October 04, 2013

67's Get First Look At Class Of The Conference, drop 7-4 decision

Whether it’s considered a glance at the best team in the OHL or a glance at their potential future, the Ottawa 67’s got their first look at the league’s best squad in the Kingston Frontenacs, dropping a 7-4 decision in Kingston on Friday night.

Should the 67’s spend another season on their downward trend, it’s entirely possible that they rebuild and take the league by storm the way Kingston has this season. 

The Barberpoles fall to 2-4-0 on the season, although barring a Belleville comeback in the third period of their game in Oshawa, they won’t fall to last place in the division.

Kingston, the tortured franchise that sold the farm for a first-round exit in 2011 before spending two seasons as a bottom-feeder, is reaping the rewards jumping out to a 5-0-1 start.

One player who won’t be with Ottawa when they’re poised to be contenders, overager Ryan Van Stralen, scored the visitor’s first two goals on Friday night, but by that point, the 67’s had fallen into four- and five-goal deficits respectively.

Dante Salituro and Brendan Bell also tallied for the 67’s. 

The young Kingston got scoring from five different players, none of which over the age of 18.

Sam Bennett opened the scoring 10 seconds into the game, and scored Kingston’s final goal before being ejected for slew-footing Trevor Dulong.

Rookie Lawson Crouse, Travis Konecny’s teammate from Elgin-Middlesex in bantam hockey, also had a pair, while 17-year olds Roland McKeown and Spencer Watson piled on.  Veteran Sam Povorozniouk also added a marker.

Jacob Blair got the start after sitting three consecutive games, but was pulled after allowing six goals on 26 shots.  Philippe Trudeau allowed one in just over a period of work.

The 67’s now return home to play three home games in five days.

Assorted notes:
  • In 2010, when the 67's beat Kingston 9-0 in front of over 7,000 fans, it was hard to imagine Ottawa would be one day on the other side of a beatdown in this rivalry, especially with the Frontenacs drawing more fans than Ottawa.  It's a long road to the top, London fans through the late 90's found this out, now fans of the Frontenacs see the end of the tunnel as well.
  • Adrian Sloboda appeared to be injured after hauling down Kingston's Sam Schutt on a breakaway, crashing into the net and surrendering a penalty shot in the process. He returned but didn't see a lot of ice time.
  • Most of the 67's were minus-players on the night, but Jonathan Duchesne got it the worst, playing away from his usual partner in Jacob Middleton.  Middleton played alongside rookie Troy Henley, who replaced struggling Nevin Guy on the back end.  Duchesne played with Sloboda.
  • Van Stralen, Salituro, Bell, Konecny and Tyler Hill were the only forwards with an even +/-.  Chris Byrne often talks about rolling four lines, but the bottom two lines didn't see a lot of ice time and got burned when they did.  Twice, Kingston scored within 30 seconds of each other with the same Ottawa group on the ice.
  • In McKeown, the Barberpoles got to see what a franchise defenceman looks like for the second night in a row.  Nobody doubts the picking of Konecny in the 2013 first round anymore, but a top blueliner should be on the team's radar should they continue to fall in 2014.

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