67’s Return Home to Face Division Rivals
The 67’s return home Thursday night for a clash against division rivals Kingston. TD Place will be a welcomed site for the 67’s who endured their longest road trip of the season last weekend traveling nearly 1800 kilometres in four days that saw the Barber Poles claim three points with a 1-1-1 record drawing plenty of positives, according to head coach and GM Jeff Brown.
“I thought our guys responded very well,” said Brown.” Certainly there is a lot of things to work on but our young guys battled. To go on a long trip like that with such a young lineup, the first one for a lot of them, it wasn’t easy but they did very good. Our best period was probably the ninth out of nine, so considering the three games in two and a half days it was positive.”
Now with a pair of home games coming up for Ottawa, Brown wants to make sure his team is much more compact defensively, while keeping things going offensively.
“We seem to be scoring goals and we need to keep it going as it gets harder and harder. But certainly, defence is what it’s all about for us right now, starting by cutting down on shots against. Our best defensive game was probably against Flint, so we need to build on that and keep improving.”
After five games played, the 67’s have scored an impressive total of 24 goals – the second highest total in the OHL after the Hamilton Bulldogs (29).
A lot of players have contributed to Ottawa’s offensive success so far as Artur Tyanulin and Austen Keating are currently tied for third on the OHL scoring list, with 10 points each, while Drake Rymsha leads the league in goals scored, with six through five games.
The third-year centerman gives a lot of credit to his teammates for his recent success and wants his team to offer a good performance to the home crown on Thursday.
“It’s not just me, it’s my teammates and my linemates finding me in the open holes and I’ve been able to finish those chances so hopefully I can keep the train rolling,” said Rymsha. “We have a lot of young skilled guys, we just need to buckle down defensively. We have no issues scoring goals so if we smarten up down low, we will have a lot of success.”
Against Kingston, the 67’s will be facing a team that has been struggling since the beginning of the season, as Paul McFarland’s men have won only one game out of four, having scored only eight goals – the second lowest total in the OHL. But for Rymsha, that doesn’t mean anything.
“We can’t look at the standings at this point of the season and make any assumptions. Every team is good in this league and we have to prepare like it was a Game 7 and make sure we do things right to get the two points. It will also feel good to be back home and play in front of our home fans.”
Last year the 67’s and the Kingston Frontenacs split their eight-game season series with four wins apiece and both teams picking up one home win and three away. On top of that, each team scored and allowed 27 goals. Once again Thursday, we can expect a tight affair between these two East Division rivals.
Score your seats for tonight’s game by clicking here, calling 613.232.6767 x1, or in person at the Box Office at TD Place.