Hulit's a winner when it counts

DAVE GROSS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

If chances were donuts, they'd be calling him Tim Horton or maybe even Don Koharski early on.

But finally, when it absolutely counted the most yesterday, Chris Hulit sunk his teeth into a tasty opportunity to round out a very productive weekend for the 67's newcomer.

Hulit bagged the overtime winner just 12 seconds into the extra period as Ottawa rolled to a 4-3 win over the Toronto-St. Michael's Majors.

"I was just thinking, shoot the whole way, and I put the puck on net," offered Hulit with a grin outside the 67's dressing room at the Corel Centre.

The 19-year-old's blast from the top of the faceoff circle had just enough juice to squeeze through Justin Peters' pads and trickle over the goal line.

Hulit had opportunities aplenty throughout the game that drew 8,211 to the sometime home of the Senators. In the first period, he snuck through the Majors' defence before being shut down by Peters. About five minutes later, his shot rang off a goal post. Another chance in the second was turned aside, and then with under a minute to go in regulation, Hulit's in-alone chance refused to find the net.

"Hopefully I've impressed a few people here," he said.

We'd agree.

Since being picked up in a trade with Oshawa late in the week for disgruntled centre Peter Tsimikalis, Hulit's proven a lot of things. One, that a hard-work ethic goes a long way; two, that Brian Kilrea can turn a potentially destructive situation into a positive one; and three, old rivals sometimes create great chemistry.

Playing minor hockey for the Sault Ste. Marie Thunder, Hulit's main competition came in the form of Sudbury Lockerby. The chief pest on that team? Julian Talbot.

"Growing up our two teams were always in competition with each other," Talbot said with a smile. "We were always battling it out."

Now the two form the 67's third line -- with winger Brody Todd. The guy who swung the deal and put the trio together admitted the line certainly didn't play like it was down the depth chart.

Kilrea said Talbot, Todd and Hulit was his top unit all weekend long.

"There's no doubt they were our best. They were probably our best Friday and Saturday and today," said Kilrea whose team grabbed four of a possible six points. "They're going to get better because they're going to work (and stay) together."

The line collected nine points in the three games. Hulit had a pair of goals and two assists.

"He plays both ends of the rink and he doesn't get himself trapped. When he gets the puck he's looking for Talbot and I just think it's a great fit," said Kilrea.

NOTES: The 67's host Oshawa Friday night ... D Elgin Reid (shoulder) said he's still about two weeks away ... The voice of the 67's, Dave Schreiber, celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday ... D Kyle Wharton returned yesterday after missing Saturday's game in Belleville with the flu.


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