February 09, 2014

67’s inch one step closer to the playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Steeheads

After a disappointing loss in Barrie last night, Ottawa got off to a good start in the opening frame.  Capitalizing off a Bryson Cianfrone giveaway, Dante Salituro tallied his 17th goal of the season.  Both teams continued to battle while both Philippe Trudeau and Spencer Martin stood on their heads to give their teams some confidence.  A good road period for the 67’s who led 1-0 after the first period.

Ryan Van Stralen battles for the puck in front of the net during last game in Ottawa.
"We're doing well.  We're working hard. It's good to be up a goal already from Dante Salituro, it was a nice shot.  That line is working hard.  I think it's a good group effort so far tonight, we just have to keep it up," Travis Konecny to Rogers TV in the first intermission.

And keep it up they did.  Building off momentum from the first period, the 67’s came out strong in the second.  Brendan Bell gave the 67’s a two goal lead 46 seconds into the period after a nice wraparound pass from Salituro found him in the slot.  The 67’s dictated the play until the Steelheads finally solved Trudeau, who had been perfect up until this point, at the 4:45 mark.

Redemption from the first goal allowed, Cianfrone fed a nice between-the-legs back pass to Josh Burnside in the slot.  After catching a piece of it with his stick, the puck trickled past Trudeau.  The Steelheads took advantage of Trudeau playing with a defenseman’s stick and cut the lead in half.  

After the first goal, it was all Mississauga in the second period.  The 67’s got caught up in more penalty trouble which also helped shift the momentum to the Steelheads.  Trudeau made several key saves to keep the 67’s one goal lead. 

After getting robbed several times earlier in the game, Andrew Goldberg sent a bullet shot that beat Trudeau from the hash marks to tie the game at 2 late in the second period.

“They were up 2-0 and we were a little flat on the bench. Then the coach said we got to get something going there so all of us just got together and worked hard that period, out shot them by a lot I think and good that it's tied right now,”  Cianfrone told Rogers in the second intermission.

The 67’s caught a break from the penalties in the third period.  Brandon Belding found Konecny with his head down and threw a big body hit in the neutral zone.  Getting his elbow up at the last minute cost Belding a 5 and a game.  Belding just returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for instigating a fight in last 5 minutes on Feb 2nd.

Jonathan Duchesne jumped in for his teammate and earned an instigator cutting the 67’s powerplay to three minutes.  The 67’s did a great job keeping the puck in the offensive zone, but the Steelheads were able to limit them to one shot with seconds left in the powerplay.  Unfortunately for them, that’s all Ottawa needed.  Travis Konecny scored a highlight reel goal dekeing the defensemen and goaltender to give the 67’s a big 3-2 lead.

The goal deflated the Steelheads and they were unable to recover.  Alex Lintuniemi added an empty net goal to round out the scoring and seal the 4-2 victory.

"This is one of the biggest games for us this year, if not the biggest game. These guys are right in front of us so it's a big game for us to get these two points and start moving ahead in the standings, " said Travis Konecny whose goal extended his point streak to five games.

It’s a huge win for Ottawa who moves one point behind Niagara playoff positioning.  The win also closes the gap on Mississauga who is currently sitting 4 points ahead in 7th place; Ottawa with two games in hand.

The 67’s close out their 4-game roadtrip with two more important games against division rivals, Belleville on Wednesday and Oshawa on Friday, before heading back home to host the Owen Sound Attack on Family Day.

Game sheet here.

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