67's smother Petes

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET

The 67's are feeling great these days -- and they've got lots of reasons for that. They won for the seventh straight time on home ice during the playoffs, blanking the Peterborough Petes 3-0 with a solid team effort in front of sellout crowd of 9,862 at the Civic Centre.

Ottawa has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final, with Game 3 tomorrow night in Peterborough.

Brian Kilrea called it one of the best games his team has played this season.

"As far as it being the best game of the year, it would rank right up there," said Kilrea. "Whether it was the best ... but it was certainly one of the best."

Danny Battochio made 37 saves to record the first playoff shutout of his OHL career.

"Actually, it's a pretty big thrill. The last few seconds there seemed like forever," said Battochio, who won his 10th game of the playoffs.

"I just tried not to look at the clock and just keep playing. It's kind of a relief to finally get one, but I've got to credit the team, too.

Like Kilrea, Battochio praised the team for its effort. "I thought they were tremendous," he said. "They just kept fighting and fighting."

The 67's came out strong early on -- and maintained that effort the rest of the way.

EARLY EDGE

Chris Hulit scored on a breakaway in the first, and the 67's took control with a pair of goals in the second from Brad Bonello and Jakub Petruzalek.

Winger Lukas Kaspar had another great game for the 67's, setting up both goals with great passes in the second.

"In the playoffs, they have changed their game," said Kilrea about Kaspar and Petruzalek, who were often criticized by the coach during the regular season for substandard defensive play.

"They work hard in their own end getting the puck out."

Ottawa put the pressure on in the opening two minutes, getting six shots on Petes goalie Jeff MacDougald. And the 67's struck first right after killing a Peterborough power play when Arron Alphonso, just after stepping out of the penalty box, passed to Hulit down the middle for a break.

Hulit ripped a wrist shot over MacDougald's glove into the top right corner to give Ottawa the lead.

In the second, Petes fourth-line forward Justin Soryal collided with Battochio, which caused a pileup of bodies behind the Ottawa net when the 67's came to the aid of their goalie.

The Petes came out shorthanded when referee Ian Smith called Nepean native Scott Cowie for goaltender interference, though it was Soryal who made contact with Battochio.

Petes coach Dick Todd questioned why a call would be made against his team when a similar collision on Thursday in Peterborough involving Battochio during the series opener went unpenalized.

Ottawa scored moments later during the power play when Kaspar made a tremendous pass across the slot from the right boards to Bonello, who was open on the left side of the net.

Bonello redirected the puck into an open side of the goal to give the 67's a two-goal lead.

Ottawa scored 34 seconds later when Kaspar found Petruzalek open in the same spot from where Bonello had just scored, and Petruzalek shot the puck past MacDougald for the three-goal lead.

Battochio made some big saves in the third, his most important against Logan Hunter on a shorthanded chance.

"We've already faced two pretty tough goalies (in the playoffs)," said Petes captain Mark Flood. "He's a good goalie and we've got to give him credit. But we have enough scoring up front that we should be able to get to him and, hopefully in the next game, we're going to get to him."

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos