Petruzalek picks up pace vs. Petes

DON BRENNAN, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

Jakub Petruzalek's attempt to break a third-period tie with a hard, high shot was denied by a fantastic glove save.

So he helped his linemates do it.

Less than 90 seconds after being robbed on a breakaway by Eero Kilpelainen's mitt, Petruzalek set up fellow Czech Lukas Kaspar for a glove-side goal on the Peterborough Petes netminder. And 42 seconds after that, Petruzalek assisted on a Bryan Bickell goal to the same top corner.

The two quick strikes gave Petruzalek three points on the night, but more importantly helped the 67's to a 5-3 win over the East Division leaders in front of 9,598 at the Civic Centre.

The second-place 67's now trail the Petes by seven points and have a game in hand.

"We knew that if we are going to challenge for first, we had to win this game," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "Now we still have a chance."

Petruzalek joked about shooting the puck in Kilpelainen's glove on purpose, just to let the drama build a little longer. He also said he's going to work on not tipping off goalies as to which way he's going with the puck.

"It's a bad habit," he said.

"Everybody played well (last night)," Petruzalek added. "We've got a pretty good goalie, and it's important to (get) support from the back end."

Indeed, Anthony Guadagnolo fully deserved the hard hat teammates presented him for the second game in a row, symbolic of the team's hardest-working player.

Filling in for injured No. 1 goalie Danny Battachio, Guadagnolo stopped 37 shots from the second-highest scoring team in the OHL.

He was particularly sensational in the opening period, making a couple of large saves in the first 20 seconds and a couple of more from in close in the second minute, At one point, Peterborough held an 8-0 edge in shots, and Guadagnolo wound up with 18 saves in the first period, allowing his team to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.

"Once we got that first goal, we settled down," Guadagnolo said, referring to Petruzalek's 16th, on the power play, that broke the ice. Julian Talbot (18th) added another with the man advantage before the period ended.

The Petes, who scored the only goal of the second, tied the game shortly after killing a double high-sticking minor in the third when Jadran Beljo's shot from the left-wing boards deflected off a group of players in front and between Guadagnolo's legs. Even after Kaspar and Bickell restored the two-goal lead, Liam Reddox scored his second of the night with under seven minutes to go.

Ottawa's Chris Hulit iced the game with an empty-netter with 25 seconds left.

ICE CHIPS: The 67's will finalize G Matthew Spezza's release from Lindsay (Jr. B) and start him in goal tomorrow afternoon, when Kingston is in town for a 2 p.m. start.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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