Lazarev backstops 67’s to clutch win with 51-save performance; forces Game 6 in Ottawa
With their season hanging in the balance the Ottawa 67’s claimed Game 5 victory in Mississauga Friday night thanks to a 51-save performance from goaltender Leo Lazarev who made numerous highlight-reel saves sending the series back to the Nation’s Capital for Game 6 on Sunday afternoon.
While the 67’s Russian netminder looked almost unbeatable for most of the night at one end, at the other it was another Russian that netted a pair of timely goals as Artur Tyanulin scored what proved to be the game-winner in a wild third period that saw both teams net three goals.
“Leo was unconscious,” said 67’s head coach and GM Jeff Brown following the Game 5 win. “That was an unbelievable performance and our guys supported that with ample offence too.”
Playing without captain Travis Barron and defencemen Ryan Orban who were both injured in Game 4, the 67’s were also without defenceman Kyle Auger who was handed a two-game suspension by the OHL for his misconduct penalty (leaving the bench) in Game 4 which also resulted in a two-game suspension for head coach Jeff Brown.
Undaunted the 67’s played a sound road game that looked similar to their Game 2 performance in Mississauga last Sunday. Tye Felhaber opened the scoring late in the first period and Patrick White tallied early in the second frame to spot the 67’s a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes despite being outshot 32-12. Lazarev made numerous highlight-reel saves in the second period to keep the 67’s in front.
The Eastern Conference’s leading scorer Artur Tyanulin made it 3-0 for Ottawa with a remarkable finish on a 2-on-1 making a Game 6 look very likely for Ottawa.
Mississauga’s Spencer Watson finally solved Lazarev midway through the final period, but Tyanulin restored Ottawa’s three-goal lead two minutes later with his second of the game. The Steelheads would score to make it 4-2, but Jared Steege notched his first of the playoffs again restoring Ottawa’s three-goal advantage.
Michael McLeod would net his fourth of the postseason in the final minute, but that was as close as Mississauga would come on a night where the story was all about remarkable play of Lazarev.
Tickets for Sunday’s Game 6 are available at Ottawa67s.com, calling 613.232.6767 X1, or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
The 67’s prospects program continues in the playoffs. 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.