March 06, 2015

Blocked Empty Netter Sets Up 67's Heartbreaking Blown Lead

Travis Konecny was only fourteen years old and still watching the London Knights last time the 67’s beat London on home ice, and he should have been an instrumental part of breaking that streak.

Instead, he ended up on the short end of a game-changing play that allowed the visitors to tie it in the final minute.

Looking for the hattrick, Konecny sent the puck at London’s empty net with a 5-4 lead, the clearing attempt hitting the referee and ending up at the other end, Christian Dvorak tying the game at five.  Julius Bergman finished it with the overtime marker.

“It would be nice to get that save once in a while, right along the ice,” said an irate Jeff Brown, referring to the tally that beat Leo Lazarev five-hole, not making any excuses for the play.

“Once we got up 3-0 everybody got their calculators out and decided it was point night.  Our guys apparently think they’re better than they are and that’s what happens.

Ottawa looked to be in control, a game with very few scoring chances through 20 minutes where they took advantage of London’s young, active defence off the rush.

“It’s no secret what their gameplan is and what their weakness is.  But when we try to play pond hockey with them, we’re not going to win.”

Konecny scored on two two-on-ones, Ottawa’s first and third shots on net respectively, to open the scoring, before setting up Brendan Bell for the 3-0 goal.

When London got their legs under them in the second, the free-flowing game turned against the home side.

Matt Rupert, Max Domi and Jack Hidi all scored in the second, although Evan deHaan’s seeing-eye point shot still gave the 67’s a false sense of security and a 4-3 lead going into the third.

Mitch Marner tied the game early in the third, while Jeremiah Addison countered on the powerplay.

If the 67’s are going to tighten up their late-game defence, tomorrow is the game to do it against a potential first-round playoff opponent in Niagara.

Asked if that will be a good measuring stick, Brown said that it won’t be “if we play like this.” 

Ottawa closes out the weekend in Mississauga.

Game sheet here.

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