December 11, 2015

Captainless Otters hand captainless 67's fifth straight loss

With Hockey Canada’s national under-20 program poaching 80 points from the Erie Otters and 45 from Ottawa, Erie took a 2-1 decision between the two watered-down teams, handing the 67’s their fifth straight loss.

The absence of the two captains was felt most was with the man advantage, where Erie went 0-for-2 and Ottawa went 0-for-5 with chance in the final five minutes to tie the game.

“It’s not just that we’re not scoring, but we’re not working and we’re not doing anything,” said Jeff Brown, watching his aspirations of a conference contender starting to slip away.

“It’s simple, five guys, try to outman four guys.  But the puck gets in and we have guys standing around.  Even with the goalie pulled late.  We had six guys on the ice and one guy attacking the puck”

“It’s not personnel, although it would be nice to have Travis there.”

While Erie’s Dylan Strome and Travis Dermott and Ottawa’s Travis Konecny hope to head east to Finland for the Junior championships in two weeks, the ice was tilted to the east in Ottawa on Friday night.

Ottawa’s defence totally held Erie at bay for the first 20 minutes, outshooting them 15-6, before getting outshot 16-3 in the second.

Despite Ottawa outshooting the visitors in the third, shooting at the end they’d dominated in the first, nothing came of it.

Late in the final frame, on a trickling puck behind Leo Lazarev, Jake Marchment tucked in the game-winner on a play that Ottawa seemed to think had been blown dead.

“I thought he was great, I’m sure he’d like the goals back,” said Brown of his netminder, who made a series of toe saves and glove saves in the second period onslaught.

“It’s certainly not (the goalies’) fault we lost, they gave us a chance to win the last two games.”

Austen Keating had the lone Ottawa goal, playing top line minutes in Jeremiah Addison’s absence.

Brown credits Keating and fellow rookie Noel Hoefenmayer, both of whom were on the ice in the final minute of regulation, as being their best players.

Ottawa finally gets a break from playing higher-echelon opponents from the West when they get a .500 team on Sunday with the Greyhounds coming to town.

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