The 67's will be without their No. 1 goalie for at least a month -- if not for the rest of the OHL season. The 67's have learned that Danny Battochio -- who suffered his second injury of the season to the same shoulder Wednesday in Belleville -- will need favourable results from rest and strengthening exercises in order to return to action by mid-to-late February, at best.
Originally, coach Brian Kilrea had hoped his top puck stopper would miss no more than 2-3 weeks.
Battochio will likely need surgery on the shoulder in the offseason.
"I talked to the doc after (Friday's) game and he thinks Danny is basically in the same boat as he was earlier in the season," Kilrea said yesterday."He has to try and strengthen the muscles ... and get it strong enough that he can finish the year. But he'll be out at least 4-6 weeks."
Fortunately for Ottawa, Anthony Guadagnolo has filled in admirably for Battochio.
Guadagnolo was the first star in Friday's 5-3 win over the East Division-leading Peterborough Petes, just as he was in coming off the bench to replace Battochio against Belleville.
He was also the team's top player in last Sunday's win over Toronto.
"He's been just what we needed," said Kilrea, who has decided to start Guadagnolo today against Kingston at the Civic Centre (2 p.m.).
The backup will be Matthew Spezza, who was obtained in a trade with the Frontenacs last week.
"We don't feel he's ready because he's been inactive for awhile," Kilrea said of Spezza, the younger brother of Senators centre Jason.
Meanwhile, 67's defenceman Brodie Beard skated yesterday and is targeting next week as his return from a shoulder injury.