November 29, 2013

Gutsy effort as the 67’s fall 2-1 to the Greyhounds in the shootout

With the 3rd most saves so far this season, Philippe Trudeau is used to being peppered with shots.  And tonight was no different.  Trudeau stopped 37 of 38 shots fired his way but it wasn’t enough as his Ottawa 67’s fell 2-1 in the shootout to the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds tonight.

Trudeau and Matt Murray put on a goaltending clinic throughout the game.  While not tested nearly as much, Murray had to be sharp at times and kept his team in the game. 

Brendan Bell in a foot race for the puck when the two teams met in Ottawa earlier this season.
With some solid scoring chances at each end of the ice, it wasn’t until 38.33 minutes into the game that the first goal was scored.  David Miller scored his 5th of the season in the slot as the puck slid under Trudeau’s left leg.  The play originated from the corner where Sergey Tolchinsky was able to hold on to the puck and fed it to Miller from behind the net for the late 1-0 lead.

Despite being down 1 goal going into the third, the 67’s were playing some of their best defensive hockey to date.  Defensemen and forwards alike were working hard in their own zone blocking shots and sacrificing the body.  After allowing 6 powerplay goals in the past 3 games, the 67’s tightened things up and went 100% on 5 penalty kills including a lengthy two-man advantage early in the second period.

The 67’s battled back into the game and were rewarded early in the 3rd period.  After causing Alex Gudbranson to fumble the puck at the blueline, Travis Konecny jumped on the puck starting a perfect give and go sequence with Ryan Van Stralen.  Catching a cross-ice saucer pass from Van Stralen at the side of the net, Konecny displayed his great hand/eye coordination and redirected the puck past Murray in the Greyhounds net.

Both teams continued to compete hard during and after the play.  If you knew nothing about the OHL, you would have thought these teams were division rivals due to all the rough play after the whistles, especially around the crease resulting in three fights during the game: Bell vs Dupuy, Blandisi vs Watling and finally Duchesne vs Gudbranson.

Two of the fights appeared to be a result of Greyhound players trying to take exception to the edge Konecny plays with.  “I always do what I can to try to get the guys going.  It doesn’t matter if it’s on the scoreboard or got to be a little physical.  I know these guys are a really skilled team out here tonight so I’m just doing what I can for my line and opening up space out there,” Konecny told Rogers TV in the second period.

The teams did not let their rough play take control of the game.  Combining for 62 saves and only 2 goals allowed, the goaltending was the bigger story.  Infact, both goalies shut the door early in the third period forcing overtime and then ultimately forcing a shootout.

Jared McCann and Jake Speers scored for the Greyhounds while Murray stopped Brendan Bell and Brett Gustavsen for their 18th win of the season. 

The 67’s earn a valuable point in the shootout loss and have a lot to be happy with in terms of their play and effort level.  They snap their 3-game win streak but are now unbeaten in regulation in 4 games.  They have a much earned day of rest before taking on the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday afternoon.

No comments: