December 28, 2014

Bradford nets 2 to lift the 67's to a 5-4 OT win over Frontenacs

Erik Bradford became the overtime hero leading the Ottawa 67’s to a 5-4 win over the Kingston Frontenacs this afternoon.

Leading 4-2 with less than 5 minutes to go, it looked like the 67’s were going to escape with an easy win but the Frontenacs kept pushing. Corey Pawley got his Frontenacs within one at the 15:08 mark and then just 2:08 later, Ryan Verbeek controlled the puck and backhanded a pass to Connor McGlynn who was wide open in front of the net. He made no mistake and buried it to tie the game late in the third forcing overtime.

“Stuff like that happens and you’ve just gotta be able to adjust and come back and focus on the game. Fortunately enough for me tonight, I was able to come back and get back into the game and help the team out,” said Erik Bradford.

Bradford also scored the 67’s opening goal off a nice cross-ice feed from Jacob Middleton before making a line change. This tied the game early in the second period and snapped his goal scoring drought at 5 games.

The Frontenacs regained their lead midway through the second period as Roland McKeown shot the puck from the point beating a heavily screen Leo Lazarev who made his 8th consecutive start in nets for the 67’s.

The 67’s would battle back and score three unanswered goals. Travis Konency tied it up in the second while Trent Mallette and Tyler Hill exchanged third period goals to give the 67’s a commanding 4-2 lead.

Mark the Frontenacs comeback in the final 5 minutes.

The 67’s found themselves down a man to being the extra frame. Dante Salituro was called with faceoff violation/delay of game, a penalty that is rarely called.

“Well it’s the rules. It’s a terrible rule, but it’s the rules. They gotta call it. The ref’s kinda looking at me like ‘I don’t want to call that either.’” Said coach Jeff Brown. “Our guys stepped up and [Bradford] and [Bell] and [Guy], I think, they did a nice job and then we got a break and capitalized.”

The 67’s killed off the penalty and got a break of their own when Jarkko Parikka was given a minor for holding. Despite the 67’s latest powerplay woes, they capitalized to win the game.

“Every team has a tendency once they get up to sort of go goal-hunting there and we were sort of cheating a bit there in the end of the game and it’s a lesson for us. We can’t be cheating. When you’re up by two late in the third you’ve gotta tighten up, do the little things, get it in deep and you know, win the game like that,” said Erik Bradford.

The next three games for the 67’s will be on the road for a northern swing facing North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. They are back in town on Jan 6th where they host the North Bay Battalion on a rare Tuesday night game.

The 67’s will have a lot to look at in the coming two weeks as the trade deadline looms around the corner on January 10th. When asked about the deadline, Jeff Brown responded, 
“[We] gotta get a feel for where we are and what’s going on. Still 10 days away. A lot can happen. Hopefully we’re in a position where we can make a few moves that are going to make us stronger. That’s the way we’re looking at our hockey club right now. We’re neither buyer or seller. Just kinda see what’s out there. We’ve got a little bit of everything right now. I like our chemistry. I like our locker room and that’s the important thing. We’ll see what happens. If anything startling happens we’ll jump on it, if not, we won’t do it.” 

Alex Quevillon has a feature on the 67’s trade deadline preview here.

Game summary here.

Quick notes:
Alex Lintuniemi of the 67’s and Lawson Crouse of the Frontenacs were out of the lineup as they are participating in the World Junior Championships … Erik Bradford missed the second half of the first period after being cut with a high stick. He left the ice because he required stitches … Leo Lazarev made 27 saves for the win while Lucas Peressini made 21 saves in the loss.

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