October 02, 2015

Overagers shine in 67's 5-1 win over Bulldogs

“Selfish play and pouting because you can’t score – well, nobody feels sorry for you.”
That was one of Jeff Brown’s many comments calling out the veteran leadership following the team’s 0-3-0-0 start to the season. It’s evident that his comments struck a chord with the team. With the help of their veterans, the Ottawa 67’s came out of the gate strong beating the Hamilton Bulldogs by a score of 5-1 and securing their first win of the regular season.
“We needed a win, so I’m really happy the way the guys battled and found a way to get the win tonight,” said coach Jeff Brown.
After being shutout for two straight games, the 67’s finally broke their scoreless drought at 135.39 minutes. Overage defenseman Evan de Haan picked up his first goal of the season when Nevin Guy found him all alone in the slot at 9:27 in the opening frame.

The 67’s continued to find ways to score. Sam Studnicka tallied his first two goals of the game to give the 67’s a 3-0 lead. Mitchell Mendacona got the Hamilton Bulldogs on the board midway through the second to cut the lead to 2, but that’s all the offense the Bulldogs could generate. Leo Lazarev with his second start of the season made 22 saves in the win. Sam Studnicka added his hat trick goal while Travis Barron rounded out the scoring both in the third period.

Coach Jeff Brown continues to be impressed with Studnicka. “What a monster game – faceoffs, penalty killing, blocking shots he does it all for us,” he told us.

It is a league rule that only 3 overage players can dress on a given night. Since the 67’s have 4 overage players, one has to sit each night.
“It’s the only way to do it,” Brown explained the rotation. “All four may be our most valuable four. It’s crazy to say but they all bring something different to the table. It’s a horrible decision to have to make.”
Teams can carry more than 3 overagers on their rosters until January. The 67’s will look to trade one of the overage players to get down to the league maximum.
“I’ll go down to January if I have to, I don’t want to do that but I’m not going to give any of these guys away. These guys are all huge pieces to championship teams and there’s nothing that’s knocked my socks off,” said Brown.
While it is frustrating not being able to play all the games. The four overage players understand the process.
“You just got to put it at the back of your head. We got no control over it. I say it every time I get asked the questions, the three other guys are best friends on the team,” said Sam Studnicka. “We’re all really close. You just have to accept it and move forward and play your game when it’s your shot.”
In a rare occurrence, the 67’s have the rest of the week off. 
“It’s obvious how good we are when we come together,” said Studnicka. “We just got to build on the game we had tonight and move forward.”
The team will look to build off the momentum next Friday when they host the defending Memorial Cup Champions, Oshawa Generals.

Game Summary here.

Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200:

First Star:  Sam Studnicka

Second Star:  Leo Lazarev

Third Star:  Dante Salituro

Hardest Working 67's:  Noel Hoefenmayer

Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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