Travis Konecny scored his second goal of the game at the 14:43 mark of the second period. In the midst of their most important game of the season, the 67’s had a commanding 4-1 lead late in the second period. Things looked good until the Steelheads score three unanswered goals (including two from Sean Day) to tie the game with less than two minutes left.
“We sat back in the third period and didn't generate any shifts their zone and if you're in your zone for certain amount of time bad things are going to happen,” said head coach Chris Byrne whose 67’s team was outshot 14-2 in the third period. “We looked like a worn-out team out there in the third period.”
The 67’s managed to hold the ground in the final two minutes to force overtime with much thanks to Philippe Trudeau who, again, faced over 50 shots. Named the TSN 1200 hardest working 67’s player earlier this week, Trudeau stopped 47 of 51 shots fired his way.
Add two more saves to Trudeau’s night after he stopped both of Mississauga’s shooters. He only needed to stop two as Brendan Bell and Travis Konency converted on their shootout attempts to seal a 5-4 67’s victory over the visiting Steelheads.
“We have to play better if we want to make it into the playoffs and if we want to make some noise and if we get there we're going to have to play better than we played tonight so we need a full 60 minutes from all of our guys,” said an assertive Byrne after his team gave up a big point and a late 4-1 lead.
Two of those players not included in the assertion are right wingers’ Dante Salituro and Travis Konecny who each had a pair of goals in tonight’s game. Salituro and Konency have been big components of the 67’s success over the season series against Steelheads (67’s are 3-1-0-0) tallying 8 and 7 points respectively through 4 games.
“Their speed was very evident out there tonight and I thought they did a good job of finishing plays around the net,” commented Byrne.
Fatigue has proven to be a factor in many games at the junior hockey level. After playing in 6 road games in 10 days, the 67’s are idle for the next 4 days. They return to the road for a game in Peterborough on Saturday. The days off are a very welcomed rest.
“We haven't had time like that off in a while so it'll be great for the boys get away from the rink,” Byrne explained.
The big win leap frogs them over the Niagara IceDogs and Mississauga Steelheads for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. It will be a short lived celebration tonight as the 67’s still have 5 important games remaining.
“We're fortunate to get the two points but we have a lot of work ahead of us in the next five games.”
Game sheet here.
The Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200
Hardest Working 67's: Brendan Bell
Some pictures from the game:
Click here to see more pictures.