By: Chris Crawford – Ottawa67s.com
Photo: Robert Lefebvre – IceLevel Photography
The Ottawa 67’s lost a heartbreaker Wednesday night in Game 4 of their OHL playoff series against Niagara, as the IceDogs scored 46 seconds into overtime to win 2-1 and claim a 3-1 series lead.
It was an intense battle that entertained another impressive crowd at The Arena at TD Place keeping them on the edge of their seats for 60+ minutes.
The 67’s battled all night and got another standout performance from goaltender Leo Lazarev, who made 28 saves and was beaten only once in regulation when Pavel Jenys found the back of the net late in the first period.
Neither team gave up much from that point on and IceDogs netminder Alex Nedelkovic, who finished with 30 saves, looked to be unbeatable until late in the game.In the middle frame the Barber Poles out shot the IceDogs 12-5.
Ottawa would out shoot Niagara again in the third period, but did everything but find the back of the net. With just over three minutes to go in the third, Nathan Todd scored his fourth goal of the playoffs to send the crowd of 5000+ into a frenzy and force overtime.
The extra frame didn’t last long, as Jordan Maletta scored on a breakaway inside the opening minute to give the IceDogs a 3-1 series lead as the shift shifts back to Niagara for Game 5 on Friday night at 7 p.m. Game 6, if necessary, is set for Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at The Arena at TD Place.
Head Coach and GM Jeff Brown once again praised the effort his team put in tonight.
“We had all the chances, we deserved a better fate tonight” he said.
With the focus now on Game 5 in St. Catharines, Brown talked about taking it 1 game at a time.
“We don’t look at it like three more wins, we just have to win one game and hold serve at home and anything can happen in Game 7.”
Youth hockey players in the Ottawa-Gatineau region can obtain free tickets to any 67’s regular-season home game through the 67’s Prospects program. Visit the 67’s Prospects website for details, or call 613-232-6767, x1.
GAME SUMMARY – CLICK HERE
Ottawa 67’s 1 , Niagara IceDogs 2 (Arena at TD Place)
67’s goals: Nathan Todd (4)
IceDogs goals: Pavel Jenys (4), Jordan Maletta (1)
Goaltenders: 67’s: Leo Lazarev (L, 1-3, 30 shots, 28 saves) | IceDogs: Alex Nedeljkovic (W, 3-1, 31 shots, 30 saves)
Power Play: 67’s: 1/5 Ice Dogs: 0/1
Shots on goal: 67’s: 31 | Ice Dogs: 30
Upcoming 67’s games:
Game 5, Fri, Apr 1 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.*
Game 6, Sat, Apr 2 at Ottawa – 7:00 p.m.*
Game 7, Tues, Apr 5 at Niagara – 7:00 p.m.*