April 03, 2015

67's Face Must-Win in Niagara Sunday

Niagara leads series 3-2

Jeff Brown's willing to do just about anything to swing momentum -- calling a game-changing timeout in the home opener against Niagara and again at it tonight, making a second-period goalie switch, but tonight it wasn't enough.

Ottawa scored two quick goals from Travis Konecny and Travis Barron after Leo Lazarev took over between the pipes, but a four-goal Niagara third put any comeback hopes to bed, taking game five 8-3.

Now, the 67's have to try to steal a win from the East's best home team, with a worn down defensive core and, potentially, no star gamebreaker.

"Maybe we're going to the well too much with (Alex Lintuniemi) and (Jake Middleton), that's what happens when you play them 35 minutes a night," admitted Jeff Brown.

As for a second-period mix-up along the boards, where Vince Dunn and Travis Konecny landed awkwardly together, the diagnosis for the latter was "not good" according to the bench boss.

Konecny, who entered the series nursing his shoulder, is unlikely to return for the rest of the series.

Jeremiah Addison put Ottawa in the lead early, but Niagara answered with four goals in 12 minutes to stun the home crowd.

The 67's team that was less than three minutes away from stealing a game on Niagara ice earlier this week will have to find some road magic to keep their season alive.

"It should've been 3-1 in the series," said Brown.  "At this point we've got one game to win.  We proved last game we can do it.  We've gone into some really tough buildings and won games this year."

Last time the 67's entered the Meridian Centre without their captain, they lost by the same 8-3 score they did tonight.

Whether they give the do-or-die game to Lazarev, who allowed three goals on 17 shots, or Liam Herbst who allowed four on 18, is the first variable in whether or not the 67's can stay alive.

How they respond without their top player is the other.

Gamesheet here.

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