March 12, 2014

67's Lose Costly, Violent Tilt With Kingston, Lose Playoff Ground

The Ottawa 67’s lost the chance to solidify their playoff spot on Tuesday night, although their 4-2 loss to Kingston was overshadowed by a night of mayhem and scary injuries, making the final score seem somewhat secondary.

On a night where they had to spend just over 15 minutes in a 60-minute game on the penalty kill, and without two thirds of their top line for half the game, Ottawa did hold their ground and made things close towards the end.

"I thought we had a pretty good game with some tough bounces in the third period,” said Chris Byrne.  “We had our chances, it was a good effort against a good team.”

Brendan Bell opened the scoring in the opening five minutes, but the game was all downhill from there. 

Ottawa didn’t register another shot on goal for over 20 minutes as Kingston took a 2-1 lead in the meanwhile, but it was darkened by a hard collision involving Erik Bradford, who went into the boards awkwardly and was taken to the hospital.

It’s believed that he suffered a fractured femur on the play.

In the second, the game was instantly marred by a vicious line-brawl.

As Ryan Van Stralen jumped Loten Ulett for a knee-on-knee hit in the defensive zone, Troy Henley knocked Kingston tough guy Mack Lemmon unconscious.

Henley seemed shaken by the incident after the game.

“It's pretty rattling to me,” said the rookie defender.  “I only have one fight on the year, I'm not a fighter.  It's pretty tough to take in.”

Henley and Van Stralen were both ejected, while Kingston got away with only two minutes in penalties on the play.

“It’s tough,” Henley added about receiving the match penalty. 

“It was really a wrestling match.  He dropped the gloves before I dropped the gloves, so I was defending myself, when we're both down, anything could've happened.”

Henry Ikonen all but put the game away, scoring 14 seconds into the man advantage and adding another in the third period.

On the next shift, after Ikonen had taken a long run at Brett Gustavsen, Sam Studnicka threw a punch at Ikonen, setting off another melee. 

Travis Konecny got Ottawa within two late in the third, but that was as close as they got.

By that point, Ottawa’s bench was down to only 13 skaters.

Perhaps it was to their advantage that they dressed seven defenders, dropping Taylor Fielding back to the blueline.

“We knew we'd probably spend some time in our zone against Kingston,” said Byrne.  “It was good to have that veteran presence back there and he did a good job of helping us out tonight.”

Ottawa closes out their home schedule on Thursday against Barrie.  

The game, as violent and out-of-hand as it was, took a back seat to the tragedy that stunned the entire OHL community.

Saginaw Spirit forward Terry Trafford was found dead earlier in the day. 

Once his identity was confirmed, the 67’s held a moment of silence before the start of the final period.

Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200


 Hardest Working 67's:  Tyler Hill 
Hardest Working 67's: Tyler Hill 

Some photos from the game:

Likely the last time we'll see Eric this season.



Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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