67’s playoff push kicks into high gear with crucial home stand
With the OHL regular season winding down, the Ottawa 67’s hit the ice Friday to kick-off a crucial stretch of three home games in as many days.
Tied in points with North Bay for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the 67’s need all the points they can get and are well aware that the best way to do that is winning at home.
Coming off a tight, hard-fought loss to the powerhouse London Knights in front of an energized Family Day crowd of 6000+ at The Arena at TD Place, the 67’s will host the East-leading Oshawa Generals on Friday night, followed by matinees against Hamilton and Niagara on Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s a look at what the 67’s will be facing in a busy weekend of OHL action in the Nation’s Capital.
Ottawa vs Oshawa | Friday @ 7PM
The Generals come into Ottawa with a commanding lead atop the Eastern Conference, 10 points up on second-place Mississauga. Though they are 7-3-0 in their last 10, the Generals are coming off a loss and don’t have much to play for until the playoffs start. They are led up front by forwards Domenic Commisso (17 goals, 54 points) and Eric Henderson (21 goals, 29 points). At the back, defenceman Medric Mercier is also an offensive threat with 46 points, including 20 goals, in 55 games this season. Jeremy Brodeur has had the bulk of the work in goal for Oshawa, playing 42 games and turning in a sparkling 29-9-1 record. The 67’s, however, could reasonably expect to face backup Kyle Keyser in this one. The 67’s have played well against Oshawa this year, putting up a record of 2-2-0-1 after going 7-0-1-0 against the Generals last year.
Ottawa vs Hamilton | Saturday @ 2PM
Despite turning in a strong road effort last week in Hamilton, Ottawa dropped a 4-3 road decision to the Bulldogs. It was the first loss of the year for Ottawa against Hamilton, with the 67’s having won the previous two meetings 5-2 in Hamilton and 5-4 in Ottawa. The Bulldogs boast a balanced attack, with five players having recorded at least 40 points so far this season. Hamilton is led by Matthew Strome and his 30 goals and 52 points, followed closely by Ottawa native Will Bitten, who has 19 goals and 47 points. Goaltender Dawson Carty, who has played 17 games for Hamilton since being acquired from Kitchener, has started the last five games for the Bulldogs, all of them wins.
Ottawa vs Niagara | Sunday @ 2PM
The IceDogs are one of the teams the 67’s are trying to catch and, depending how Ottawa’s first two games of the weekend go, that could happen Sunday. The 67’s sit just two points behind Niagara for seventh in the East. The IceDogs are led offensively by Ryan Mantha and Johnny Corneil, with 49 and 47 points on the year, respectively. In goal, Stephen Dhillon has been a workhorse for Niagara this year, suiting up for 48 games and posting a record of 17-22-4-4. Ottawa has a 1-2-0 record against the IceDogs this season with the last game ending in a 5-4 overtime win for Ottawa at TD Place on January 28.
67’s Team Leaders
The 67’s leaders in goals, assists, points and shots have all set career highs for their respective totals.
1 – Artur Tyanulin (21)
2 – Patrick White (20)
3 – Sasha Chmelevski (17)
1 – Artur Tyanulin (45)
2 – Austen Keating (31)
3 – Patrick White (24)
1 – Artur Tyanulin (66)
2 – Austen Keating (46)
3 – Patrick White (44)
1 – Jared Steege (153)
2 – Artur Tyanluin (152)
3 – Patrick White (140)
Tickets for all Ottawa 67’s home games are available at Ottawa67s.com, calling 613.232.6767 X1, or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. All minor hockey players part of the 67’s Prospect Program presented by Enercare get in for FREE. For more information on the 67’s Prospect Program click here.
Click here for the complete 2016-17 Ottawa 67’s schedule.
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