In a game that may have gone very differently just a month ago, the Ottawa 67’s were able to erase a two-goal deficit, and earn their third straight victory, 5-4 over the Sudbury Wolves in a shootout, on Saturday afternoon.
Ottawa came back from three separate Sudbury leads, thanks to goals from Luca Pinelli, Alex Johnston, Will Gerrior, and Jack Matier, while Max Donoso entered the game just over 25mins in, and stopped all 12 shots he faced for his first OHL win.
“That’s one of the things we’ve talked about. As a team, we’re going to have to be resilient,” said head coach Dave Cameron. “The game’s not always going to go exactly how you draw it up. I thought our guys did a real good job today.”
The Wolves struck first, with Kocha Delic taping home his 10th of the year, just 1:52 in, but it took the Barber Poles all of 20 seconds to respond. Pinelli stole the puck in Sudbury territory, and walked to the high slot, rifling a laser of a shot past Mitchell Weeks for his fourth of the season, tying the game at 1-1.
Sudbury restored their one-goal lead a little under 10 minutes later, with a powerplay marker jammed in by Evan Konyen, but again, the 67’s returned fire. With 2:09 remaining in the first, Pinelli and Thomas Sirman engineered a scramble chance at the Wolves’ goalmouth, and Johnston chipped the loose puck over a sprawling Weeks for his first with the 67’s.
Ottawa faced some familiar adversity in the second period, with David Goyette and Quentin Musty logging two quick markers for Sudbury, but the 67’s remained undeterred. Teddy Sawyer got the puck to Vsevolod Gaidamak, and his strong backhand attempt was denied, but Gerrior pounced on the loose puck, and slapped in his first OHL goal, making it a 4-3 game.
“I was pretty excited after the goal,” said Gerrior with a smile. “Playing with Rohrer and Gaidamak really made it easier to play out there, for me. So it was great playing with them, and I’m obviously very excited about the goal.”
With the Barber Poles on the powerplay, at the 17:33 mark of the second, Gaidamak fed Pinelli, who slid the puck to Matier at the point. The hulking defender let a quick shot go, and with Vinzenz Rohrer posted up in front for the screen, the puck found its way in, tying the game at 4-4.
Both the third period and overtime solved nothing, as Donoso and Weeks each made some marvellous saves for their respective teams, and a shootout was needed to solve the deadlock.
The first three shooters from either side failed to find the back of the net, until Cam Tolnai beat Weeks with a dazzling move, breaking the ice in the skills competition. With Musty needing to score to keep the Wolves alive, Donoso came up with a spectacular glove save, securing his first win, and his team’s third straight.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Donoso of his first victory in the OHL. “The future’s bright for our team here. We’ve got a lot of young guys, but it’s not stopping us. We had a rough patch there a month ago, but every team has those. We’re out of it, and we’re good to go.”
- Luca Pinelli matched a single-game career high, with three points (1G 2A).
- Vsevolod Gaidamak’s sixth multi-point effort of the season (2A) extended his point streak to four games.
- Max Donoso is the second 67’s goaltender to earn his first win, this season. Collin MacKenzie being the other.
- Will Gerrior is the 12th member of the 67’s to score his first OHL goal, this season.
Game Highlights: Sudbury at Ottawa