March 28, 2015

67's see offense from all lines, go up 2-0 in series vs IceDogs

Ottawa hockey fans were treated to another wild playoff game between the Ottawa 67’s and Niagara IceDogs on Saturday afternoon. Nevin Guy posted a five-point night as the 67’s skated to an 8-2 win in front of a home crowd of 3,353.

Photo: Robert Lefebvre / www.icelevel.com

After a scoreless opening frame, Coyotes prospect, Brendan Perlini wired a shot from the faceoff circle to draw the first blood for the IceDogs. That was 2:07 into the second period and the lead did not last long.

The second period highlighted a flurry of activity that was not present in first 20 minutes. The 67’s exploded with 6 unanswered goals in the second period including 5 goals in a span of 7:45 which saw IceDogs’ netminder , Brent Moran get the yank. The Orleans native allowed 5 goals on 10 shots and was replaced by Brandon Hope who allowed 8 goals on Thursday night.

Photo: Robert Lefebvre / www.icelevel.com

The highlight of the period was the 67’s 6th goal as Travis Konency made Aaron Haydon look like a pilon feeding the puck to Jeremiah Addison who made no mistake and sent a bullet shot top shelf past Brandon Hope. That was one of 4 primary assists for Konecny on the night.

“He was on a roll, it was nice. He's that type of player, he's dynamic,” said 67’s head coach Jeff Brown. “He was a big part of the win today.”

Mikkel Aagaard cut the lead to 5-goals midway through third, but it was far too late. The 67’s added two more goals in the third period to widen the gap for a comeback, ultimately taking this one 8-2.
Dominating the IceDogs offensively, the 67’s saw goals from 7 different scorers. Salituro was the sole player to net more than 1 goal. He has 4 goals in the series while Addison has 3.

“It's been our mantra all year: whoever it is, chip in,” said Brown about the scoring depth on his team. “We've had a lot of guys out in the lineup and other guys have stepped up. We have a lot of guys who are just good character guys playing hard for one another right now."

There’s clearly no love lost in this first round matchup. The two teams have combined for 114 penalty minutes in the first two games. No one was more noticeable than Vince Dunn who racked up 17-minutes in penalties. Dunn scored 4 goals the opening game of the series, but seemed to be distracted and off his game today.

Midway through the second period, Trent Mallette had a big shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Aaron Haydon. Haydon was stunned and took a few moments to get up. He left the game but would return for the third.

Mallette received a 2-minute penalty for boarding. When he exited the box, he laid a light hit on Dunn and with his hit on Haydon in mind, several IceDogs players took exception. It escalated towards the bench resulting in Dunn jumping Mallette and creating a frenzy among several player as he was entering the 67’s bench.

“I just got out of the box and hit Dunn and I’ve been on him all series so I far,” said Mallette. “So, yeah, I guess it’s getting under their skin.”

The 67’s staff had to hold players on the bench back and we’re successful doing so. After all the mayhem, the 67’s came out with a 2-minute powerplay and Dunn was gone for 10 minutes.

“It was a test. Our guys answered the call and we’re continuing to play disciplined hockey. If they’re physical, we’ve got to push back and I felt like we did,” said Brown. “We played strong and held our own. If that’s the way it’s going to be, our guys are going to have to push back”

The 67’s will now have a tough task as they head to St. Catharines for the next two games of the series. The team will have to win in front of a boisterous IceDogs crowd who have not witnessed their team lose more than one game at home since the new year.

“This series is a long way from being over. Yeah, we’ve won a couple home games but I think they’ve lost once since Dececember 31st at home,” said Brown who knows they are in tough. “We got to learn from what was good, learn from what was bad but certainly we’re happy to be up 2 (games in the series).”

Game summary here.

By the numbers (via Alex Quevillon)

Konecny’s shoulder looks okay. On top of his several primary assists, he threw five hits and absorbed six, a far cry from his one thrown and 14 received in the opening game.

Forward line matching non-existent:
Whether they’re just priming themselves for St. Catharines, where they won’t have last change, or they’re just more focused on matching with their d-pairings, Ottawa did not use their shutdown forwards in any sort of line matching in game two.

Trent Mallette, before the second period fight, played 13 even strength shifts, four against Josh Ho-Sang and three against Perlini and Carter Verhaege (the three were united to make up Niagara’s top line in the third.)

Sam Studnicka’s quality of competition was extremely low, only playing five of his 11 even strength shifts against the top two lines.

No comments: