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On the road again

After securing a thrilling win against the Flint Firebirds on Thanksgiving Sunday, the Ottawa 67’s will be keen to ride that momentum into their lengthy road trip this weekend that will see the hockey club travel over 1600 kilometers and spend over 18 hours on the bus. The 67’s head through Northern Ontario with three games in four days starting Thursday in North followed by stops in Sudbury on Friday and Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday.

Winners of two in a row, the 67’s will look to climb the Eastern Conference standings that remains wide open in the early stages of the 2017-18 season. Averaging over three goals per game, the Barber Poles give themselves a chance to win every night and while they’ve surrendered a league-high 40 goals this season, Olivier Tremblay had solid outings with back-to-back wins stopping 59 of the last 65 shots, highlighted by an impressive 40-save win on Sunday featuring several clutch saves late in the third and a massive stop in overtime.

The Opposition

North Bay Battalion
After opening the season with a perfect 3-0-0 record, the Battalion have gone winless in their last three (0-2-1). While the Battalion may seem ripe for the picking for Ottawa’s second road win of the season, North Bay have the upper hand having won four of the last five meetings.

Sudbury Wolves
The Wolves haven’t had the best of starts to the 2017-18 season. In their seven games to date, they have just one win and the second worst defensive record in the League which could result in a high-scoring game between these two conference foes. The Barber Poles have taken victory in three out of the last four meetings.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
The final stop on the road trip should prove to be the toughest opponent for the 67’s. Heading into the weekend the Hounds have won four in-a-row and have lost just once in regulation this season. They also sport the best defensive record in the Western Conference.

What they’re saying
Head Coach Andre Tourigny
On what the road trip can do for this team … For us it’s a good time having this trip early in the season. From team bonding activities to just spend more time together. This will also help us later in the season when we get into the grind and we don’t have long trips like this to manage.

On improving results away from home … It will be a really important weekend for us against two teams in our conference and a very good team in the Sault that is one of the top teams in the league. So far every week this season we’ve got better. We’ve found a way to get better in our structure, our consistency and a lot of parts of our game have improved. This will be a good trip for us to test ourselves and show how good we can be against those teams.

On what he’s liked so far from his team this season … The guys have a very open mind to get better in our structure. We haven’t brought anything to the team that the guys haven’t bought into. They look to get better every day and that’s what we want. We still have to build our culture and that culture, identity, DNA doesn’t get built in a day. So we keep moving forward in that direction and I like how we improve week to week and find our consistency.

On the resiliency of his team to date … This is the part that I am proudest of this team for – our resiliency which is a big part of the culture we’re building here. You cannot play 60 good minutes of hockey – all teams at all levels struggle with that, but it is all about finding a way, to rebound, to show a lot of character in those situations and the boys show a lot of resiliency and mental strength and I love how we respond to the tough situations.

On the improved special teams and face-offs this season … I think we’ve put a lot of time into our special teams at the start of the season. Mario and Norm have done a lot of video with the players and that players take a lot of pride in being successful at it. At the end of the day we give them the structure, but they are the guys out there working hard. We have to give a lot of credit to the guys on the PK and our power play has greatly improved over last season. Where the face-offs are concerned, that was one of our biggest concerns coming into training camp, but right now our guys are taking a lot of pride in it and in general we’re doing pretty good.

Game Notes:

  • Travis Barron needs three points to reach 100 in his OHL career
  • Sasha Chmelevski played in his 100th career OHL game last Sunday and is currently riding a three-game point streak (2G, 2A)
  • Tye Felhaber leads the team in scoring with 8 points (4G, 4A)
  • The 67’s penalty kill is ranked sixth in the OHL at 88.1% (37/42) while their power play is ranked tenth converting at a rate of 18.6%

 

HOW TO TUNE IN
Thursday, October 12 @ North Bay Battalion – 7PM
TV: Rogers TV | Online: OHL Live

Radio: TSN1200.ca (Online Only)

Friday, October 13 @ Sudbury Wolves – 7PM
TV: Rogers TV | Online: OHL Live

Radio: TSN1200.ca (Online Only)

Sunday, October 15 @ Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds

TV: None | Online: TBA

Radio: TSN1200 | TSN1200.ca

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