March 27, 2015

Game 1 Round 1: 67's Win Barn-burner

Ottawa leads series 1-0

For all the talk around the OHL community about how the Niagara IceDogs were favoured; especially if it turns into a run-and-gun series, the 67's defied that on Thursday night.

Ottawa scored five times in the third period to skate to an 8-5 win.

"There's some things we need to tighten up, for sure," said Jeff Brown.  "A win's a win and we'll work to tighten up (on Saturday).

The 67's abysmal 1-for-8 powerplay couldn't have been more timely with their one marker.  Travis Konecny tucked it past an outstretched Brandon Hope, tying the game at three late in the second for a home squad that looks deflated.

Trent Mallette and Dante Salituro each scored in the first five minutes, but their lead was erased by three unanswered Niagara goals.

The third period saw much of the same as the first.  Salituro scored again and Jeremiah Addison added his first career playoff goal.

"It's great being in a game like that," said Addison, the game's first star.  "The point's to win games, not get points, I was lucky enough to do both."

Addison did a lot more than just score, although he did add another one late.  Addison had four points on the night, passing up the empty net to let Salituro get it, and his fight with top-liner Brandon Perlini that set the game's nasty tone in the second.

"It just sort of happened, but when you get their good players off the ice like that, it does help you win."

Perhaps they should've tried to take Vince Dunn off the ice as well as the blueliner had four tallies on the night.

But if the 67's take away space from the IceDogs forwards as they did tonight, they'll survive.

Game two goes Saturday.

By the numbers:

Is Konecny more tentative after his shoulder injury?  

Konecny had nine zone entries on the night; three of them on the powerplay and one on a two-on-one.

The most glaring stat is that he only threw one hit, putting Dunn into the boards in the first period.  He absorbed 14 hits in return from a Niagara team that had a clear target on his back.

"I like when they come after me and get me into the game.  If they want to keep doing that, go ahead," said Konecny.

Goaltending duel between Hope & Herbst:

Niagara's PDO: 0.93 (slightly deflated)
Ottawa's PDO: 1.09 (slightly inflated)

Ottawa's line-matching:

Ottawa's top pairing of Alex Lintuniemi and Jake Middleton took 26 shifts on the night.  They played the top line of Perlini, Carter Verhaege and Cody Payne 15 times, and took seven shifts against Josh Ho-Sang who was moved up and down the lineup throughout the night.

"The lineup they gave us to start the game wasn't even close," said Brown.  Ho-Sang was listed in the starting lineup, played 20 seconds with the top line then was demoted.

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