March 02, 2014

67’s comeback twice, but lose 7-6 to the Attack in overtime

With their playoff hopes on the line, the Ottawa 67’s battle back from two three-goal deficits only to lose a 7-6  heartbreaker to the Owen Sound Attack in overtime.

Far too common this season, the 67’s had a bad start to the game.  Only able to muster 5 shots on net, the 67’s found themselves unable to stabilize any consistent puck possession.  Philippe Trudeau had to be sharp, but once Attack captain Zach Nastasiuk drew first blood, the floodgates opened up.  The Attack combined for 3 goals on 15 shots in 3 minutes late in the opening frame.

“It's a lot of heat in [the room] right now. Everyone's pretty tense.  So, we are just looking to have some fun in these next two periods and work really hard and hopefully outcome will come in our favour,“ said Jacob Middleton who’s playing his first game back in Owen Sound since being traded last season.

Unfortunately for Middleton and the 67’s, the second period didn’t start much better.  Holden Cook scored his team leading 27th goal of the season at the 3:12 mark for the Attack’s second powerplay goal of the game. 

Just over five minutes later marks the first 67’s comeback of the game.  Kicked off by Dante Salituro, the 67’s scored three unanswered goals in less than four minutes (other goals from Travis Konecny and Brendan Bell) to get the 67’s within one.

Continuing with the craziness of the second period, the Attack would regain their three goal lead with goals from Nastasiuk (second of the game) and Kurtis Gabriel.  The Attack led 6-3 after 40 minutes.

Jonathan Duchesne set off the next 67’s comeback after converting on the 67’s second powerplay of the game.  Brendan Bell added his second midway through the period while Nevin Guy tied the game at 6 with only 9 seconds left on the clock and sent the game to overtime.

The game ended as quickly as it was tied.  Attack captain Zach Nastasiuk scored his third of the game at the 0:33 mark in the extra frame to lead the Attack to a 7-6 victory.  Natasiuk battled Duchesne from the halfboards to the front net, made a nice spin-move to shoot the puck beating Philippe Trudeau top shelf.

“We want any game we can right now going into the playoffs and we want to get better every game. I think we were intense to get the win today,” the RedWings prospect, Nastasiuk told Rogers TV.

A character comeback but not the outcome the 67’s wanted.  While they gained a point, the point they lost proves to be costly with the Niagara IceDogs defeating the North Bay Battalion earlier this afternoon.

“Really we just look to win as many games and get as many points as we can. We are fighting, we are in a battle with those two teams (Mississauga & Niagara) and we control our destiny at this point so we're just looking to make the most of it.”

The 67’s are now one point out of a playoff spot behind Niagara and Mississauga.  After spending 10 of the last 11 games on the road, the 67’s return to Ottawa to host the Mississauga Steelheads Tuesday night.  It will be expected to feel like a playoff game as it is a very important game for both clubs.

Game sheet here.

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