67's to dance with Wolves

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

The 67'S have disposed of the Colts, and now they're up against the Wolves.

They beat Barrie 8-2 last night in front of 6,280 fans at the Civic Centre to clinch their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final in six games.

The win advanced Ottawa into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in two years, and they'll play the Sudbury Wolves.

Benoit Pouliot of St. Isidore scored the winner in double overtime to give Sudbury a 5-4 victory last night over the Brampton Battalion to clinch their quarter-final series in six games.

SPLIT SEASON SERIES

The 67's went 1-1 against Sudbury, the home town of Ottawa goalie Danny Battochio, during the regular season.

In the season opener for both clubs on Sept. 24, Battochio learned of his grandmother's death earlier in the day and dedicated his effort to her memory.

He was outstanding, stopping 37 shots, but the Wolves scored twice in the third for a 3-1 victory.

A week later, in Ottawa's home opener, the 67's trailed 3-2 heading into the third but Lukas Kaspar scored twice and fellow Czech Jakub Petruzalek also scored in the third during a 5-3 Ottawa win.

Battochio will likely be a key figure in the upcoming series, as he was during the quarter-final against the Colts.

He made 41 saves last night and provided outstanding goaltending, but the Colts couldn't say the same about their netminder Francois Thuot.

The 67's scored six times in the second to take control.

Mark Mancari had three goals in the period, but it was his first that perfectly demonstrated the substandard quality of Barrie's goaltending.

With the game tied 1-1, Mancari turned and fired from about 40 feet away along the right-wing boards after a Colts turnover.

The puck sailed through Thuot's pads and into the net, giving Ottawa the lead.

Thuot should have made the save, as he had a clear view of the puck.

"We knew he had trouble with long shots," said Mancari. "We just wanted to put the puck on net and make things happen."

Moments later, Barrie's Rob Hisey made some moves to get in front for a great scoring chance, but Battochio robbed him with a glove stop.

PRAISE FOR BATTOCHIO

"Danny played wonderful for them and we were sporadic, at best, with our goaltending," said Colts coach Marty Williamson.

After Battochio stopped Hisey, the 67's attacked.

Jeremy Akeson scored after taking a great pass from Chris Hulit to give Ottawa a two-goal lead.

Mancari scored two minutes later, followed by a flurry of goals from Jamie McGinn, Mancari again and Lukas Kaspar before the end of the period.

Thuot made his second start of the series in place of veteran Dan LaCosta, who was yanked during Sunday's 3-2 Colts win in Barrie.

LaCosta broke a finger during pre-game warmup on Sunday, and allowed two goals in the first period before being replaced by Thuot.

Williamson said LaCosta wouldn't have been able to play last night.

The 67's did a great job killing penalties, preventing the Colts from scoring on all but 2-of-14 power-play opportunities.

Referee Mark Hicks issued 37 penalties during the contest.


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