It was in front of 6,903 screaming fans that the Ottawa 67’s took the ice for the second time in as many days inside The Arena at TD Place, in a heated battle against the top team in the OHL’s Western Conference that ended by a final score of 4-2 in favour of the London Knights. Mitch Hoelscher and Marco Rossi were the goal scorers for Ottawa, while Connor McMichael, Alec Regula, Jonathan Gruden and Liam Foudy scored for the visitors.
The first period was dominated by the 67’s, who outshot their opponents 45 to 29. Mitch Hoelscher scored the game’s first goal early on, 56 seconds in to be precise, giving Ottawa a one goal edge that would last until the midway point of the first, when Connor McMichael tied it up on the power play with his 40th of the season.
No goals would be scored in the second period, in which the shots were much more balanced, counting 13 on each side.
Alec Regula made it 2-1 London just under six minutes into the third when he picked up a loose puck in front of the net that popped right on the blade of his stick coming out of a scramble. The 67’s came out pushing hard after Regula’s goal, however, and the OHL’s top scorer Marco Rossi was able to tie things up by jamming in a loose puck into the net, making the almost-7,000 fans in TD Place jump to their feet for joy. The game would remain close until the very end, but it was Ottawa Senators prospect Jon Gruden who would score the game’s winning goal, thanks to a precise shot that beat Cedrick Andree. Just like they did 24 hours prior against the Windsor Spitfires, the 67’s looked to get the tying goal late in the game by pulling their goalie, but London’s Brett Brochu stood tall and shut the door. Liam Foudy scored the insurance marker for his team in an empty cage, giving the game a final score of 4-2.
Ottawa will kick off a three-game road trip on Thursday, when they visit the North Bay Battalion, before they head to Sault Ste. Marie on Friday to face the Greyhounds. Their road trip will round out on Sunday, when they visit the Sudbury Wolves in the afternoon. The 67’s next game in front of their own fans will be their second School Day Game of the season, when they host the Kingston Frontenacs on Tuesday, February 25th, with the puck drop scheduled for 10:30 AM.
POST GAME COMMENTS
Head Coach André Tourigny
“We played hard today. It was the kind of game you can measure your team and we played solid. Maybe the result shows something different, but it’s the kind of game we like to play against a good opponent. We get to see where we’re at right now and it’s the kind of game that we’ll have to play down the road.”
“There wasn’t much space out there. We created enough offense, there’s a few things we want to clean up but in general, we did a lot of good things.”
D Noel Hoefenmayer
“It was a tight game all the way through. These are the games we look up and look forward to. We can judge ourselves as a team playing against good teams like them, so it was good to see where we’re at and what we have to improve in our game.”
“Since Andre, Mario and Norm have started coaching us, it’s never been about winning games, it’s about how we play and how we mature throughout the game and the lessons we learn, so there were definitely a lot of positives to take from this week-end.”
“It was amazing, our fans were unbelievable tonight; they were loud, they were into the game the whole time, so it was really special playing in front of them today.”
- Three Stars of the game: * Jonathan Gruden (1G, 1A) ; ** Brett Brochu (43 saves); *** Kari Piiroinen (1 goal)
- A total of 6,903 fans took in this game inside The Arena at TD Place.
- Mitch Hoelscher’s goal was his 30th of the season, the first time he reaches that plateau in his OHL career.
- The 67’s power play was blanked by London today, as it went 0/4.
- This is only the second time this season the 67’s lose twice in a row. Last time was on October 4th and 6th.