While the NHL lockout continues, and renovations to Lansdowne Park underway, the Ottawa 67s games have been moved to Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ontario for the 2012-13 season.
Thursday Night the Hounds would enter the centre stage, while beginning their 3-game, 4-day Eastern Ontario roadswing.
The locals were coming off an impressive 7-3 win New Year’s Eve in the Soo, and had won 6 of their last 8 games.
TYLER GAUDET who started the season with the Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) would miss a return visit to the area after the Hounds centreman became ill on Wednesday evening.
As a result the Hounds would skate with 11 forwards and 7 defenceman in the rematch with the Ottawa 67s. (Ottawa had won the only previous meeting 6-1 back on November 2nd).
Less than two minutes into the game MARK PETACCIO kicked off the Hounds lead pouncing on a rebound to Clint Windsor’s left before firing home his 3rd goal of the year, and 1st since back on October 3rd. TYLER GANLY had the assist on the play.
NICK COUSINS thought he had increased the lead to a pair when he stuck with the play in front 5:10 in, but the attempted goal came after the play was whistled down when game referees felt the 67’s netminder had the play stopped.
Midway through the period MICHAEL SCHUMACHER saw his backhand stopped when SERGEY TOLCHINSKY followed up the playbut saw the puck bounce over his stick to keep the game at a one-goal lead.
Then in the final minute TOLCHINSKY was sent in on a breakaway but saw the puck knocked away and the Hounds single goal lead stayed through the opening period.
The Hounds, who held Ottawa to one shot through nearly twelve minutes of the first period, outshot the 67’s 20-6 in the first period.
While killing off two consecutive Ottawa powerplays, NICK COUSINS and TRENT MALLETTE created a shorthanded 2-on-1 but were unable to get a shot on goal but killed off more valuable time. The 67’s, who entered the game as the #1 ranked powerplay in the OHL would be foiled on this attempt and four overall on the night.
DYLAN STAPLES had a chance to increase the lead to a pair of goals with 7:08 to go in the period when he broke in on the right wing around the 67’s but a glove stop by Windsor kept it a 1-0 game.
Hounds netminder MATT MURRAY was equally sharp when tested as Steven Janes cut across in front of the goal but saw the pad stop by a sprawling Murray keep Ottawa scoreless.
And while the a defensive mindset kept the Hounds end of the ice nearly impenetrable on the night, ALEX GUDBRANSON would hustle back late in the period and force his man to the corner to take away the chance.
Shots were 36-13 Hounds after two periods while they continued to hold onto a 1-0 lead.
Just 32 seconds into the third period the Hounds went on their third powerplay of the game. And while on the advantage RYAN SPROUL notched his 11th goal of the year, and 6th in the last 4 games, when his right point shot beat Windsor for a 2-0 lead.
DAVID BROLL made it a 3-0 lead gloving down a 67’s clearning attempt before firing home his 13th goal of the year.
Then it would be TRENT MALLETTE getting in-between the Ottawa defense but was unable to beat Windsor.
At the 7:54 mark, DYLAN STAPLES would get credit for his 9th of the season when a NICK COUSINS shot went off the wingers pants and in and the Hounds lead now sat at 4-0.
The Staples goal was the Hounds third goal on 8 shots in the period and would result in Ottawa coach Chris Byrne using his clubs 30-second time out.
Tyler Graovac would respond for the 67’s before the period was halfway through when he avoiding a diving Hounds defence and took a shorthanded breakaway before backhanding a low shot on MATT MURRAY and putting Ottawa on the board.
The Hounds went on to outshoot the 67’s 51-22 on the night while posting their 20th win of the Ontario Hockey League season. The locals record improved to 20-17-2-0 overall and brought them back within a tie with the Plymouth Whalers for 2nd spot in the West Division (Plymouth holds two games in hand on the Hounds).
After a practice on Friday morning the Hounds will continue the trip into Belleville where they will meet the Bulls on Saturday Night – January 6th – 7:05 p.m. You can hear all the action starting with the Bay Mills Resort & Casinos pre-game show on Rock 101 starting at 6:35 p.m.