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Game 6 Review BAR vs. OTT

by Alex Quevillon
The Barrie Colts made Game Six interesting, perhaps too close to comfort for the Ottawa 67’s, but the visitors ultimately prevailed at the Barrie Molson Center on Sunday evening and these two teams will head back to the Nation’s Capital to play the seventh game of this series on Tuesday.

The win brought amongst a heavy sigh of relief from the 67’s faithful who are, in fairness, used to seeing their team blow leads such as this one. But the Barberpoles have shown enough resiliency to hold onto two late leads in back-to-back games to level this series at three games apiece.

Can We Decline the Penalties?

In what may have been the NHL’s game of the year on the afternoon of the 15th, the Philadelphia Flyers’ powerplay put on a clinic, going four for seven against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game between the 67’s and Colts that followed saw the complete opposite as the two combined for no powerplay goals on ten opportunities.

The officiating was highly questionable throughout the night, the final miscue coming in the final minute when Ottawa’s Sean Monahan was sent to the box for a phantom hook on Josh McDonald, who innocently tripped on his own. But with how pitiful both teams were with the man advantage, along with the fact that Ottawa was able to ice the puck as a result, perhaps it worked in the 67’s favour after all. Whoever moves on to play Niagara will need a quick fix for their powerplay, otherwise it may be another short series in the Ice Dogs’ favour.

Missed It By That Much:

Barrie forward Erik Bradford has to be kicking himself for what should have been the equalizer early in the third period. For a 15-minute span at the end of the second period and start of the third, the Colts caught Ottawa on their heels. Gregg Sutch got Barrie on the board with just a minute and a half to play in the middle frame while a longshot from Alex Lepkowski brought the home side within one. Shortly thereafter, Bradford had a wide open net after putting together a perfect 2-on-1 rush, but couldn’t tie the game up.

Full Team Effort by Ottawa:

Steven Janes and Shane Prince may still be ragged on by Ottawa fans, but there’s no doubting the important role they played in sending this series the distance. Prince beautifully set up Janes on a breakaway as Janes was coming out of the penalty box; the 6’4 Etobicoke native scoring on his third shot in tight on the break to give the 67’s a 2-0 lead.

Tyler Toffoli had set up that situation by hitting double digits in goals with 10, a longshot past Mathias Niederberger that looked awfully familiar to Lepkowski’s goal in the third. The 67’s scoring was rounded out by Tyler Graovac, finishing a 2-on-1 with Ryan Van Stralen to put his team ahead 3-0 early in the second.

Despite a bit of a late collapse, Petr Mrazek helped his team stay in it, making six saves in the third period and 25 on the night. Niederberger made 27 at the other end.

Gloves Come Off:

In his rookie year with the 67's, I noticed a lot of similiarities in the games of Dalton Smith and Barrie tough guy Stefan Della Rovere. Despite the difference in age, I wanted the two heavyweights to go at it once, it would surely have been a great tilt. This wish never came to fruition, but Colts fans did get to see the skill that Smith possesses with his gloves off. He laid a beating on Anthony Camara during the second period of Game Six.

Heading Back To Ottawa:

As mentioned, the seventh and final game goes here in Ottawa on Tuesday night. Barrie is hoping that they can join their first round opponent Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and their potential third-round opponent Niagara Ice Dogs as teams that have defeated Ottawa in Seventh Games on home ice, with those two teams having done it in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Final Assessment:

During Sunday’s broadcast from Barrie, the Colts’ commentators falsely claimed that the 67’s PA announcer guaranteed a Game Seven after winning Game Five. The actual quote heard at the JBCC on Friday was “we hope we can see you back here on Tuesday for Game Seven if necessary.” No more ‘if necessary’. The Colts and 67’s, much alike the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers in the West, have one game left to decide this best-of-seven conference semi-final.

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