion.

Game sheet can be found here.

Additional Notes:
  • This was one of the more physical games of the year.  If the Peterborough Petes squeak into the playoffs, they may even have a chance at an upset with their team toughness.  Ottawa wasn't backing down either. 
  • Joseph Blandisi and John Urbanic started the first two periods with scraps against Cody Thompson and Richie respectively.  Maybe they could've used a quick scrap in the third to spark a fire under them.
  • Last game, in a 10-1 loss, the fourth line of Connor Brown, Nevin Guy and Daniel Walsh were the only players to not be on the ice for a goal against.  Guy played defence tonight and was only a -1, while Brown and Walsh each had an even +/- rating again, picking up more icetime over the last two games. 
  • "That group played well," said Byrne on the trio of Brown, Guy and Walsh.  "They played with energy, and got involved early in the two games.  You can't fault those guys for their hard work."
  • Andrew Abou-Assaly, as noted a couple games ago, is slowly starting to get more ice time.  To try and stay high on the depth chart, he's played a much more physical game.  He also had a great scoring chance in the third while it was still a two-goal game.

Three Stars as Selected by the Team1200

 Hardest working 67's:  Ryan Van Stralen 
Hardest Working 67's:  Ryan Van Stralen
    Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
    • This was a much better game than the last time Peterborough was in town.  The 67's were engaged, physical and skating hard.  The third period wasn't their best but the overall game was a better effort.
    • I'm back to my "why does every shot on goal have to be a slap shot" rant?  A fast wrist shot is likely to have more success than a "wind-up-and-let-everyone-get-in-place slap shot. 
    • But speaking about shots on goal, the 67's are doing a much better job of getting pucks through to the net.  As Monahan said, a few different bounces and it could have been a different outcome.  And they are working hard in the hard places.  
    • As hard as it is to see players leave through trades, it sure is great to see the new guys working hard and fitting in.  Gotta say that I like all the guys that Chris brought in.
    Some pictures from the game: 
    How the goalie sees the rink

    Ryan Van Stralen creating traffic in front of Giugovaz

    Dante Salituro battles in front of the net in one of Ottawa's many scoring chances

    Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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