Following a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the hands of the Saginaw Spirit on Thursday, in what was the opening game of a three game road trip, the Ottawa 67’s bounced back in a nice way with a 4-2 win over a hot Flint Firebirds team. Joseph Garreffa led the charge with a hat trick and an assist, with the other goal coming from Kevin Bahl.
The two teams seemed to be headed to a scoreless first period until 67’s overage forward Joseph Garreffa came in with speed late in the period and beat Anthony Popovich with a precise shot up high to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead with only thirteen seconds remaining on the clock. Both sides traded good chances throughout the opening twenty minutes, with Flint slightly out-shooting Ottawa 15-12.
After a late goal from Ottawa in the first, the toe to toe battle between the two sides continued in the second period of play, with plenty of chances going both ways. 67’s goaltender Cedrick Andree notably made a few key saves during the period, but was beat once during four on four action by Firebirds forward Evgeniy Oksentyuk, leveling thins up at 8:14, almost halfway through the game. The score would remain the same until the end of the period, making things interesting going into the third period with a tie score of 1-1 forcing an eventual tiebreaker.
That tie-breaking goal came from the stick of giant-sized defenseman Kevin Bahl, who broke in and beat everybody, including the goaltender to give Ottawa the lead 4:16 into the final period, followed by Garreffa’s second of the game only 2:40 later for a two goal edge in favour of the visitors. Vladislav Kolyachonok would narrow it down to one with just a bit over five minutes remaining in the game, but “Joey G” would score his third goal of the game, the insurance marker, in an empty net.
Ottawa will close out their road trip on Sunday afternoon in Sarnia, before they host their School Day Game on Thursday, November 21st at 10:30 AM against the Sudbury Wolves.
With a hat trick on Saturday night, Joseph Garreffa now counts ten goals in as many games played for the 67’s, totaling 17 points since joining the team last month.
Garreffa now has nine points in his last five games and is on an active three game point streak (seven points in last three games).
Cedrick Andree was stellar and made a number of key saves, stopping 37 shots in his ninth win of the season.
Ottawa’s offense was able to put up four goals in this one, despite not benefiting any power plays throughout the game.