March 06, 2016

67's hush Bulldogs in 4-1 win

The Ottawa 67’s are two points closer to home ice advantage in the playoffs after a 4-1 win over the Bulldogs Sunday night in Hamilton.

The race for fourth in the OHL’s Eastern Conference is tight. Ottawa, Niagara, Peterborough, and Mississauga are all within two points of each other with just a few games left in the regular season.

“We’re all fighting for that fourth spot,” said 67’s captain Jacob Middleton after Sunday’s matchup.

The win over the Bulldogs now has the 67’s sitting in fifth with 67 points. Niagara is ahead by a point while Peterborough and Mississauga are tied just behind Ottawa with 66 points.

“With what we’ve got left, we [have to] make the most of it and play our best hockey leading into the playoffs,” added Middleton, who did just that, assisting on Ottawa’s first two goals Sunday.

The first came just over five-and-a-half minutes in the opening frame, when Nathan Todd managed to beat Hamilton goaltender Kaden Fulcher.

Artur Tyanulin, who picked up an assist on Ottawa’s first goal, wasted no time finding the back of the net 10:37 into the second after Fulcher gave up a big rebound on a Middleton shot, making it 2-1 for the 67’s.

Just 1:21 later, Travis Barron managed to poke the puck just past Fulcher, giving Ottawa a commanding 3-0 lead. 

But the Bulldogs were determined not to head into the final period scoreless.

With just over two minutes left in the second, Niki Petti’s repeated efforts against 67’s goalie Leo Lazarev finally paid off, cutting Ottawa’s lead to two.   

Matt Luff and Matthew Strome picked up the assists on the lone Hamilton goal.

Despite their best efforts, the Bulldogs only managed five shots on Lazarev in the third, for a game total of 19.

Ottawa recorded 30 shots on net, including an empty net goal by Dante Salituro, his 34th of the season, with 14 seconds left in the game.

The 67’s have just four regular season games remaining. Next Saturday, the barberpoles will take on the first-place Frontenacs in Kingston at 7:00pm.

Ottawa then comes home to play the Barrie Colts on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00pm at TD Place Arena.

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