October 08, 2013

Preview: Mississauga Steelheads @ Ottawa 67's - Oct 8/13

After a big 3-2 shootout win Sunday afternoon against the Peterborough Petes, the Ottawa 67’s improved to 3-4-0-0 record.  It’s another big interconference game tonight against the Mississauga Steelheads as the 67’s look to get back at .500 and jump from 8th place into a 4th place tie with Mississauga and Sudbury.

Despite being just under .500, coach Chris Byrne is pretty content with his team core but understands that it’s early and identifies there’s a lot of work to be done, “There's lots of improvement (needed), there's lots of guys that are playing well. There's lots of situations where we need to coach and teach and do better at but especially with (Mike) Vlajkov now out its a young blueline and I think they played pretty well tonight.”

Vlajkov could be out for a while.  It was determined that he needs surgery to repair a labrial tear to his hip bone.  He returns home for the surgery and may not be able to skate until the new year.  His veteran presence will be missed on the blueline.

“This way, it’s playing it safe and I get back at some point and hope to have a good finish and help the team in a playoff push,” Vlajkov told the Ottawa Citizen Sunday afternoon. 

The 67’s young blueline will need to continue to play well and step up in the absence.  So far Jacob Middleton and new comers Adrian Sloboda and Alex Lintuniemi have looked solid in this role.
The Mississauga Steelheads are two points up on the 67’s with their last game being a 4-1 disappointing loss to the North Bay Battalion on Sunday.  Goaltender Spencer Martin made 35 saves in the losing cause.  Rookie D pairing Sean Day and Jared Walsh both had a tough game being on the ice for all 3 even strength Brampton goals.

The Steelheads will be missing John Burnside who was suspended 6 games for a hit from behind on Scott Simmonds of the Belleville Bulls.  Luckily, they received some better news this week.  Their first round pick of the CHL Import Draft, Artem Rasulov will suit up for his first OHL game tonight.  He was held back due to VISA issues.

The biggest story of the night will be the play of Sean Day and Travis Konecny – the two high picks in the OHL Priority Selection in April.  The Ottawa 67’s were very high on Travis Konecny from the beginning and even when Sean Day was granted exceptional status (to enter the league at 15), the 67’s didn’t budge.  In fact, Sean Day was not selected until the fourth overall pick by the Steelheads. It has been considered to be a steal, but will be interesting to see as time progresses.  While Day has already impressed in Mississauga, he must be anxious to prove to the 67’s brass what they missed out on. On the flip side, Konecny has proven to be a phenomenal player already.  These two young men will be the face of the league for the next couple seasons and will both be a treat to watch tonight.

The 2013-14 Regular Season Record
Ottawa 67's:  3-4-0-0
Mississauga Steelheads:  4-2-0-0

2013-14 Pre-season Record
Ottawa 67's:  3-1-0-0
Mississauga Steelheads:  1-3-0-0

2012-13 Regular Season Record
Ottawa 67's:  16-46-0-6
Mississauga Steelheads:  26-34-0-8

2012-13 OHL Playoffs
Ottawa 67's:  Did not qualify
Mississauga Steelheads: Eliminated in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals by the Belleville Bulls in 6 games

Players to watch

Ottawa 67's
Joseph Blandisi - drafted 6th round to Colorado in 2013
Jacob Middleton - NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting B list
Alex Lintuniemi - NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list
Travis Konecny - 1st overall pick in OHL,  NHL draft eligible 2015

Mississauga Steelheads
Sean Day - drafted 4th overall in the 2013 OHL draft, exceptional status
Trevor Carrick – drafted in the 4th round by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2012
Spencer Martin – drafted in the 3rd round by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013
Damien Bourne – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list
Joshua Burnside – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list

Ottawa 67’s: Ryan Van Stralen, Philippe Trudeau
Mississauga Steelheads: Dylan Smoskowitz, Brett Foy

Leadership Squad
Ottawa 67’s: Sean Monahan (C), Taylor Fielding (A), Ryan Van Stralen (A), Joesph Blandisi (A)
Mississauga Steelheads:  Brett Foy (C), Dylan Smoskowitz (A), Trevor Carrick (A)

Potential Scratches
Ottawa 67's:  Sean Monahan (NHL camp), Michel Vlajkov (injury), Also scratched last game: Trevor Dulong, Nevin Guy, John Urbanic
Mississauga Steelheads:  Josh Burnside (suspension)

*follow us on twitter (@msconduct or @A_Quevillon) for game day scratches

Mississauga Steelheads

Who's Gone?
Eric Diodati – just traded to the Windsor Spitfires last week in exchange for a 6thround pick in 2016
Alex Cord – graduated from the OHL
Craig Hottot – graduated from the OHL
Riley Brace – graduated from the OHL, now playing with the Worchester Sharks in AHL
Stuart Percy – now with the Toronto Maple Leafs farm system
Dylan DeMelo – now with the San Jose Sharks farm system
Kristoff Kontos – traded in the offseason to the Saginaw Spirit for a 4th round pick in 2014 and a 7th round pick in 2015
Scott Teskey – traded in the offseason to the Kitchener Rangers for a 10th round pick in 2015
Tyson Teichmann – traded in the offseason to the Kitchener Rangers for a conditional draft pick
Thomas Welsh – did not make the team

Who's New?
Jesse Barwell – 2nd round pick in 2013
Austin Gerhart – 2nd round pick in 2013
Brandon Belding – signed as a free agent, originally drafted to Gatineau
Everett Clark – 5th round in 2013
Bryson Cianfrone – Brampton's 3rd round pick in 2011
Artem Rasulov – 1st round CHL Import pick in 2013
Greg DiTomaso – 8th round pick in 2012
Jared Walsh – 2nd round pick in 2012
Sean Day – 1st round pick in 2013

Ottawa Connections:
Brandon Belding – native of Ottawa, last played for Nepean Raiders of CCHL
Spenser Cobbold – native of Stittsville, played for Kanata Stallions in 2010-11 season
Ryan Duhaime – native of Stittsville, played for Kanata Stallions in 2010-11 season
James Boyd (coach) – played 1 season with the Ottawa 67's in the 1994-95 season

2012-13 Head-To-Head Stats
Record: 4-0-0-0 Mississauga
Combined score: 17-13 for Mississauga

Top scorers

Ottawa 67's
Brett Gustavsen – 7 assists in 4 games
Dante Salituro – 2 goals, 2 assists in 4 games
Remy Giftopoulos – 3 goals in 2 games

Mississauga Steelheads
Dylan Smoskowitz – 5 goals, 3 assists in 4 games
Riley Brace – 1 goals, 7 assist in 4 games
Trevor Carrick - 5 goals, 1 assists in 4 games

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