67's Game 1 gurus

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

PETERBOROUGH -- The 67's have once again stolen home-ice advantage away from an opponent in a playoff series.

They did it against Barrie, then against Sudbury, and now the Peterborough Petes are the latest victim.

Overage winger Jeremy Akeson scored at 2:16 of overtime last night to give Ottawa a huge 3-2 victory over the Petes in the opening game of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference championship last night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

"That's my biggest goal of my OHL career, minor hockey, everything," said Akeson, who scored his first career OHL overtime goal.

Akeson got credit for it, but Lukas Kaspar did the bulk of the work to make it happen.

The Czech import fought through a check on the right side and, while being pulled down behind the Peterborough net, managed to one-arm the puck in front of the goal.

"You don't realize how strong he is," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "(The defenceman) took him well. You couldn't take him any better. He took him in with all his strength.

"But luckily, Kaspar's so strong that he still got the puck out and Jeremy was doing what he should be doing, going to the net."

The puck floated out to Akeson, who shot it past stunned Petes goalie Jeff MacDougald for the win.

Kilrea praised Akeson, Kaspar and Jakub Petruzalek for their efforts last night, and said the trio was Ottawa's top line.

"They had more chances and created more," said Kilrea. "They worked harder."

It was Ottawa's first win this year in Peterborough, after losing four times during the regular season.

"I won't down play the importance of one game," said Kilrea. "It did prove that we can win in Peterborough, which we couldn't do throughout the season.

"We came here and we won, so now we know we can."

Ottawa trailed early when the Petes struck first on a power play in the third minute on a fluke goal. Daniel Ryder fired the puck from the left corner and banked it off Will Colbert's skate in front of the net and behind Danny Battochio.

But the 67's got it back a few minutes later.

Kaspar made a great pass, backhanding the puck between his legs to Petruzalek along the right boards. Without breaking stride, the Czech rookie ripped a sharp-angle wrist shot behind MacDougald underneath the crossbar on the short side.

PETES MUSTER FEW SHOTS

Battochio faced only seven shots during the opening period, a dramatic decrease from the usual amount of rubber he had been seeing during the series against Barrie and Sudbury.

Ottawa took the lead early in the second, thanks to great work by the line of Julian Talbot, Chris Hulit and Jamie McGinn.

They kept the puck in the Peterborough zone and worked it in front before Talbot got the puck to Hulit, who tipped it behind MacDougald to give the 67's the lead.

Ottawa had a great chance minutes later for a two-goal lead while killing a penalty.

Brad Bonello got free on a turnover at the blue line and broke in on MacDougald, but the Petes goalie made a stop with his right pad to keep his club within a goal.

Ottawa struggled during power plays in the opening 40 minutes, getting few chances on four man-advantage opportunities.

But the Petes got their second power-play goal with 5:30 left in the second when Trevor Hendrikx coasted into the slot and ripped a slap shot past Battochio.

WORTH NOTING: Petes fans gave 67's Fs Bryan Bickell and Brad Bonello rounds of jeers during the pre-game player introductions -- Bickell for his comments about the city of Peterborough in yesterday's Sun, and Bonello for his brief stay as a member of the Petes before being traded to Ottawa earlier in the season. "I don't want anybody on my team saying anything about another city, another town, another team or other people," said Kilrea.


Photos