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Game 7 Review OTT-BAR

by Alex Quevillon
In what was quite clearly the biggest game of Junior Hockey in the Nation's Capital in two years, the Ottawa 67's and Barrie Colts didn't disappoint. In a series that went down to the wire, it was very denotative that even after the 67's took a 3-2 lead with 25 seconds left, Barrie would stil have an answer.

Sean Monahan's sixth marker of the postseason, the first powerplay marker in three games in the series, appeared to be the nail in the coffin that was the Colts season. Mark Scheifele, the most dominant player for either team through the seven games, batted home a rebound to tie the game with eight seconds to to.

The 67's wouldn't let their season be ruined by a bizarre, last-second tying goal, however. Just over two minutes into the first overtime period, Brett Gustavsen intercepted a pass from Mathias Niederberger and beat him five-hole with a quick shot from a sharp angle, sending Ottawa to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2005 (also, the last time they played Barrie in the playoffs) with a 4-3 win.

Niederberger didn't stand on his head as much as he had in past games, but he still made 40 stops. Petr Mrazek made 28 saves, with only one save needed in overtime (Niederberger faced three shots in the extra frame).

In hindsight, I don't think any 67's fans or impartial fans will be upset with the ending to this game. It would have been terrible had the 67's come eight seconds away from a series win only to lose. But if Barrie hadn't knotted the game, it would have been terrible to see Barrie's season end on a too many men penalty.

With 65 seconds left in the third period, Greg Sutch headed to the box as Barrie was caught with six men on the ice. The penalty didn't have to be called, especially at that time in the game. Monahan's goal came less than a minute later.

Colin Behenna was the Colt who centered the puck, knows all about Ottawa's late collapses. In the team's first meeting of the season, Behenna tied the game with less than a second to go in the third period. The winner that night was scored by Tanner Pearson, who missed the entirety of the playoffs.

Greg Sutch beat Mrazek with a high shot from the faceoff circle early in the first period, and it wasn't until a long stretch of play in the Barrie end in the middle stanza that the 67's broke the German goaltender's shutout bid. Dalton Smith buried a centering pass from the game's eventual first star, Tyler Graovac.

Josh MacDonald put the Colts ahead for the second time on the night with yet another longshot on Mrazek. Cody Ceci's blast from the point was deflected in by Steven Janes with six minutes left to tie the game once again.

For Barrie, this is a hard end to their year. Having improved by 51 points from last year's last-place finish, it's quite impressive that they came one goal from a berth in the Conference Finals. Ivan Telegin, who had a tremendous series, joined the Colts already sidelined after leaving with a leg injury at the first intermission. The 67's will be the team to go to the third round to face the top-seeded Niagara Ice Dogs. Game One goes Friday night.

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