January 03, 2014

Spitfires preVAIL 4-1 over the 67's

The Ottawa 67's have now lost three games in a row, and ten out of their last twelve, after being routed by the Windsor Spitfires 4-1 tonight.  Brady Vail scored twice and added two assists factoring in on all four Spitfires goals.

Vail, a prospect of the Montreal Canadiens, scored the game winner improving to 17 goals and 48 points in 38 games and is on pace to his best OHL season.

The day didn't start out great for the Spitfires.  Extreme cold weather conditions caused their bus to breakdown before the game forcing the team to grab taxis from their downtown hotel to the Canadian Tire Centre.

That didn't stop the team from performing.  Both teams got out to a good start with great chances at both ends of the ice.  Philippe Trudeau stopped all 14 shots in the opening frame of his 25th consecutive start of the season while Alex Fotinos also had to be solid stopping all 9 shots for a scoreless first period.

Remy Giftopolous, who returned to the Canadian Tire Centre for just the second time since being traded last season, opened the scoring early in the second

"It's obviously great to be able to play against my (former) team and to pop one like that is a really good feeling," Giftopolous said about his 17th goal of the season.

That's when the wheels fell off for the 67's.  Brady Vail gave the Spitfires a 2-0 lead midway through the second after firing the puck in from the far side of the faceoff circle.  The 67's continued to pressure the Spitfires, but Fotinos stood tall as his shutout bid continued into the third.

Sam Povorozniouk scored a quick goal on the powerplay for his 10th of the season only 44 seconds into the third period.  Vail would score his second of the night to take a commanding 4-0 lead late in the third.

The 67's would finally solve Fotinos, but it was a little too late.  Andrew Abou-Assaly scored his second of the season to get the 67's on the board.  Playing along side two recent callups in Trevor Dulong and Dylan MacDonald, Abou-Assaly's line was the 67's best tonight.

"I thought that line played well and all night we were trying to get them on the ice more. I thought Dylan McDonald did a great job with his first game.  I thought (Trevor) Dulong after going down and playing a lot more in Gloucester and coming back up has more confidence and playing really well," explained 67's bench boss and GM Chris Byrne.

With Travis Konecny & Sam Studnicka out of the lineup, the 67's had trouble figuring out how to score and were unable to do anymore damage.

"A couple breaks for them, one goes off the stick, they had a couple powerplay goals. I thought we had all kinds of chances and couldn't score.  We had a breakaway, a couple 2-on-1s, we had pucks around the net.  A good effort tonight but we couldn't find a way to score early," said Byrne.

The 67's are right back at it tomorrow afternoon against the North Bay Battalion as they try to jump back into a playoff position.  The Niagara IceDogs sit one point ahead with a game in hand after picking up a point in a shootout loss tonight.

Game summary here.

- Joseph Blandisi was held off the scoresheet after tallying 9 points in his last 4 games
- Jonathan Duchesne served his last of a two game suspension
- Travis Konecny could be back tomorrow as his U17 team failed to medal but won 5th place earlier this afternoon

Some Pictures from the Game:

(Valerie, the usual photographer, missed this game so photos here are courtesy of Mike Carroccetto @wildfiremike - all rights protected)

 Brendan Bell, the recently named Captain wearing the "C" for the first time at home.  

 Trevor Dulong back in the lineup.
 Dylan McDonald making his OHL debut.

 Abou-Assaly, Dulong and McDonald celebrating the only 67's goal of the game.

 Trevor Dulong named the Hardest Working 67's by TSN1200.

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