It was a brilliant bounce-back victory Sunday afternoon for the Ottawa 67’s.
They didn’t give the first-place Sarnia Sting an inch, took an early lead, and walked away with a 4-3 victory in front of 3,019 at The Arena at TD Place.
Sarnia came into the hockey game as the top team in the OHL in goals for with 90, and top three in goals against. That didn’t faze the 67’s, who began the game with one of their best periods of the season.
Mathieu Foget opened the scoring on the power play. He was camped up at the top of the right circle, and started a give-and-go with Austen Keating that resulted in the 67’s first goal of the game.
Keating wasn’t done there – after setting up Foget, he notched a goal of his own at 19:35 of the first. He was left wide open in front of the net and deposited it for a 2-0 Ottawa lead.
They outshot the Sting 17-8 in the impressive opening frame.
The 67’s would pick up right where the left off in the second. At 1:36, Sam Bitten was left wide open on the back door and ripped a laser beam of a wrist shot off the post and in for a 3-0 Ottawa lead.
Sarnia finally got on the board shortly thereafter. The captain Jordan Kyrou fired a shot passed Olivier Tremblay at 2:45 to break the 67’s shutout bid. Former barber pole Drake Rymsha drew an assist on the goal.
A Sasha Chmelevski goal then put Ottawa up 4-1.
The score remained that way until the later stages of the third. At 12:02, Adam Ruzicka beat out an icing call and surprised a displaced Tremblay with a wraparound, cutting the home team’s lead to 4-3.
The score would remain that way until the final buzzer, giving the 67’s a victory against what head coach André Tourigny called one of the best teams in the CHL.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Head coach Andre Tourigny
On playing with urgency against the league’s top teams… “When we arrived in Sault Ste. Marie before our win there after losing 7-1 against Sudbury, we had no choice to be urgent. We had to play hard, and we said ‘Hey, we have to bring our A-game.’ We played with a lot of pride in that game, and it was our best one. Today was the same.”
“It’s a huge win – they’re the hottest team in the CHL. Beating them proves that we can beat anyone in this league, and I guess anyone in this country. So it’s a really big win for us.”
- Ottawa threw all kinds of offence at one of the best defensive teams in the OHL – they outshot Sarnia 39-30.
- Ottawa had already registered their 39 shots before the halfway mark of the third period, displaying a high-power offence.
- Former 67 Drake Rymsha had an assist in the Sarnia loss. He was traded to Sarnia midway through last season on January 7.
- The 67’s penalty kill displayed its prowess again – Sarnia’s league-leading offence did not register a goal on the man advantage, going 0-for-5.