67's take Bulls by the horns

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:26 PM ET

The 67's showed the Killer instinct they've been missing last night.

The result was a convincing, 6-2 pounding of the Belleville Bulls before 9,862 fans at a sold-out Civic Centre.

"We've been struggling lately, and (coach Brian Kilrea) reiterated to us, 'If you don't want to play, stay in the room' ... there's just been no emotion," said defenceman Elgin Reid, who contributed a solid game and a fight in a breakout second period.

"(Last night), everybody stepped up and played physical. There's definitely some bad blood with (the Bulls). They're probably one of our biggest rivals. They don't like to be hit, and we took it to them. Even the fights ... they are not a big part of the game, but they give the guys and the fans a boost. And Killer likes to see emotion."

He also likes to see his veterans leading the way on the score sheet and, after pointing out their offensive problems a day earlier, Kilrea's demands were met.

Chris Hulit led the attack with two goals and an assist, while Julian Talbot (one of the only vets to show up for Wednesday's 2-1 loss in Belleville) had a goal and two assists, as did Brad Bonello. Mark Mancari and Bryan Bickell had the other Ottawa goals.

Redeeming himself after being pulled in the first seven minutes on Wednesday was goalie Anthony Guadagnolo, who allowed a pair of goals to Bulls' leading scorer Marc Rancourt, but nothing more, stopping 25 shots.

"We haven't played that way since the last time we played Peterborough (two Fridays ago)," said Kilrea. "We worked harder (last night). We did a lot of things better. We had some guys that had been slumping ... maybe they were pressing ... but we got goals from different sources."

The win moved the 67's two points past the Bulls and into sole ownership of second place in the East Division. They also edged to within six points of first-place Peterborough after the Petes tied Owen Sound 2-2 last night.

Ottawa took to the road immediately following the win for games in Kitchener (tonight) and Brampton (tomorrow). Matthew Spezza makes his first start in goal for the 67's this evening.

The 67's, who were up 2-1 on the Bulls by the first intermission, increased the lead by two with the only goals of the second.

It was a 20-minute segment which also saw them settle some scores, as Ottawa rookie Derek Joslin squared off with Belleville freshman Mark Johnson, and the 67's Reid went toe-to-toe with first-year Bull Matt Beleskey in a couple of fights that broke out just prior to a puck being dropped.

"Killer has been trying to get guys motivated all week," said Talbot. "(Last night) we came out hard."

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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