Spirited 67’s comeback falls just short
Heart, determination, and resiliency were on display Saturday afternoon at the Arena at TD Place.
On an afternoon celebrating championship teams, the Ottawa 67’s channeled their franchise’s history to claw back from a three-goal deficit against one of the OHL’s top teams.
They were down 4-1, forced overtime, and ultimately fell 5-4 to the Kingston Frontenacs in the extra frame.
The 67’s began by welcoming back alumni from 1997-2007 squads, which featured two special groups – the 1999 Memorial Cup champions, and the 2001 Robertson Cup winners.
While the home side would make their alumni proud later in the game, it didn’t take long for the Frontenacs to open the scoring. Jason Robertson tallied Kingston’s first goal 78 seconds into the contest.
The 67’s had a quick response though, and it came in the form of an Austen Keating breakaway. He deked to the forehand, opened up Kingston starter Jeremy Helvig and slid the game-tying goal through his five hole.
But Kingston rallied again, and became the second straight 67’s opponent to score three unanswered goals. Linus Nyman, Gabriel Vilardi, and Cliff Pu were the three goal scorers for the visitors, as they took a 4-1 lead late in the second.
While Ottawa was down, they weren’t out – thanks to Nikita Okhotyuk rolling the highlight film. In the dying seconds of the middle frame, the Russian import defenceman picked the puck up in his defensive zone, lugged it up ice and buried a beauty to bring Ottawa within two.
Then, Noel Hoefenmayer got in on the act at 8:45 of the third, scoring his fifth of the campaign. All of the sudden, Kingston’s lead was down to 4-3 in the final minutes of the contest.
The last few plays were a re-run of yesterday, with Sasha Chmelevski tying the game late for the second straight day. A good fore check from Ottawa resulted in a turnover, and Chmelevski was the beneficiary. He picked up the puck and danced around Helvig for a 4-4 tie.
In overtime, Robertson notched his second of the afternoon to win the game, taking a cross seam pass from Sean Day to end the game 5-4. The loss was Ottawa’s second straight in either overtime or a shootout.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Head coach André Tourigny
“I don’t think we made a lot of mistakes, but a few of them were costly. I really liked the way we battled back against a strong team – they’ve loaded up, they want to go all the way. But we fought back and I liked the resiliency.”
- After tying Friday’s game at 18:59, F Sasha Chmelevski did it again at 17:45 of the third, completing the 67’s three-goal comeback.
- The 67’s outshot Kingston 14-4 in the third period.
- The game’s final shot count was a deadlock – 31-31.
- 5,755 people took in the game, one of the largest crowds at the Arena at TD Place this year.
- Today’s contest was the second straight 67’s overtime loss, and the second straight time the 67’s took a penalty in the overtime period.
67’s single-game tickets start at $12 and are available at Ottawa67s.com/Single-Game-Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. All minor hockey players part of the 67’s Prospect Program get in for FREE. For more information on the 67’s Prospect Program click here.