January 24, 2016

No heartbeat haunts 67's more than Spirit

Jeremiah Addison’s late, third-period goal against his former team wasn’t enough to earn the 67’s the win Sunday evening.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Saginaw Spirit in front of a home crowd of 3,082.

Head coach Jeff Brown blames a lack of passion for the loss.

“We had some success the last couple weekends,” said Brown, adding that tonight was different.

“It was terrible,” he said of his team’s effort.

The 67’s have played fairly well since a blockbuster trade a few weeks back that saw Ottawa send its captain, Travis Konecny, to Sarnia.

This weekend’s effort was lacking compared to the past few weeks, and Brown wasn’t quiet about it.

“We battled so hard and we became a team and it was really exciting to be a part of,” he said, adding “and we showed up this weekend and it was pathetic.”

The game looked like it could have a different outcome in the first when a crowd of barberpole jerseys whacked away at the puck in front of Saginaw netminder, Evan Cormier.

Ben Fanjoy found the back of the net finally for the 67’s, but referees quickly waived off the goal, citing incidental contact with the goaltender.

“I don’t know how you go out of your way to call that no goal, and not have a replay or anything,” said Brown after the game.

“But listen, we didn’t lose because of that. We lost because there’s no heartbeat,” he said.

“There’s no team.”

Despite the recalled goal, the 67’s looked to be in a good position on paper after 20 minutes of play. The Spirit had only managed four shots on 67’s goaltender Liam Herbst, while Ottawa had fired 11 at Cormier.

Ottawa also had three powerplay opportunities in the first, while Saginaw only had one.  

Despite the chances, the teams headed off the ice scoreless after the first frame.

Saginaw controlled the second period, putting 15 shots on Herbst, who managed to stop all but one.

Trent Mallette took a holding call 4:59 into the period, and Saginaw’s Matthew Kreis took advantage and buried the puck, giving the Spirit a 1-0 lead.

Midway through the third, Pembroke native Tye Felhaber extended the lead to two for the Spirit.

Brown didn’t waste any time with his team down two goals, pulling Herbst for the extra attacker with four minutes remaining in the game.

Addison, who was acquired from Saginaw in a trade in August of 2014, which saw former 67 Connor Brown sent to the Spirit, made sure Cormier didn’t leave with the shutout.

He scored with 3:37 remaining in the game, cutting the Spirit’s lead to just one.  Assists were handed to Dante Salituro and Stepan Falkovsky.

“It felt good,” said Addison after the game, noting he scored last year against his former teammates, “but it felt good to score in front of the home crowd against them.”

Addison was happy with his goal, but shared some opinions with his coach on overall effort.

“I’m not going to go against coach, for sure,” said the 19-year-old.

“I feel like we didn’t really compete until the last five minutes,” he added.

While the shots came firing in Cormier’s direction for the last few minutes of play, Ottawa did not manage to score the tying goal.

Blake Clarke added the empty-net goal for Saginaw with just seven seconds left in the game.

Addison believes the 67’s may have taken their opponents too lightly this weekend.

“Maybe these are lower end teams, so in the back of our mind, we kind of think like that, but we can’t,” he said.

“Like coach says, come to work every day and work hard and do what we need to do to be successful.”

Click here to see the game sheet.

Three Stars as Selected by TSN 1200:

1st Star:  Evan Cormier

2nd Star:  Tye Falhaber

Some photos:

Austen Keating busy in front of the Saginaw net.

Connor Graham pleading his case on the goal which was called off for goaltender interference.

Falkovsky in his first OHL fight.

Click here to see more photos from the game.

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