March 12, 2013

Chanceless 67's Clinch Chance at Exceptional Player

On a night where they had trouble accomplishing firsts – registering their first shot on goal nearly 25 minutes into the game, the Ottawa 67’s officially clinched one first; the first overall pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft, with a 3-0 loss to the Brampton Battalion.

As OHL fans focused on the playoff race between two teams just up on the 67’s in the Eastern Conference, a 3-2 Peterborough shootout win over Mississauga, Ottawa fans watched as their team had trouble cracking Brampton’s tough defencive style. 
Dante Salituro had the first shot on goal on a second-period powerplay, forcing Brampton netminder Matej Machovsky to make one of only 10 saves required to get the shutout.
At the other end, Clint Windsor made 52 saves, including a pair of cross-crease saves late in the first period, to hold the home side in the game.
Brampton’s first two markers came with a crowd in front of the net, a pair of screened shots from Brandon Robinson in the first and Zach Bell in the second respectively.  Matthew Santos iced it with an empty netter.
The 67’s now fall to 1-3 without Chris Byrne behind the bench, as he took the opportunity to head to Mississauga to scout the OHL Cup.
With the loss, Ottawa is now unable to pass the 19th-place Erie Otters, and will pick first in the Priority draft and second in the CHL Import Draft.
While it’s believed that Hockey Canada has made their decision as to the potential exceptional status of defenceman Sean Day, it’s not expected to be announced until after the end of the regular season.  Had 67’s fans known his status tonight, it could have softened the blow of tonight’s loss.
The 67’s wrap up their season this weekend with a pair of home games on Friday and Saturday before finishing the season Sunday in Kingston.
Game sheet can be found here.
Assorted notes:
  • Ottawa’s starting line of Brendan Bell, Salituro and Brett Gustavsen tried providing a spark all night.
  • Clearly Bell isn’t too worried about the 10-fight rule at this point.  He’s two fights away from having an early summer, but he was in the middle of all the rough stuff on this night.
  • The Barberpoles called up Kevin Groulx for this game, as they only dressed five defencemen with Jonathan Duchesne joining the long list of injuries on the back end.  Groulx didn’t see his first shift until 36 minutes in, however, and only played two shifts after.
  • Perhaps Ottawa should have tried powerplay point-man Joseph Blandisi on defence full-time to give Groulx more ice time and take some pressure off of Taylor Fielding, who was double-shifted as a defenceman after starting the year on the wing.

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