November 01, 2016

67's (5-8-2) the East's worst defence

For a team with guys who, reportedly, didn't want to play for the Firebirds, they didn't seem to do anything to show up the team they shunned on Sunday.

An 8-6 loss to Flint had its moments for the home side, but the defence was lead by linchpin Noel Hoefenmayer, as it has been most of the year, and most of the offence came off the sticks of sophomore building block Sasha Chmelevski and overager Pat White, none of which were ever likely to be included in this spring's believed negotiations for star Will Bitten.

Of course, as speculated over a month ago when the 67's were in talks for the hometown star, it's believed that the biggest holdup in a Bitten trade was the reluctance of some current Barberpoles to agree to play for Flint.

While we may never know who was offered in those deals and who exercised their right to stay in the Nation's Capital, the Firebirds team that they didn't want to play for came out and proved that they aren't to be taken lightly.

By afternoon's end the 67's mustered up two shots in a listless third period, while droppin an 8-6 division that planted them at 19th in the league in goals against -- only an empty netter allowed later that day by Guelph kept Ottawa from a tie at the bottom.

The 67's did start off the weekend positive by beating Bitten and the Bulldogs, but their loss Sunday leaves them with a lot to be desired.


"We've got some cohesion up front, team defence we have to work with," said Jeff Brown post-game on Saturday.

He didn't field questions on Sunday, flying to the U-17's post-game to catch Kevin Bahl, Carter Robinson and Peter Stratis, though his sentiments would've probably been much the same.

Missing three bodies on the blueline couldn't have helped, either.  With the absences on the back end, David Pearce had to switch positions to play on the third pairing.

Even with the three back, it's a very raw defence still, but the added experience of a highly-regarded tournament can only help.

"When you're this young you're still fragile, we have to keep the confidence high," added Brown.


Now used to having three defencemen away for international experience, Chmelevski heads to Plymouth for U-18's after a weekend of driving his team's offence.

Meanwhile Artur Tyanulin, who set up and finished off a picture-perfect 2-on-0 on Sunday, will represent Russia against Team OHL in the upcoming CIBC Series.

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