Thin roster doesn’t stop 67’s in Wednesday morning road win
The Ottawa 67’s are no strangers to adversity, this season, and they faced a ton of it today.
With just nine forwards available to them, and on the road for a 10:30am start in the Kingston Frontenacs’ School Day Game, a single point earned when the game went to overtime would have been more than enough.
Evidently, however, Ottawa wasn’t content to settle. With just 13 seconds remaining before the game headed to a shootout, Dallas Stars prospect Brad Gardiner slid the puck past Mason Vaccari on a net front backhander, delivering the 67’s a gutsy 3-2 victory.
Max Donoso earned his seventh win of the season, starting his seventh straight game, in an outstanding 32-save performance.
It’s a measure of payback for the Barber Poles, who were dominated by the Frontenacs in their own School Day Game, two weeks ago.
With Chris Barlas, Charlie Hilton, and Kaleb Lawrence out of the lineup, the 67’s had an even bigger hill to climb, when Kingston opened the scoring 8:18 in, on an Ethan Miedema powerplay goal.
They were soon rewarded with their own powerplay, however, where Gardiner found Cooper Foster on an odd-man rush, and the Pittsburgh Penguins pick made no mistake for his ninth of the year, tying the game at 1-1.
Just under six minutes later, the 67’s found their first lead of the day. This time, it was Brady Stonehouse pouncing on a turnover in the offensive zone, and with nothing but time, rifled home his own ninth of the campaign, for a 2-1 Ottawa advantage.
The 67’s entered the second period on top, but it was short-lived, thanks to another Kingston powerplay goal, by way of Luke McNamara potting his first in the black and gold, knotting the score at 2-2.
The numbers game appeared to become a factor in the third period, with the Frontenacs outshooting the 67’s 13-6, but Donoso stood tall, making numerous ten-bell saves to keep the score tied.
In the extra frame, Donoso came up big again on Paul Ludwinski, and at the other end of the ice, Ottawa captain Luca Pinelli threaded the needle to Gardiner all alone in front of Vaccari, and his first career overtime winner silenced the 4,518 kids in attendance.
The 67’s return home for the weekend, taking on the Flint Firebirds Saturday at 3:00pm, before hosting the North Bay Battalion in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Sunday at 2:00pm.
- With a pair of assists, Henry Mews is up to 14 points in his last 13 games.
- Cooper Foster has five goals and six points in his last six games,
- Brad Gardiner has scored in back-to-back games, and now has five multi-point efforts on the year.
- The 67’s snapped a two-game losing streak against Kington, who lead the season series 2-1.