By: Steve Irving – Ottawa67s.com
Photo: Robert Lefebvre- Icelevel Photography
The 67’s have another busy weekend as they try to catch North Bay for 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. They start with back to back games at TD Place tonight and tomorrow where they have a 20-6-2-0 record. Saginaw is first on the agenda followed by Mississauga for a rare Saturday matinee before the boys head to Oshawa to face the best team in the nation on Sunday. Currently, Ottawa trails North Bay by 2-points and the Battalion play in the Soo tonight and they host Niagara on Sunday.
The 67’s head into the weekend on a 5 game winning streak. Their special teams have been consistent with both units ranked top 10 for most of the year. Right now the power play is ranked 9th and the penalty kill 5th.
Saginaw is currently ranked 8th in the Western Conference with a 23-28-2-1 record. The Spirit have had a tough go of it lately heading into the game on a 5 game losing skid. The Spirit have 3 players ranked by Central Scouting for the upcoming draft with Mitchell Stephens, Artem Artemov and Marcus Crawford all making the mid-season rankings. Former 67 Connor Brown will play for the first time ever at TD Place as a member of the Spirit. He went to Saginaw in a trade for Jerimiah Addison after last season. The change of scenery has benefited both players with each having career years for their new teams. This will be the Spirit’s only visit of the year to Ottawa and the 67’s will make their only visit to Saginaw at the end of February.
The 67’s have a 2-0 record against the Steelheads this year, outscoring them 10-4 in process. The first time the Steelheads came to TD Place, a 6-3 win for Ottawa, helped Brian Kilrea add to his win total as he stepped behind the bench one more time to celebrate his 80th birthday. Spencer Martin is helping keep the Steelheads in the playoff picture with his .921 save percentage.
The 67’s took the top ranked team in the country to OT last month before Hunter Smith scored to give the Generals the extra point. The Generals have already clinched a playoff spot with a 43-7-2-2 record. Oshawa is lead in scoring by Michael Dal Colle who is 9th in league scoring. Senators fans will want to keep an eye on Tobias Lindberg who is a 4th round pick from 2013. The Generals have kept atop the standings with help from their goaltender Ken Appleby who leads all goaltenders in save percentage and goals against average.