December 08, 2013

Game Day: 67’s host Aaron Ekblad and the Barrie Colts

The Ottawa 67’s hope to see teddy bears raining down on them early as they host the Barrie Colts in an afternoon matinee.  It is the 67’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game where thousands of teddy bears will get donated to charity.

The Barrie Colts were just one game and one goal short of clinching the J Ross Robertson Cup in the OHL Championships against the London Knights.  A 3-2 game 7 loss cost the Colts a berth into the2013 Memorial Cup tournament.  It is a much different team now, but still boasts a core of players from last season that are hungry for another chance.

Notable depatures

One big loss on the Colts is former starting goaltender Mathias Niederberger who backstopped the team in the last two seasons.  The Colts also lost 3 of their top 5 scorers from last season.  Mark Scheifele, Steven Beyers and Anthony Camara have all moved on from the OHL.  Scheifele has joined the Winnipeg Jets while Camara has joined the Boston Bruins farm club in Providence.  These three players combined for 91 goals and 208 points.

Sitting with 33 points, the Colts are currently 4th in the East only 6 points back of the Sudbury Wolves for 2nd place with a game in hand.  With only 106 goals for, the offense from the graduating players is felt a little.  Despite not a lot of goals, the team is doing well on defense with only 84 goals allowed.  Only three other teams in the OHL have allowed less goals including the first place Erie Otters, first-in-the-East Oshawa Generals and the powerhouse London Knights.

Key returnees

A big part of their defensive success so far has been because of sophomore goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.  He is currently ranked 6th amongst OHL goaltenders with a goals against average of 2.70.  While they have not scored as many goals as the teams in front of them, the Colts still sit around the middle of the pack.  They have received a lot of offensive support from veteran leaders Andreas Athanasiou, Mitchell Theoret, Zach Hall and Aaron Ekblad.  In fact, those 4 players sit 1-2-3-4 respectively in team scoring.

It is expected to be a big year for Aaron Ekblad.  Coming off captaining a goal medal win at the U-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament earlier this year, Ekblad is geared up for an important season ahead.  After making his debut as an “exceptional status” player, Ekblad is finally set to be selected at the NHL Draft this spring in Philadelphia.  Joining him is sophomore forward Brandon Lemieux who was also a part of that gold medal Ivan Hlinka team.

Newest additions

The Colts have a couple new additions to the lineup. Centre Cordell James and Left winger Kevin Lablanc who are both NHL draft eligible this season.  Joining Cordell and Lablanc is the Colts’ first round selection in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, Matthew Kreis.  The Colts expect him to become one of the players to watch over the next few seasons.

This is the first of four meetings between the 67’s and Colts. The Colts snapped a 3-game losing streak last night with a convincing 5-1 win over the struggling Belleville Bulls.  Andreas Athanasiou extended his 5-game point streak to 6 games after recording a goal and 2 assists in the win.

The 67’s are coming off a very strong effort against the league’s top team on Friday night falling 2-0 to the Otters.  There were many positives in the game and had many chances to bury a win, but were unable to capitalize while the Otters were.  The 67’s are 10 points back of the Colts for 8th in the East but there are only 13 points separating the 2nd and 8th spot.  The 67’s will look to this game as a must win as every point is crucial. 

2013-14 Regular Season Record
Ottawa 67's:  10-15-1-2 (GF: 93 / GA: 117)
Barrie Colts:  15-11-1-2 (GF: 106 / GA: 84)

Leading Scorers

Ottawa 67’s
Travis Konecny – 10 goals, 29 points in 27 games
Ryan Van Stralen – 12 goals, 28 points in 27 games
Dante Salituro – 8 goals, 26 points in 27 games

Barrie Colts
Andreas Athanasiou – 13 goals, 35 points in 27 games
Mitchell Theoret – 8 goals, 26 points in 26 games
Zach Hall – 7 goals, 26 points in 22 games

Players To Watch

Ottawa 67's
Travis Konecny – 1st overall pick in OHL in 2013, NHL draft eligible 2015
Joseph Blandisi – drafted 6th round by Colorado in 2013
Jacob Middleton – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list
Alex Lintuniemi – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list
Barrie Colts
Andreas Athanasiou – drafted 4th round by Detroit in 2012
Mitchell Theoret – drafted 7th round by New York (Islanders) in 2011
Jake Dotchin – drafted 6th round by Tampa Bay in 2012
Aaron Ekblad – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting A list
Brendan Lemieux – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting B list
Cordell James – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list
Kevin Lablanc – NHL draft eligible 2014, NHL Central Scouting C list

Ottawa 67’s:  Ryan Van Stralen, Philippe Trudeau
Barrie Colts:  Tyson Fawcett, Mitchell Theoret

Leadership Squad
Ottawa 67’s:  Taylor Fielding (A), Ryan Van Stralen (A), Joesph Blandisi (A)
Barrie Colts:  Aaron Ekblad (C), Tyson Fawcett (A), Erik Bradford (A)

Potential Scratches
Ottawa 67's:  Mike Vlajkov, Taylor Davis (also scratched last two games: Owen Stewart, Trevor Dulong, Connor Graham)
Barrie Colts:   ?
*follow us on twitter (@msconduct or @A_Quevillon) for game day scratches

Barrie Colts

Who's Gone?
Mark Scheifele – now playing with the Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Mathias Niederberger – graduated from the OHL, now playing with Ontario Reign (ECHL)
Anthony Camara – playing with the Providence Bruins (AHL)
Cody Brown – cut
Josh MacDonald – playing with the Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Steven Beyers – graduated from the OHL
Aaron Lepkowski – playing with the Rochester Americans (AHL)
Ryan O’Connor – graduated from OHL, now playing with Davos in the Swiss League
Alex Fotinos – traded to the Windsor Spitfires earlier this season

Who's New?
Kevin Lablanc – Barrie’s 6th round selection in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection
Matthew Kreis – Barrie’s 1st round selection in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection
Andrew Mangiapane – signed as a free agent in 2013
Cordell James – Barrie’s 5th round selection in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection
Josh Carrick – Barrie’s 7th round selection in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection
Dani Gibl – Barrie’s 1st round pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, 47th overall

Ottawa Connections


Projected Lines-

Ottawa 67's

Van Stralen - Blandisi - Konecny 
Bell - Salituro - Gustavsen
Hill - Studnicka - Fielding 
Abou-Assaly - Brown - Urbanic

Lintuniemi - Guy 
Duchesne - Middleton
Sloboda - Henley 

Barrie Colts

Athanasiou - Theoret - Mangiapane
Scott - Fawcett - Lablanc
Lemieux - Bradford - Kreis
Corson - James - Maaskant

Laser - Ekblad
Webster - Dotchin
Garcia - Yuill

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