Pete throws 67's a biscuit

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

It was just a little thing and hardly noticed -- except to those to whom it meant the most. As time ran out in last night's 3-0 win by the 67's over Peterborough, Kyle Raftis of the Petes picked up the puck and threw it over the glass into the Civic Centre crowd.

A string of 67's was on its way down the ice to retrieve the puck as has been their custom in each of their wins this post-season.

The pucks from each victory are taped to a goalie stick that sits across the top of the big-screen TV in their dressing room.

It would have also been a significant souvenir for goaltender Danny Battochio, who had his first OHL shutout.

"That was an unsportsmanlike thing to do, to throw the puck over the glass," forward Brad Bonello said after the 67's took a 2-0 best-of-seven series lead.

"To my knowledge, that's a penalty and a suspension. They told us at the beginning of the year not to put anything in the crowd. I guess it depends on how they look at it."

Battochio said he would have had the puck taped to the stick which charts the 67's journey through this remarkable spring.

"It was more disappointing to the guys. We have the wins on the stick over there," he said. "I would have put it up there. It hurts the team to see that, more than me.

"I don't know what he was trying to prove doing that. It happened. We're just going to do our best to win the series and shut them up."

It takes a couple of games for a playoff series to develop its own rhythms, for players to get sick of each other.

This one now seems on its way.

HEAR AND THERE: It was something you don't see often: Two legs flailing in the air on the Petes' bench in the first period. They belonged to Ottawa's Bryan Bickell, who went head-first into the bench when trying to hit a Pete at the blue line. Bickell looked like a synchronized swimmer for about five seconds while trying to get himself out of that Peterborough hole. Petes defenceman Trevor Hendrikx, obviously concerned for Bickell's safety, attempted to right him by covering Bickell's face with his glove and massaging it. Considerate guy, that Hendrikx, a good lad from Russell ... Hendrikx, BTW, looks like a guy playing with only one arm.

REVELATIONS: You cannot underestimate the influence of Brad Staubitz on the 67's and their demeanor on and off the ice. The Petes didn't think much of the tough guy in the first, however, when he turned down Greg Stewart's invitation to dance ... The Petes have 12 players eligible for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft -- whenever that is ... You won't see a much better wrist shot -- anywhere -- than the one Ottawa's Chris Hulit used to score on the opening goal ... Battochio had a relatively quiet night (if a guy who stopped 37 shots can have a quiet night), but made a huge save when it was needed, stopping the Petes' Patrick Kaleta just after the 67's had made it 3-0 and were playing short-handed. It kept the Petes from getting any momentum.

SPECULATIONS: Bonello was lucky he got away with only a minor penalty after cross-checking Peterborough's Logan Hunter right in the chops in the first period ... What are the playoffs about? Discipline. Shelving personal beefs. Hunter was obviously still ticked four minutes later when he returned the favour and drilled Bonello in the back after a whistle and got his own trip to the crate ... Hunter was in the middle of it again at the end of the period. Referee Ian Smith missed some stickwork on Hunter by Ottawa's Lukas Kaspar, but not Hunter's retaliatory slash which put the Petes two men down. They dodged that one.

THE BUZZ: The 67's booster club is organizing a trip to Peterborough for Game 3 tomorrow night. More information is available from Joanne (722-5015). The plan is to meet at Merivale Mall at 2 p.m ... Kaspar has taken his share of criticism for a spotty regular season, but the 67's forward is showing up when it counts. He made two beautiful passes last night to leave teammates with empty nets, but taking a hit to get the puck out of his zone in the second says more about where his game is at now.

JUST WONDERING: Calls that drive you nuts: Ottawa's Derek Joslin pushes a Pete in the back who goes down like he was shot from the Grassy Knoll. Smith wasn't calling anything until the Pete was on the ice, leading you to believe he didn't see what happened. He proved it when Joslin was called for crosschecking and the replay showed Joslin pushed him with his hand that wasn't on the stick ... A call I did like: Ottawa's Arron Alphonso for interfering with Nepean's Scott Cowie, on his way out to check the pointman after a faceoff. That doesn't get called enough ... A full house in April. That helps pay for those charters to Peterborough, huh?

THE FINAL WORD: 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea said the biggest area Kaspar and Jakub Petruzalek have improved is in their own zone. "They were loose in our end. They were crisscrossing and almost playing offensive hockey in our own end and a lot of teams took advantage of them." They aren't liabilities now.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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