One of the cruelties of junior hockey is the three-games-in-three-days scenarios that the 67’s will ensure five times this season – the first of which begins this weekend with a length road trip covering some 1800 kilometres.
The action begins Friday night in Sarnia against the Sting followed by a stop in Saginaw (Saturday) before wrapping up the trip in Flint (Sunday).
Ottawa opened the season on the road last week claiming victory in Peterborough, but were out-done in a high scoring home opener falling 7-5 to Barrie.
The 67’s will have some reinforcement this weekend in the form of 18-year-old forward Travis Barron who has returned from his NHL camp with the Colorado Avalanche.
While such an exhausting road trip might appear as a difficult obstacle so early in the season, Barron, a third-year left winger thinks it’s a positive thing for team chemistry and bonding.
“We’re already a close-knit group here, but going on the bus for so long brings you even closer,” said Barron. “We spend a lot of time together during those weekends, so I think it will be good for the younger guys to have their first true experience on the road and their first taste of an exhausting road trip. ”
While 67’s Head coach Jeff Brown hopes that his team’s offence won’t slow down this weekend after scoring 10 goals in their opening two games, he also expects his team to tighten things up defensively.
“I think we will score a lot of goals this year, but we need to shut down the other teams defensively,” said Brown. “It’s a team defense and not only the defensemen’s responsibility. When you consider how young of a team we have, the forwards really need to help. You can’t win without a strong defense and we’ve been working on it all week.”
Friday night in Sarnia the 67’s will look to spoil the Stings perfect 2-0 record, after they downed London (4-1) and Owen Sound (3-2) to open their 2016/17 OHL campaign. Last year the 67’s and the Sting split their two-game season series with each team picking up a win at home.
Following the game in Sarnia, the 67’s will continue their road trip with a two-hour drive to the Dow Event Center, in Saginaw to face the Spirit, who are winless in first three games of the season, being outscored 11-2. Last season, in two meetings between Ottawa and Saginaw, it was the visitors that came out on top.
Ottawa will conclude its lengthy road trip in Flint to face the Firebirds who will have faced Sarnia the previous night. The Firebirds have a record of 2W-1L to start the season.
The 67’s return to The Arena at TD Place on Thursday (October 6) to renew their rivalry with the Kingston Frontenacs at 7pm before hosting Saginaw on Saturday (October 8) at 2pm.
Tickets are available by clicking here, calling 613.232.6767 X1, or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. All minor hockey players part of the 67’s Prospect Program presented by Enercare get in for FREE. Visit 67sProspects.com for more info.
Click here for the complete 2016-17 Ottawa 67’s schedule.