February 13, 2015

67's tame Bulls, come from behind again in 3-2 win

It wasn’t a pretty win. But the Ottawa 67’s, who are fighting to keep home-ice advantage in the post-season, will take it. Connor Graham scored the winning goal with 4:48 minutes remaining in the third period for another come from behind win defeating the visiting Belleville Bulls by a score of 3-2.

A burst pipe above had the 2,464 fans in attendance and players play the waiting game. Large amounts of water continued to pour down from the ceiling causing massive puddles around the visitor crease.
“It was a new experience for all of us. Waiting that hour and 15 minutes is definitely a bit weird. You plan your whole day around that game time,” said 67’s captain Travis Konecny. “Definitely a little bit of adversity for both teams."

It wasn’t the first time the 67’s have had problems in the recently-renovated TD Place. A malfunctioning ice making machine was faulted for causing the ice to melt earlier in the season which forced two home games to be postponed.
After lots of back and forth discussion, the game was underway and all was forgotten.

Credit: www.icelevel.com / Robert Lefebvre
The 67’s rolled into tonight’s game on a two-game win streak including a 5-3 win to open their home-and-home with the Bulls in Belleville on Wednesday night. The delay seemed to spark some uninspired play for the opening couple of minutes despite earning an early power play.
“Our first power play just killed our momentum,” said 67’s coach Jeff Brown whose team failed to gain any momentum. “Guys standing around and there’s no excitement, no passion.”

Liam Herbst, in his second consecutive start, came up strong early robbing Jordan Subban off a partial breakaway – the result one of the many defensive breakdowns on both sides tonight.
David Tomasek’s partial break was another story. His 9th goal of the season gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead at the 13:26 mark.
“I was calling for the puck around the blueline and knew I had one-on-one with their d-man,” said Bulls’ centreman David Tomasek. “I tried to make a move, then deked the goalie and thank god it went in.”

The 67’s had a couple more power play chances in the first period to tie the game, but we’re unsuccessful and didn’t connect until their 5th opportunity.
Down 2-0 midway through the second period, Travis Konecny converted on the power play to finally get his team on the board. That followed a rare 3-on-0 shorthanded break for the Bulls where they somehow were not able to bury the puck.
“I saw there was a little space going to the net,” said Konecny whose beautiful goal was posted quickly following on the OHL website. “They gave me some room and once I got by the first guy, I decided it was ‘all or nothing’ and took it to the net and ended up diving there.”

Credit: www.icelevel.com / Robert Lefebvre
That finally sparked some more fight into the home team and momentum started to shift their way. The 67’s took advantage of their next power play opportunity as Sam Studnicka tapped it past Connor Hicks in the Bulls’ net. The puck touched all four of his linemates before finding his stick for his 14th of the season.
Both goaltenders played solid throughout the rest of the game each making over 22 saves but it wasn’t enough for Kanata native Connor Hicks who lost his 10th game of the season thanks to a late goal from 67’s sophomore Connor Brown.
The Bulls’ nearly tied it up with 5 seconds left and the extra attacker on the ice. Brett Welychka had a wide open net, but Nevin Guy came to the rescue. He sacrificed his body and made a huge save along the goal line to keep it a one goal game.

Despite the comeback win, the coach was not happy with the effort.

“We fell behind because we were horrible,” said Brown. “We had a couple individual efforts that won us the game, our goalie played very well, but it’s not even close enough to compete.”

The win gets the 67’s within 4 points of the North Bay Battalion for 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference. Also important, it gives them a 7-point cushion on 4th with Niagara right on their tails. The 67’s are idle tomorrow, but are right back at it Sunday afternoon when they host the Kingston Frontenacs. It is a special 3:00 pm start with Sportsnet here for their second visit, so make sure to note the start time.

Game summary here.

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