By: Barre Campbell
Photo: Valerie Wutti
SMITHS FALLS — Rookie goaltender Leo Lazarev made 41 saves in regulation and did not allow a goal in the shootout as the Ottawa 67’s posted a 3-2 comeback win over the Kingston Frontenacs Friday night at the Smith Falls Memorial Community Centre in an Ontario Hockey League pre-season match.
Lazarev, a Moscow native whom the 67’s selected in the second round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, had an outstanding game, turning away the Frontenacs on several occasions to keep the 67’s in the contest.
He stopped Kingston shooters Robert Polesello and Corey Pawley on the Fronteancs’ first two shots of the shootout. With the game on the line and resting on the stick of Lawson Crouse, Lazarev came out to challenge and Crouse shot high, giving the 67’s the win.
Down 2-0 heading into the third, Ottawa evened the score on goals by Dante Salituro on a power play (at 0:57) and Nathan Todd (at 5:00).
The game went directly to a shootout at the end of regulation (there is no overtime in pre-season OHL gams) and Todd was the only player to find the back of the net.
Todd, selected in the fifth round of the 2014 OHL draft, beat Kingston goalie Jeremy Helvig to give Ottawa the advantage that the team would not relinquish.
Todd now has two goals in two pre-season games for the 67’s who were outshot 43-19 through regulation.
Defenceman Mike Vlajkov, injured after two games last season, returned to the 67’s line-up on Friday.
Kingston’s goals were scored by Sam Schutt and Chad Duchesne.
The 67’s are back in pre-season action on Sunday at the Brockville Memorial Centre against the Belleville Bulls for a 2 p.m. face-off.