Ottawa 67’s lose to London Knights in shootout

Ottawa 67’s lose to London Knights in shootout

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Knight 2, 67’s 1 (SO)

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It was perhaps a preview of the playoffs, a game between two really good teams looking to make a lot of noise in the Ontario Hockey League postseason.

Head First: The first seeded Ottawa 67 of the East Division and the top seeded London Knights of the Midwest Division at the Arena at TD Place on Friday night. Fittingly, a game played with plenty of intensity went into overtime – some 3v3 excitement – and then into a penalty shootout. The Knights won Pride Night 2-1, with the ’67ers wearing special jerseys designed by artist Mio Linzie. Ruslan Gazizov scored the shootout winner.

“The game was how we envisioned it,” said 67 coach Dave Cameron. “It was the same last time in London, it was the same last Sunday at the Owen Sound. No time, no space, it’s just a matter of finding a way to get pucks and bodies into the net and finding a way to score.

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“It was a great practice run, because when you get into the second half of the year, you’re going into the playoffs against really good teams. There is not much to get.”

“We have to put up with being uncomfortable,” said 67 defender Jack Matier. “This is a team that makes you feel uncomfortable on the ice, they’re really fast. There were just two really good teams that started. We both have good defense and both have really good goalies, so chances were limited and there wasn’t much ice out there. These kinds of games always boil down to a few games.”

It was the kind of game teams expect when they take on the Knights coached by Dale Hunter. Grind it out. You have to fight for every inch.

“Dale was a great player and he’s a great coach,” said 67 coach Dave Cameron. “It’s rare that you get an NHL player as good as Dale who can step into coaching and be just as good a coach as he was a player. (The Knights) have a top notch coach and his brother (Mark) is one of the hardest working GMs in the league. They coach and manage the way they play – all in all, intensely and without compromise.”

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The 67ers restored firepower to their lineup Logan Morrison, injured two weeks ago, and Vinzenz Rohrer, who had been knocked his head on the ice in a game two and a half weeks earlier, both returned.

“They are two leaders on our team; They are good both offensively and defensively,” said Matier. “It was good to get her back in and feel comfortable.”

London scored 5:30 into the game when Alex Leonard fired a wrist shot past 67’s goalkeeper Max Donoso after a pass.

The 67ers held a long 5-on-3 advantage after London threw two penalties late in the final 17 seconds of the first period. But London goalkeeper Zach Bowen, who hails from Kanata, made some big saves and the 67ers rang a couple of shots off the iron. Ottawa came close midway through the second period but failed to net the puck in a frantic scramble for the Knights’ net.

Ottawa tied the game 4:58 in the third period when Matthew Mayich pocketed a rebound.

Both teams went into the game with back-to-back defeats: the 67ers lost at Kitchener (4-2) and Owen Sound (4-1) last weekend, while the Knights lost to Kitchener (5-2) and then Peterborough (3-0 ) lost. 0).

The 67ers hit the road straight after Friday’s game, taking a bus to Hamilton ahead of a Saturday afternoon game. They also play in Mississauga on Sunday. The Knights play in Kingston on Saturday night.

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