Despite a 39-shot effort Saturday afternoon at TD Place, the 67’s were unable to translate their performance into their fourth straight win denying themselves top spot in the OHL Eastern Conference.
The visiting Hamilton Bulldogs claimed an early lead with Ottawa native Will Bitten – older brother of 67’s forward Sam Bitten – tallied his fourth of the season just 15 seconds into the game. Less than seven minutes later and the Barber Poles found themselves in a two-goal deficit as Bitten again found the score sheet, this time setting up Matthew Strome for his tenth of the season.
Despite the early two-goal deficit, the 67’s halved Hamilton’s lead by the midway point of the first when Kevin Bahl, fresh off an solid game for Team OHL against Russia where he scored a key insurance marker, netted his first of the season for the Barber Poles showing great precision with his finish. Marian Studenic restored the visitors two-goal lead before the period was out sending the teams to the dressings rooms with Hamilton holding a 3-1 lead.
Less than five minutes into the second, the 67’s found themselves right back in the game thanks to Kody Clarke’s 10th goal of the season. Olivier Lafreniere had to stand tall minutes later to deny Studenic on a penalty shot, but the relentless Bulldogs would reclaim their two-goal advantage before the period was out thanks to Strome’s second of the game.
Arthur Kaliyev’s eighth of the season midway through the third period put the game out of reach making 5-2 Hamilton to send the Bulldogs into top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Barber Poles will now embark on a five-game road trip starting Sunday in Kingston. Ottawa returns home on December 2 against the Barrie Colts that will also feature the Memorial Cup at The Arena at TD Place for a nationally televised game on Sportsnet.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Head coach Andre Tourigny
“We had great moments. The problem in the game was when we had holes in our game they were big holes. When we made mistakes they were not little mistakes, they were big. We gave them too much on nothing. There were situations where we gave them scoring chances out of nothing. We put two pucks in the stands when there was no pressure.”
“We went to the net. We put pucks on net. We had traffic in front of goal. It is simple for us – when we play tight together we’re a good team. When we try to spread out the play we get exposed. We have to play tight with close support, create 2-on-1’s everywhere on the ice and when we do that we’re a good team and have a lot of good moments.”
“Hockey is not a complicated game, but when you try to complicate it, it becomes a complicated game.”
“I’m half and half after this game. I’m frustrated because I think we had a good game. I can take 20-25 clips from this game and say that is Ottawa 67’s hockey … I can also take 20-25 clips of what we cannot do. I felt this was a game that we let slip.”
- After scoring for Team OHL on Monday in a win over Russia, Kevin Bahl scored his first of the season opening the scoring for Ottawa Saturday afternoon.
- Travis Barron and Austen Keating both extending their point streaks to five games with each recording an assist
- Ottawa outshot Hamilton 39-29 and by a 27-14 margin over the final two periods
- Kody Clark took a team-high eight shots – he now has 17 shots on goal in his last three games
67’s single-game tickets start at $12 and are available at Ottawa67s.com/Single-Game-Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. All minor hockey players part of the 67’s Prospect Program get in for FREE. For more information on the 67’s Prospect Program click here.