March 30, 2015

Game 3 preview: 67's face tough task taking on IceDogs at home

Just a week ago, if you were say that the Ottawa 67's would be up 2-0 in their series against the Niagara IceDogs, people may believe you.  But if you said that they would also outscore their opposition 16-7 through those two games, people would think you're crazy.

Photo: Robert Lefebvre / www.icelevel.com

That's the current situation for this first round matchup of the OHL playoffs. 

Through two games, the 67's have seen scoring from all 4 lines - including 7 different goal scorers in their 8-2 win on Saturday afternoon. 

Photo: Robert Lefebvre / www.icelevel.com

Dante Salituro leads the OHL in playoff scoring with 7 points in 2 games while three of his teammates follow closely. The 67's have 4 of the top 6 point getters at this early point in the post-season. Jeremiah Addison, Nevin Guy and Travis Konecny all sit tied at 3rd with 6 points each. 

Photo: Robert Lefebvre / www.icelevel.com

"It's been our mantra all year: whoever it is, chip in. We've had a lot of guys out in the lineup and other guys have stepped up," Jeff Brown told us after the game on Saturday. "We have a lot of guys who are just good character guys playing hard for one another right now."

Not only are the skaters excelling, but the 67's also saw better goaltending from Liam Hersbt between the pipes. After allowing 5 goals on 30 shots in the first game (including 2 in the third period), Hersbt and the blueline tightened up defensively only allowing 2 goals to get through. Herbst improved his save percentage from 0.833 to 0.917 in the last game. 

As the series shifts to St. Catharines on Monday night, the 67's will need to continue to see strong goaltending as there is no doubt that the IceDogs will come out firing at all cylinders in front of a boisterous home crowd. 

"They're coming hard. I can't stress enough they've lost one game in the three months there (at home)," said coach Brown aware of how tough playing in Niagara can be. 

The IceDogs have only lost once at home since the new year and that was against Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters. The 67's only played the IceDogs once at home since the new year and it was a 8-3 loss.  

"This isn't going to be any easy chore but we feel like we have the confidence," added coach Brown. "We found some things and hopefully we can do it on the road now."

67’s Keys to Victory
  • Stay humble: up 2-0 in the series, but know that we have yet to see the IceDogs at their potential. 
  • Play simple hockey: shovel everything to the net instead of setting up the pretty play. 
  • Don't let Niagara take advantage of last change. 
  • Match their speed through the neutral zone. 

IceDogs’ Keys to Victory
  • Improve specialty teams: they allowed 3 powerplay goals on 4 opportunities and only capitalized once in 6 chances on their own powerplay. 
  • Better play in own end: allowing 16 goals in the first two games is not acceptable. IceDogs can't allow as many chance to get through and they also need to get good goaltending
  • Play disciplined: 67's were able to get under the IceDogs skin as the focus turned to retribution on Trent Mallette instead of playing hockey on Saturday afternoon.
  • Line-matching: Take advantage of home ice. Try to get top line away from Ottawa's top pairing. Lintuniemi and Middleton have done a great job of shutting them down. 
Despite changing their lines 30-seconds into the opening frame of the first playoff game, the IceDogs kept their lines intact for the majority of game 2. 

If you compare the lines from Thursday to Saturday, you can see that Niagara's lines are almost completely different. Saturday's lines were more comparable to what IceDogs fans saw all season. 

Here’s a look at Saturday afternoon's lineups:

Ottawa 67’s

Brendan Bell – Nathan Todd – Travis Konecny
Jeremiah Addison – Sam Studnicka – Dante Salituro
Connor Graham – Curtis Meighan – Trent Mallette
Adam Craievich – Travis Barron – Ben Fanjoy

Jake Middleton – Alex Lintuniemi
Nevin Guy – Evan de Haan
Zack Pittman – Taylor Davis

Liam Herbst

Brandon Lukezic
Ryan Orban
Mike Vlajkov
Dylan McDonald 

Niagara IceDogs

Brendan Perlini – Carter Verhaeghe – Billy Jenkins
Mitchell Fitzmorris  – Jordan Maletta – Josh Ho-Sang
Anthony DiFruscia – Mikkel Aagaard – Graham Knott
Johnny Corneil – Christopher Paquette – Cody Payne

Vince Dunn – Aaron Haydon
Blake Siebenaler – Ryan Mantha
Zach Wilkie – Brian Brosnan

Brandon Hope

Matt Gillard 
Jonathan Schaefer
Aleksandar Mikulovich

The series shifts back to St. Catharine's as the Niagara IceDogs host the 67's at the new Meridian Centre. The puck drops at 7pm.


Goals For- 16
Goals Against- 7

Goals For- 7
Goals Against- 16

Specialty teams

PP- 33.3% (T 3rd in league) *was 12th
PK- 66.7% (T 11th in league) *was 16th

PP- 33.3% (T 3rd in league) *was 1st
PK- 66.7% (T 11th in league) *was 5th

Top performers

  • Dante Salituro- 4 goals, 7 points in 2 games
  • Jeremiah Addison- 3 goals, 6 points in 2 games
  • Nevin Guy- 1 goal, 6 points in 2 games
  • Travis Konecny- 1 goal, 6 points in 2 games

  • Vince Dunn- 4 goals, 5 points in 2 games
  • Brendan Perlini- 1 goal, 2 points in 2 games
  • Josh Ho-Sang- 0 goals, 2 points in 2 games
NHL Draft Picks

  • Alex Lintuniemi – Los Angeles Kings (2nd round, 2014)
  • Jacob Middleton – Los Angeles Kings (7th round, 2014)
  • Travis Konecny – ranked #26 of North American Skaters in CSS’ Midterm rankings
  • Jeremiah Addison – ranked #127 of North American Skaters in CSS’ Midterm rankings
  • Dante Salituro – ranked #145 of North American Skaters in CSS’ Midterm rankings
  • Liam Herbst – ranked #14 of North American Goalies in CSS’ Midterm rankings
  • Brendan Perlini – Arizona Coyotes (1st round, 2014)
  • Josh Ho-Sang – New York Islanders (1st round, 2014)
  • Carter Verhaeghe – Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd round, 2013)
  • Blake Siebenaler – Columbus Blue Jackets (3rd round, 2014)
  • Brent Moran – Dallas Stars (4th round, 2014)
  • Ryan Mantha – New York Rangers (4th round, 2014)
  • Cody Payne – Boston Bruins (5th round, 2012)
  • Aaron Haydon – Dallas Stars (6th round, 2014)
  • Vince Dunn – ranked #53 of North American Skaters in CSS’ Midterm rankings
  • Graham Knott – ranked #54 of North American Skaters in CSS’ Midterm rankings
Ottawa connections
  • Brent Moran – Orleans native
  • Billy Jenkins – Ottawa native

Game 1 - Thu Mar 26 7:00 PM Niagara 5 at Ottawa 8
Game 2 - Sat Mar 28 1:00 PM Niagara 2 at Ottawa 8

Game 3 - Mon Mar 30 7:00 PM Ottawa at Niagara
Game 4 - Wed Apr 1 7:00 PM Ottawa at Niagara
Game 5 - Fri Apr 3 7:30 PM * Niagara at Ottawa
Game 6 - Sun Apr 5 2:00 PM * Ottawa at Niagara
Game 7 - Tue Apr 7 7:00 PM * Niagara at Ottawa
*if necessary

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