Holding a commanding 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final, the Ottawa 67’s head to Hamilton for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
While the first two games were tight at times and didn’t lack physicality, the 67’s dominated the Bulldogs where it matters most, outscoring the opposition 14-5 through 120 minutes of hockey. The 67’s have also fired 73 shots at the Hamilton net through two games.
Now with back-to-back games in the Hammer, the 67’s are looking to close out the series as quickly as possible.
Here’s a look at how the two teams fared in Games 1 and 2.
Other than taking a few too many penalties in Game 2, there wasn’t a lot to criticize about the way the 67’s opened this series at home. Graeme Clarke, with five goals, and Austen Keating, with five assists, have led the way offensively for the 67’s so far in the series, though Ottawa has been getting contributions from throughout the lineup. Sasha Chmelevski leads his team in shots on goal, with 12, and has four points through two games. The 67’s have been just as solid between the pipes, with Mikey DiPietro starting and winning Games 1 and 2. Only four players on the 67’s roster have yet to record a point in the series. The 67’s powerplay has also been dominant, going 4-for-8 in Game 1 and 3-for-5 in Game 2.
Faced with a daunting series deficit, one positive for the Bulldogs right now is they get a turn to try and get back on track at home at the FirstOntario Centre and the 2018 champions will be looking to cut that deficit in half. So far, only four players have managed to beat DiPietro in the Ottawa goal, with Matthew Strome leading the way with two goals and assists. Otherwise, Ottawa has been strong at shutting down Hamilton’s firepower, with star Arthur Kaliyev having put up just a single assist so far. Look for Hamilton stick with goalie Zachary Roy, who has been in goal for both previous losses.
Games 3 and 4 both start at 7 p.m. in Hamilton. Should Ottawa lose either game, Game 5 will be back at The Arena at TD Place on Friday night at 7 p.m.