SAULT STE. MARIE -- The 67's could not seal the deal and give Chris Byrne a win in his OHL regular-season coaching debut last night.
At the Essar Centre, 16-year-old rookie Nick Cousins scored his second goal of the night with 24 seconds left in overtime, giving the host Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds a 5-4 win over the 67's in the OHL opener for both teams.
Cousins' goal was the fourth power-play salvo of the night for the Soo, which forced overtime on Michael Fine's goal with 2:42 left in the third period.
The 67's (0-0-1-0), who face the Sudbury Wolves tonight, are without their top two defencemen, Julien Demers (knee) and Tyler Cuma (at Minnesota Wild training camp).
The combination of a thin blue-line corps and nine Greyhounds power plays took a toll as the night wore on.
Goalie Chris Perugini had 48 saves for the 67's, who were outshot 53-29.
Ottawa received a two-point night from Ryan Martindale and goals from Dalton Smith, Anthony Nigro and Thomas Graovac, his first in the OHL.
Cousins and linemate Vern Cooper each had two goals and an assist for Sault Ste. Marie, while defenceman Michael Quesnele had three assists.
Graovac's goal 3:22 into the second period, which came right after Smith dropped the gloves for a tussle with the Greyhounds' Dylan King, staked the 67's to a 3-0 lead.
However, Cousins and Cooper got the 'Hounds back in the hunt with power-play goals 3:59 apart to cut the lead to 3-2.