April 01, 2016

67's season ends in St. Catharines

The 67's didn't have the most urgent of starts when they needed it most, and although they made things interesting, fizzled out with a season-ending 5-2 loss.

Trying to put any comeback bids to bed, Niagara came out firing, outshooting Ottawa 13-4 and holding offensive zone possession for 4:53 of the first period (Ottawa only had the puck for 2:16 in the IceDogs zone in the first).

Despite the slow start and a 2-0 deficit, a Pavel Jenys goal late in the second that would've put them down by three was disallowed, leading to a massive two-goal swing as Austen Keating went in on a breakaway to cut the lead in half.

Evan deHaan, in what ended up being his final game, scored his last OHL career goal on a play that saw all five skaters below the hashmarks, but three IceDogs markers in the third spelled the end.

deHaan, injured Nevin Guy and 67's playoff points leader Nathan Todd all see their tenures in the OHL come to an end, none of the three having the chance to win a game past the first round.

Disappointing as the finish may be for the older guard, the 67's are very much built for the future.

Where Todd played every situation, Sasha Chmelevski will help lead the offence.  Where deHaan and Guy shifted in and out of top-pairing duties, Hudson Wilson and Noel Hoefenmayer will carry the torch.

And if any of their potential OA candidates with NHL affiliations, Jeremiah Addison, Jake Middleton and, one would assume by next year, Dante Salituro, the process could be accelerated.

But for now, the Barberpoles have to deal with the disappointment of standing across the ice from a victorious IceDogs team for the fourth time in five playoff meetings.

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