March 14, 2014

67's Battle Hard Without Key Players

The Ottawa 67’s put in their best possible effort and wound up with the worst possible result, both in their own game and in the out-of-town scoreboard Thursday night.

While the Barberpoles squandered a two-goal lead before losing 5-3, Niagara and Mississauga went to a shootout, pushing both teams ahead of them.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said Chris Byrne.  “A couple of times we missed the net, or there were good stops on good chances.”

“We've been in important game territory for a couple of months it seems.  Every game now is important.”

Everything looked under control early in the evening.  Ottawa got out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Brendan Bell and Nevin Guy, while Niagara was outshooting Mississauga 13-1 in the opening frame of the out-of-town game.

An hour later, the tables had turned.  Barrie went up 3-2 and Mississauga jolted out to a 3-0 lead.

Ottawa didn’t go away, as Guy tied the game on a 4-on-3 powerplay with his second of the night.

They got their chances in the third, but failed to convert on three consecutive powerplays in the third period.

As the final penalty expired, Mitchell Theoret broke the deadlock with a longshot that beat Philippe Trudeau high.

Brendan Lemieux iced it with an empty netter.

Meanwhile in Niagara, the IceDogs staged an amazing comeback, tying the game at four before winning in a shootout.

As a result, Ottawa has to fight back this weekend to pull off an upset win and try to extend their season.

“We're still within striking distance of those two teams, and we're looking forward to tomorrow night,” added Byrne.

Ottawa plays Kingston and North Bay on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Game sheet here.

Assorted Notes:
  • What makes the 67’s effort all the more impressive is the number of players they were without.
  • Troy Henley has been suspended for the rest of the regular season.
  • Ryan Van Stralen will likely return for the final game of the season from suspension.
  • Erik Bradford watched the game from the hospital in his jersey.
  • Andrew Abou-Assaly had a jump in his step with a chance to play on the second line, as he tries to earn a spot on the 67’s for a third straight year next season.
  • Brendan Bell had a goal and an assist but he had a chance to run away with it in the first.  He had a shorthanded breakaway while the game was still 2-0, and after he missed, Barrie quickly made it a 2-1 game.

Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200


Hardest Working 67's: Brendan Bell 

Some pictures from the game:

Back up goalie for the last two games: Marcus Semaio

Dante Salituro driving for the net
 Celebrating the first of Nevin's two goals

Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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