January 26, 2014

67's Stay In Eastern Dog Race With 3-2 Win Over IceDogs

For the third time in as many games, the Ottawa 67’s had to launch a comeback to make up for a sloppy start, this time finally pulling out a win in a near-must win game over Niagara. 

Brendan Bell, who didn’t finish Friday’s game after getting into a late third-period fight, scored the winning goal on Saturday with less than two minutes to go.

As a result, Ottawa keeps themselves in a respectable position in the playoff race, only four points back of Niagara and Mississauga with games in hand.

For a while, it looked as though the Barberpoles would finish their most important road trip of the season without any points.

Aaron Haydon opened the scoring with a minute to play in the first period, as the 67’s ability to close out periods cost them for the second night in a row.

Niagara added another early in the second as Ottawa fell to their third consecutive two-goal deficit.

Ottawa finally got on the board when Dante Salituro won an offensive-zone faceoff forward to himself before jamming in his own rebound. 

Erik Bradford tied the game on the powerplay midway through the third period.

With overtime looming, Brett Gustavsen’s harmless-looking centering pass banked off Bell and through the legs of Niagara netminder Blake Richard.

At the final buzzer, Bradford came up with a potential game-saving shot block on Vince Dunn to seal the victory.

Philippe Trudeau, who looked exhausted in Friday's loss, came back with a big 40-save performance to lock up first star honours.

While the Eastern Conference’s top-six is starting to separate from the pack, Ottawa is 10 points back of sixth-place Peterborough, playing the Petes twice in the next two weeks.

Game sheet here.

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