December 14, 2013

Four-Goal Bulls Pick Up First Win Of Season In Ottawa

For the third time this season, the Belleville Bulls put up four goals during a game in Ottawa, but for the first time, it was enough to secure the win, holding on to defeat the 67’s 4-3 on Friday night.

Unlike opening night, where the 67’s erased a third-period 4-2 deficit, Belleville was able to stop a late surge by the home side, this time narrowly holding on to their late two-goal advantage.

“We didn't help ourselves out tonight,” said Chris Byrne, on his team that falls dangerously close to falling out of playoff territory.

“There were a lot of chances later on, but we shouldn't have to score five goals a night to win.”

Jake Marchment opened the scoring just over a minute into the game for the Bulls, while Cameron Brace and Jordan Subban scored later in a dominant first period to jump out to a quick three-goal lead.

“We can't allow easy goals, leaving guys open, getting down early,” added Byrne.  “We fought back, worked hard, but getting behind three or four goals, you can't have it, it's close at the end but it doesn't count for much.”

Brendan Bell finally got Ottawa on the board with his 10th of the year midway through the second, but Stephen Harper, playing against his namesake-nemesis Philippe Trudeau, scored 25 seconds later to re-gain the three goal lead.

Trudeau made 34 stops in his 19th consecutive start.  There’s no rush to bring in newly-acquired Connor Hughes.

“His equipment didn't arrive until today, so he hasn't practiced with our team,” said Byrne.  “We'll be a little bit patient getting him in.”

It wasn’t until the 67’s re-united the line of Bell, Dante Salituro and Brett Gustavsen, the trio who combined for five goals in a 9-4 win over Belleville last month, that they started to close the gap.

Bell set up Salituro on a 2-on-1 late in a second period powerplay to close the deficit to two.

Joseph Blandisi, ejected last time the two team met for running over Belleville’s Charlie Graham, beat Graham in the final two minutes on a 6-on-4 advantage.

Belleville stayed out of the box for the final 90 seconds, and with the 67’s unable to register an even strength goal on the night, the Bulls held on and pulled to within three points of Ottawa.

One of many upsets on the night, the loss leaves only one point between the ninth-place IceDogs and the 67’s, as they fall six points behind Peterborough for seventh.

The 67’s host the Petes on Wednesday, although by that time, the 67’s will have three games in hand on their divisional rival.

Game sheet can be found here.

Assorted Notes:
  • Had it not been for the lopsided powerplay chances, this may not have even been a game. Shots were 28-17 when Ottawa scored their first on the powerplay and the Bulls looked to be running away with it.
  • Mike Vlajkov, although finally back in Ottawa, confirmed that he has been shut down for the season.
  • On a night where Vlajkov was joined in the press box by ex-defensive partner and former Bull and 67's Jake Cardwell, it's a new pairing of rookies that seems to be getting the attention of the coaching staff.
  • Troy Henley, coming off his first OHL goal on the weekend, and Adrian Sloboda, awarded Hardest Working Player of the game, played a lot of minutes in the third period that they normally wouldn't have seen.  "They played great, and when you play well, you play more," said Byrne.
Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200


 Hardest Working 67's:  Andrian Sloboda 
Hardest Working 67's: Adrian Sloboda
    Some pictures from the game:

    New comer Connor Hughes in the warmup.
     Connor Hughes, the new goalie

    Blandisi taking a face-off

    Dante Salituro scores! 
     Dante Salituro's goal

    Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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