The Ottawa 67’s hope a little road magic will help them in their first-round OHL playoff series when they visit the Mississauga Steelheads for Game 5 on Friday night.
Despite a pair of strong efforts on home ice, the 67’s head on the road down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and needing a win to keep the series going and force a Game 6 back in Ottawa.
“We’re not looking at winning three in a row we’re looking at winning a game tonight,” said 67’s Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Brown. “We’ve won three already there this year, we can win in that building, we just have to win tonight. That’s our focus.”
After a pair of tight games – a 4-0 Ottawa win in Game 2 and a 2-1 loss in Game 3 – the Steelheads found their offensive game on Thursday night. On Friday, the 67’s will be looking to get back to the brand of hockey they showed earlier in the series. They’ve also played the Steelheads well on the road and hope to continue that.
Game 2, in particular, is the kind of hockey the 67’s want to bottle and reproduce. After a 6-2 loss in the opening game, the Barber Poles responded with an impressive defensive performance on the back of a 31-save shutout by Leo Lazarev.
The 67’s will have to play desperate hockey, something Brown said they have already been doing.
“There was a lot of desperation last night, but every time we’d get close something else would happen,” Brown said. “I’m really proud of our guys, they’re battling. We’re excited about the opportunity of winning Game 5 in Mississauga.”
The 67’s continue to be led in this series by point-per-game producers Austen Keating, who scored Thursday night, and defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer, who has five points through four games.
Mississauga Steelheads (2) vs. Ottawa 67’s (7)
Game 1, Fri, Mar 24 at Mississauga – OTT 2 – 6 MISS
Game 2, Sun, Mar 26 at Mississauga – OTT 4 – 0 MISS
Game 3, Tues, Mar 28 at Ottawa – MISS 2 – 1 OTT
Game 4, Thurs, Mar 30 at Ottawa – MISS 6 – 4 OTT
Game 5, Fri, Mar 31 at Mississauga – 7:00 p.m.
Game 6, Sun, Apr 2 at Ottawa – 2:00 p.m.**
Game 7, Tues, Apr 4 at Mississauga – 7:00 p.m.**