For the second time in as many games, the 67’s battled through a tight first 40 minutes against the Oshawa Generals.
And for the second time in as many games, in front of a season-high crowd of 7,739, the 67’s dominated the final frame on their way to a 7-3 win and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.
Nothing came easy in this one as Ottawa was forced to play catch-up after Oshawa opened the scoring just 28 seconds in. Ottawa would respond quickly though, as Sasha Chmelevski and Graeme Clarke responded six minutes apart to take the lead. Serron Noel would even thing sup late in the first to send the teams to the intermission tied at two.
Tye Felhaber had the game’s lone goal in the second period, though Oshawa would tie things up again just 37 seconds into the third.
That was as much rope as the 67’s would give Oshawa as Ottawa responded with the game’s next four goals as, one by one, Marco Rossi, Mitchell Hoelscher, Sasha Chmelevski and Kyle Maksimovich all found the back of the net.
67’s goalie Mikey DiPietro picked up the win once again, making 24 stops. Oshawa netminder Kyle Keyser turned away 29 shots before Aidan Hughes came into the game in relief.
The 67’s won’t have much time to enjoy this latest victory as the series shifts to Oshawa for Game 3 on Sunday night.
What they’re saying
Andre Tourigny, 67’s Head Coach
On another huge third period…”What I’m really proud of in the third period is the way we reacted after they scored. I like the attitude of our guys, they stayed in the moment and I never felt panic.” On the powerplay success…”I think our powerplay since Christmas really clicked but I think we are at another level in the playoffs. We’re confident, we’re not forcing anything and we keep it simple.” On going to Oshawa for Games 3 and 4 … “We know what they did in the previous series. Our guys stay humble, we don’t take anything for granted. We battled through and stay with it, I don’t think we’ll change a thing. We like the way we behave and who we are. We believe in ourselves.
Sasha Chmelevski, 67’s forward
On his success in big games … “When I want the team to succeed and really put the team first is when I play my best hockey. When we play really competitive hockey it’s really tough to beat us. On the relationships between the players on Ottawa … I think our team just has so much time being around each other and the camaraderie is so great … It gives us that swagger and confidence to continue on the traditions the 67’s franchise has.”
- Mitch Hoelscher continued an underrated performance in these playoffs by scoring once to give him six in the post-season, while winning 12 of 19 face-offs.
- Sasha Chmelevski (2 goals, 2 assists), Graeme Clarke (1 goal, 2 assists), Marco Rossi, Tye Felhaber and Kyle Maksimovich (all with 1 goal, 1 assists) had multi-point games for Ottawa.
- Sasha Chmelevski led both teams with five shots apiece in this one.
- This was the fifth time in 10 post-season games that the 67’s have scored at least seven goals. They have scored at least five in eight of those games.
Ottawa scored two powerplay goals on four chances, while Oshawa went 0-for-4.