October 04, 2013

Greyhounds Repeat January Meeting, Defeat 67's 4-1

After dropping a 4-1 decision to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on home ice January 3rd, this season’s edition of the Ottawa 67’s followed suit exactly nine months later, dropping another 4-1 decision to the Greyhounds on Thursday night.

Soo goaltender Matt Murray, who made 21 saves in the game in January, had to make 31 stops to preserve his second win in Kanata. 

“Shots are one thing, scoring chances are another,” said Chris Byrne.  “We don't worry about shots all that much, if you're giving up scoring chances you're in trouble.   We had a ton of scoring chances and their goalie made some saves, and we hit a couple posts.”

Byrne made it clear that discipline was the team’s biggest issue, surrendering two goals on six powerplays against in the first 39 minutes of the game.

“Everytime we got going in the first two periods we took a needless penalty.  We were our own worst enemy in the first two periods,” said Byrne. 

“In the third period, we didn't take penalties, we held the puck in their zone.  We controlled the game, had all sorts of scoring chances, but for us to continually put ourselves down and have to kill three or four penalties a period, we can't do it.”

Andrew Fritsch had the lone even strength goal for the Greyhounds.  Patrick Watling and Tyler Gaudet scored on the powerplay, while Jared McCann scored a late shorthanded goal to sink the Barberpoles.

“Our powerplays were late in the game, you're already down by that point,” added Byrne.

Travis Konecny supplied the only highlights of the game for the home side.

The rookie opened the scoring midway through the first period on a one-timer set up by Sam Studnicka, and with the game only 2-1 in the second, intercepted a cross-ice pass and sped in on a breakaway, only to hit the post.

Philippe Trudeau made 27 saves in his third consecutive start.  Jacob Blair will likely get the start on the second half of a back-to-back.

Now the eight seed in the Eastern Conference, Ottawa heads on the road for the first time to take on the conference’s juggernaut Kingston Frontenacs on Friday night. 

Game sheet can be found here

(Unofficial) shot tracking by Kathryn Jean.  'X' indicates Greyhounds player.

Assorted Notes:
  • Mike Vlajkov was expected to return this weekend but is still sitting out with a leg injury.  Given some of Ottawa's defensive breakdowns on the night, it shouldn't be long before rookie Troy Henley starts seeing more game action.
  • Just like last year's game, the 67's were totally smothered by the Greyhounds' dominant defence.  Captain Darnell Nurse is a franchise defender, the sort of player the 67's should be on the lookout for in the 2014 draft.
  • Trudeau got caught off his post on the Greyhounds second goal, but was solid the rest of the way.  Unfortunately, that goal, which held up as the winner, totally deflated the home side.  
  • Perhaps the game felt bland and boring because of the Soo's smothering defence, but perhaps it was also because of the lack of crowd noise.  The attendance of 1,561, the lowest the team has had since October 1997, was worrisome.  A Thursday night in Kanata may be a tough sell, but Konecny alone is worth the price of admission most nights.
The Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200:

Hardest Working 67's:  Travis Konecny Hardest Working 67's:  Travis Konecny 

Some pictures from the game: 
      Travis Konecny taking (another) awkward fall into the boards.

    John Urbanic working to get around the Soo player.

         Taylor Davis separating a Soo player from the puck.

    What all the guys dream of getting - a Stanley Cup Ring.  
    Click here to see more picture from the game (and more pictures of the Chicago Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup ring).  

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