'Hounds put bite on sagging 67's

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

Greyhounds 7, 67's 3 So much for the streak.

The 67's can only blame themselves that their nine-game unbeaten run on home ice came to a crashing end yesterday, thanks to a shoddy effort against the Soo Greyhounds.

Jeff Carter, the Soo's top scorer, was out of the lineup to attend the Canadian junior team's training camp in Winnipeg, and the Greyhounds were playing their fourth road game in five days. But it didn't matter as they outplayed the 67's in rolling to a 7-3 victory at the Civic Centre, giving Ottawa its first home loss since Oct. 8 and only its second this season.

The 67's led 2-1 after the first, but the Greyhounds scored three times in the middle period, including twice early during a six-second span.

"We played 20 minutes of hockey, and that was it," said 67's winger Mark Mancari. "They outworked us. They beat us in the corners. They beat us offensively and defensively.

"These guys came to work hard. They had a long trip and they didn't want go home on the bus for nine hours and lose. So they came out and worked hard, and that's something we should have done better."

It was the second straight lacklustre game by the 67's, who were beaten soundly in Peterborough on Saturday by a flattering 3-1 count.

Ottawa coach/GM Brian Kilrea said Danny Battachio, the 67's goalie against the Petes, saved his club from embarrasment with an outstanding performance.

"But we didn't get saved from embarrassment (yesterday)," said Kilrea.

The Soo's Mark Puntureri tied yesterday's game early in the second when he got by veteran defenceman Kyle Wharton along the boards at the blue line and finished the rush with a backhander that trickled by goalie Anthony Guadagnolo.

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Then six seconds later, Jason Pitton scored on a break following another miscue by a defenceman.

Ottawa won the draw at centre, but blueliner Brodie Beard had the puck stolen by Pitton, who broke in alone on Guadagnolo and scored.

"It ranks up there with the worst. That was a pitiful performance on the blue line," Kilrea said. "If you don't play well in your own end, you'll never win games.

"We had some guys masquerading as defencemen, and it caught up with them."

Tyler Kennedy gave the Soo a two-goal lead later in the period, and Pitton got his second of the game during the first minute of the third.

The 67's completed a three-game weekend that also included a 5-2 win over Oshawa at home on Friday night.

Yesterday's loss dropped Ottawa's record to 14-13-2-1.

"We don't know what's going on in our room right now. We don't know what's going on on the ice," said Mancari.

"We feel we're a good hockey team, but things aren't going our way right now."

Mancari and Julian Talbot, who extended a goal streak to four games, scored in the first period on Soo goalie Jakub Cech, who will attend the Czech national team's junior camp this week.

Brody Todd also scored for Ottawa.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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