January 29, 2016

67's defeat Petes 3-2, but win could come at a cost

The Ottawa 67’s played host to an important interdivisional matchup against the Peterborough Petes in front of the home crowd of 3,218. With only two points separating the clubs from 5th place in the Eastern Conference, the stakes were high.

Noel Hoefenmayer scored the game winning goal at the 12:41 minute mark in the third period and Leo Lazarev made several big saves in the final minute to lift the 67’s to a 3-2 regulation win. The 67’s now hold a 5-2-0-0 record against their division rival Petes.

While the 67’s were able to grind out the victory, it wasn’t the cleanest win by any means. The game was filled with turnovers and odd-man rushes on both sides making for a sloppy game.

“We didn’t have a very good first period,” 67’s head coach Jeff Brown told the media, “and played really well in the second period and then decided to play like the first period in the third period.”

After going scoreless in the first period, Jeremiah Addison drew first blood when Matthew Mancina let out a juicy rebound off of Nevin Guy’s original shot. Addison had a wide open cage for his 20th of the season.

This wasn’t the only time Mancina had trouble with rebounds. With just 33 seconds left in the second period, Connor Graham got a prim second chance off a rebound from Artur Tyanulin’s shot. The Petes were unable to coral the puck and it ended up on the stick of Ben Fanjoy who made a nice move in close for his 14th goal of the season.

“(Ben Fanjoy) has been real good … he’s really got his confidence. With all the injuries and trades that we’ve had, it’s huge that he’s been able to step up,” said Brown.

The 67’s have had trouble holding a lead all season and tonight was no different. The Petes saw new life after Kemptville native Eric Cornel broke Lazarev’s shutout bid 4:41 into the third period. The Petes turned up the heat and were buzzing all over the ice. Adam Timleck scored five minutes later to tie the game at 1.

Midway through the third, the 67’s got back in front after Artur Tyanulin showed off his incredible vision with a nice cross-ice feed to Noel Hoefenmayer who collapsed in close and shot at a wide open net.

"It feels good, but that’s in the past now so we gotta keep looking forward and worry about next game," said Hoefenmayer who scored the game winner and was also named the first star of the game.

The win came at a cost. After Sasha Chmelevski was injured on a questionable hit in Peterborough a couple weeks ago and Dante Salituro was knocked down with a high hit in the first period, Jeff Brown was understandably irate when rookie Austen Keating was also knocked over with a late hit. Keating left the game injured and never returned.

“I’m tired of watching children get hurt,” said Brown about the hit on Keating. “I know it’s a physical game, but it’s just kids have to be protected out there. That’s the bottom line.”

There is no update on his injury at this time.

With David Pearce already called up, the 67’s may need an emergency recall with a quick turnaround tomorrow afternoon when they host the Owen Sound Attack at 1pm.

OHL game summary here.

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