December 20, 2015

Powerplays prove pointless for 67's

An exciting first period riddled with shots, goals and powerplay opportunities wasn’t enough to get the home team the win against the Conference-leading Kingston Frontenacs Saturday afternoon.

Ottawa fell 4-2 to Kingston in a game dictated by special teams. 

The Fronts’ discipline was lacking from early on, with the 67’s getting five powerplay opportunities in the first period alone, including a double-minor called on Austin Grzenia for a high-stick 5:46 into the game.

The 67’s managed to capitalize on two of the opportunities. Dante Salituro beat Kingston goalie Lucas Peressini, with the help of Sam Studnicka and Evan de Haan 2:56 into the first frame.

De Haan also got an assist on Jeremiah Addison’s powerplay goal at the 8:44 mark. Austen Keating earned the other assist on the play.

When the clock ran down after the first, things looked great for Ottawa.
A delayed slew-footing call on Kingston’s Nathan Billitier as the horn sounded meant the 67’s would start the second with a five-minute powerplay while leading 2-0, and dominating the shot clock 19-5.

But the only goal scored while that penalty was served was a shorthanded one from Cody Caron 4:40 into the second.

“Our powerplay let us down,” said head coach Jeff Brown after the game. “There was no enthusiasm or excitement.”

“Nobody is ready to compete,” he added.

Studnicka did manage to score a late second-period goal, initially allowed by referees, but after consulting with Kingston head coach Paul McFarland, the goal was called back for goaltender contact.

The call didn’t sit well with Brown or Ottawa fans, since the OHL rule book states a goal cannot be reviewed for that reason.

“I’ve never seen that in all my years of hockey,” said Brown, though he says there’s no point going over the call with the league.

The Fronts and 67’s went into the third period tied at two, but Konstantin Chernyuk scored a quick powerplay goal 3:01 into the final frame, giving Kingston a 3-2 lead.

The 67’s were unable to muster up momentum to find the back of the net again, despite their 33 shot performance. Kingston recorded 34 shots throughout the game.

With the help of Conor McGlynn and Ted Nichol, Jason Robertson beat Leo Lazarev with one of those shots just under eight minutes into the final period to secure a two goal lead.

The Fronts held on to win 4-2, keeping their spot atop the Eastern Conference.

The 67’s now sit in 7th in the Conference as the league heads into the Christmas break.

Ottawa’s next game will give them a chance at redemption against the Fronts as they’re set to play in Kingston on December 29. The next home game will be played at TD Stadium Arena January 8 against the Peterborough Petes.

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