Kilrea yells, 67's go nuts

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

67's 8, Frontenacs 5 Chris Hulit emerged from the 67's dressing room wearing a hard hat and a big grin.

Hey, this was hard work.

Down 3-1 after 40 minutes yesterday at the Civic Centre, the 67's were read the riot act by coach Brian Kilrea and exploded for seven third-period goals en route to an 8-5 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs in front of a sellout crowd of 9,862.

While Hulit led the way with three goals and two assists, Julian Talbot chipped in with four helpers and Jamie McGinn (2-1) had a three-point game. Lukas Kaspar, Aaron Alphonso and Bryan Bickell also had scored for the 67's.

"I just wasn't happy with the way we were playing in the first two periods -- especially in our own end," said Kilrea. "We just weren't doing a very good job and I let the guys know that.

"I'm not even sure what I said. But we had guys who were getting the job done for us in the past that weren't getting it done. We were giving up so many chances that it was only a matter of time before (goalie) Danny Battochio became human and actually gave up a goal."

How bad was it? Well, the 67's were outshot 50-42 and had a tough time holding the lead once they took control of the game in the third period. The Fronts are fighting for their playoff lives and needed this game badly.

The afternoon was so tough, the 67's weren't even able to take advantage of a two-man advantage for 1:15 in the second with Kingston leading 2-1, barely mustering a shot on Fronts goalie Dayne Davis.

With a win vs. Mississauga tonight (7 p.m) and the 67's could be playing for first place in the OHL's East Division on Friday against Peterborough. The 67's trail the Petes by three points with three games to go in the season.

"We're in, but we've still got a lot to play for," said Kilrea. "We saw (yesterday) how important home-ice advantage is -- especially in the playoffs. That was a hungry team and we knew it was going to be a tough game against them."

Kilrea had to smile when the subject turned to Hulit, who had been having a tough time taking advantage of his opportunities.

'We weren't playing the way we were capable of playing in the first two periods," said Hulit, who has 29 goals this season. "We had to crash and bang a bit more out there to make some things happen. We weren't really giving ourselves a chance to win. Brian just kind of told us to get back to playing the way we were capable of playing. We stepped it up from there and got the job done."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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