March 14, 2014

67's lose 5-4 heartbreaker in Kingston, still in playoff hunt

The Kingston Frontenacs scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Ottawa 67’s 5-4 in overtime.  The 67’s gave up a 4-2 lead with less than 5 minutes remaining in the third period sacrificing a much needed two points.

Lightning prospect, Henri Ikonen opened the scoring for the Frontenacs.  Converting on a bad 67’s line change, Corey Pawley slid the puck to Ikonen in the slot and he made no mistake but to re-direct it behind Philippe Trudeau in the Ottawa net.  After hitting a couple posts, the 67’s capitalized off a wide rebound.  Dante Salituro snuck in on the short side to tip in the rebound tying the game at 1.

“It's all so close right now, so we're just going to get a couple points on the board and I think we'll be fine,” said Salituro who has 4 goals and 10 points against the Frontenacs this season. 

After being badly outshot 16-4 in the opening frame, the 67’s came out with vengeance in the second period exploding to a 3-1 lead.  Travis Konency banked in a rebound on an odd man rush while Connor Brown was left all along out front scoring on the sharp angle.  But 34 seconds later, the Frontenacs would strike back.  Darcy Greenaway picked up his 34 goal of the season after picking up a loose puck near the crease.  It was a great road period for Ottawa where they outshot Kingston 15-10.

“We knew Ottawa, coming into this game, we weren't going to take them lately and they showed us why exactly. They're a very good hockey team and they're battling for playoff spot right now so they're definitely earning every inch of ice out there,” said Warren Steele who finished as a +1 on the night.

It was looking great early in the third period. Tyler Hill split the D and lifted the puck high glove side past Matt Mahalak to regain the 67’s two-goal lead on the powerplay.  Then the Frontenacs started to put on more pressure.  It wasn’t until the 15 minute mark that the Frontenacs were able to solve Trudeau again.  Robert Polesello scored his first of the night, a highlight reel goal, to cut the lead to one.

Then the Fronteancs were awarded a powerplay with just over 2 minutes remaining in the period.  Mike Moffat tied the game at 4 with a shot from the high slot, one that Trudeau would want back.

“I noticed that Ottawa was changing there so I had a bit of time and lucky enough that soft shot went in,” Moffat said after the game. 

Polesello was the hero in overtime.  Just 17 seconds after a 67’s powerplay expired, Polesello picked up his second goal of the night.  Scoring another highlight reel goal but this time with 19 seconds left in the extra frame to seal the Frontenacs victory.

“It's not too surprising to see him do stuff like that but they're definitely highlight real goals,” said Moffat who scored the game tying goal. 

While the 67’s lost a point tonight are still in the playoff hunt.  With the Mississauga Steelheads defeating the Niagara IceDogs in the shootout tonight, the 67’s playoff hopes are no longer in the fate of their own hands.

The 67’s are now siting in 9th place, 2 points behind the Steelheads.  The 67’s will need to win their final game in North Bay on Sunday afternoon but will also need the Steelheads to lose their final game against the Frontenacs in regulation to force a one-game playoff tiebreaker.

Around the OHL:
  • The Kingston Frontenacs secure the 3rd position in the playoffs.
  • The Belleville Bulls have been eliminated from playoff contention.
  • The Niagara Ice Dogs clinch a playoff position leaving only one left.  It’s a dog race between Ottawa and Mississauga

Game sheet here.

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