December 18, 2013

67's Continue Home Ice Shootout Domination Over Peterborough

For the second time this season, the Ottawa 67’s took a 3-2 shootout decision over divisional rival Peterborough on home ice, earning sole possession of eighth in the Eastern Conference again.

Brendan Bell scored his second shootout goal against the Petes on the season, while Brett Gustavsen scored the winner in the fourth round.

"It's a huge two points tonight," said Chris Byrne.  "We hope to reel (the Petes) in, and we're looking forward to Friday to hopefully get another two points."

The 67’s move a point ahead of the Niagara Ice Dogs, who they also hold two games in hand on. 

Peterborough’s single point from going to overtime widens the gap between seventh and eighth to five points, while Ottawa has three games in hand.

During the opening fourty minutes, where the 67’s were caught flat-footed several times and were, at times, heavily outshot, Ryan Van Stralen had to dig his team out of a pair of one-goal deficits.

After Jake Middleton fought Chase Hatcher late in the first period, the second scrap of the opening frame, Van Stralen scored off the ensuing faceoff to tie the game at one.

"We had a few faceoff wins and a few set plays, it was nice to get one off that," said Byrne.

John Urbanic also tried to light a fire under his team by taking on Matt McCartney midway through the first. 

After the rough stuff died down in the second, Michael Clarke re-gained the lead for Peterborough.  Van Stralen tied the game three minutes later, tipping home a feed from Travis Konecny.

Neither team could crack the tie in the third, despite Ottawa getting two late powerplays.

"With our team there's times in the game where we struggle a bit," added Byrne.  "But we had all kinds of chances to score in the third and happened to get the win in the shootout."

Philippe Trudeau, who made 53 saves in regulation and four in the shootout in the Peterborough matchup in October, stopped another 37 in regulation and three in the shootout to preserve the win tonight.

Ottawa takes on Kingston this Friday at home, before an eight-day Christmas break.

Game sheet can be found here.

Valerie, the usual photographer, is already on the road to spend Christmas out west so the usual photos are not available.  Here are some photos generously provided by another photographer who didn't want photo credit.

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