Kaspar no ghost in 67's key victory

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

67's 5, IceDogs 2

Ottawa 67's coach Brian Kilrea has been making public statements recently about needing better performances from some of his best players.

Lukas Kaspar provided one last night.

The Czech import, expected to provide much more offence this season, got a pair of goals early in the first to pace the 67's to a 5-2 win over the Mississauga IceDogs in front of a sellout crowd of 9,862 at the Civic Centre.

Kaspar's first goal, in which he blasted a one-timer past goalie Michael Ouzas on a pass from Jakub Petruzalek 27 seconds into the game, broke an eight-game goal-scoring slump.

"I've had a lot of bad luck. I've had a lot of open nets and I didn't hit (them). When I scored, I was happy," said Kaspar, a San Jose Sharks' first-round pick in 2004.

The goal was big because the IceDogs stormed into the 67's zone after the opening faceoff and had a couple of chances against Ottawa goalie Danny Battochio before Kaspar and Petruzalek broke out of the zone.

Four minutes later, Kaspar got his second goal when he was left unchecked in the slot and rolled the puck behind Ouzas, even though he fanned on the shot.

"They were important goals," said Kilrea. "We turned the puck over and they had a good scoring chance, but then Lukas gave us all the momentum when he scored that first goal. He and Jakub worked harder tonight and got better chances."

Jordan Owens got the IceDogs to within one early in the second, but Bryan Bickell ripped a wrist shot into the net from close range before the end of the second for his 20th goal of the season.

Mark Mancari gave Ottawa a three-goal lead early in the third.

Rookie Vladimir Svacina scored for Mississauga later in the second, but Robbie Lawrance got his third of the season one minute later to put the game away.

Battochio made his first start since Jan. 12, when he suffered a second shoulder separation this season.

"I felt a little rough in practice and it felt a bit sore before the game, but now it's feeling all right," said Battochio, who stopped 32 shots last night for his 16th win of the season.

The win moved the 67's (25-21-6-1) to within five points of the East Division-leading Peterborough Petes, who did not play last night.

Ottawa is back in action tomorrow afternoon at home against the Belleville Bulls in an important game between divisional rivals.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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