Loss will Dog 67's

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

In a battle of the Eastern Conference's two hottest teams, the 67's were felled by an eight minute and 54 second chill.

That's how long it took the Mississauga IceDogs to score all of their goals -- two that came 1:38 apart late in the second and two more that were scored within 31 seconds early in the third -- and while the 67's tried valiantly to recover, they never could.

The end result: A 4-3 defeat at a sold out Civic Centre that ended one winning streak at five games and saw another extend to six.

"They killed us in the second," admitted 67's centre Julian Talbot. "They took it to us, they wanted all the pucks and they dug in the corners for them. It's too bad we fell too far behind."

And now, the 67's are too far behind Peterborough to finish first in their division, as five points separate them. An Ottawa win last night would have kept hope alive, with the Petes coming to town next Friday before both teams end their regular season schedule next Sunday.

"We wanted that badly," Talbot said of the division crown, "and we would have had a good shot with a win. Now we'll just have to try and get home-ice advantage."

For that, they are in a scrap for fourth in the conference that looks to be coming down to four teams: Ottawa, Brampton, Barrie and Sudbury.

Last night, the 67's outshot Mississauga 51-46, as both Ottawa's Anthony Guadagnolo and the IceDogs David Shantz saw more rubber than goalies generally do when teams are tightening up for a playoff run.

Coach Brian Kilrea gave Guadagnolo the start instead of No. 1 goalie Danny Battochio because a) the latter had played two games already this weekend, b) he has confidence in both and c) "When it comes time for exposure, we want both to have a chance."

The 67's took a 1-0 lead on a first-period power-play goal by Lukas Kaspar, whose wrist shot from the point in front of the Mississauga bench was redirected past goalie Dave Shantz.

It was Kaspar's 20th, making him the seventh member of the team to reach that plateau this season.

The goal held up through almost 20 minutes of action, until Kyle Quincey's similar-looking shot from almost the exact same spot on the ice found its way past Guadagnolo.

The IceDogs broke the tie 98 seconds later, when Patrick O'Sullivan won a draw to the left of the 67's net and John Hecimovic fired the puck past Guadagnolo's glove.

The second period saw the 67's outshoot the IceDogs by a 22-21 count, but it was the visitors who had the better opportunities. In fact, Guadagnolo, who was continually chopped at by Mississauga forwards after he had frozen the puck, had little help as the IceDogs took control of the game midway through the second period.

Ottawa bounced back with goals by Pat Ouellette, his second of the season, and Chris Hulit, his 30th.

Hulit's came with 5:37 left, giving the 67's ample time to get the equalizer.

"I'm only disappointed that we had a couple of players who did not play the way they're capable of," said Kilrea. "I know a couple were nursing injuries and trying to play through them ... sometimes you just make mistakes, and we made too many.

ICE CHIPS: 67's playoff tickets go on sale today at 9 a.m.


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