January 04, 2014

Down 5-3, 67's Face Up-Hill Climb, Win In OT

Tyler Hill capped off a dramatic come-from-behind 6-5 win with a highlight reel goal midway through the overtime period on Saturday afternoon.

With 10 minutes left, the North Bay Battalion held a 5-3 lead before goals from Sam Studnicka and Joseph Blandisi closed the gap.

"Credit to our guys for sticking with it," said Chris Byrne.  "We knew it was a big, strong team we were up against, but credit to us for trying to find a way to win, and we did."

The OHL’s least-penalized team, the Battalion only took two penalties, one that led to a goal in the first and a second in the final two minutes, which set up a 6-on-4 advantage for Ottawa.  Blandisi wired a shot from the point to tie the game at five.

North Bay appeared to take control of the game, as Mike Amadio, Dylan Blujus and Connor Jarvis all tallied in the first six minutes of the final frame, erasing a 3-2 Ottawa lead.

The visitors opened the scoring on a goal from Nick Paul early in the first period, while Taylor Fielding and Brendan Bell scored on each of Ottawa’s first two shots on net to answer back.  Ben Thomson tied the game again late in the first.

Troy Henley gave Ottawa their second lead of the night with his second goal of the year, chasing Brendan O’Neill from the net after he allowed three goals on six shots.

Jake Smith came in in relief and only faced one shot in his first 20 minutes of action before Ottawa stormed back.

A heavily outshot Ottawa squad got 41 saves from Philippe Trudeau, including a point-blank stop on Barclay Goodrow right before the tying goal.

"Trudeau really held us in it late," added Byrne.  "They're a team that shoots from everywhere, while we set up our plays more.  We've been having more success doing that since Christmas, so hopefully it continues."

The overage trade deadline is on Thursday, the same day as Ottawa's next game, and it's likely that this was the last game for Ryan Van Stralen in a 67's uniform.  

Van Stralen stood in the tunnel for a couple of minutes before player introductions, probably for the last time.

While it is possible the 67's keep the overager, rumours have been floating around that he could be on his way to either Oshawa or Sarnia.

Byrne, understandably, stayed tight-lipped.

"We'll see what happens, we listen to everybody."

The 67’s take on Windsor on Thursday.

Game sheet can be found here.

Tyler Hill celebrating his OT GWG.  (photo courtesy of Mike Carroccetto @wildfiremike).  
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