LONDON -- It was certainly no time to come up with a stinker. You wouldn't know it by the score, but the 67's didn't deserve to win last night's 4-3 Memorial Cup loss to Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic at the John Labatt Centre.
"We played a poor game, and we had too many guys who didn't play well at all," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea.
Ottawa spotted Rimouski a 2-0 lead in the first period, and never could recover.
Three times they narrowed the gap to a single goal, but couldn't score the equalizer.
"They played a great game, but we don't think we played our best hockey," said Ottawa winger Mark Mancari, who was held off the scoresheet and had few chances.
Crosby scored one of Rimouski's goals and added an assist, while his linemates took care of the rest of the scoring -- Dany Roussin had two goals and Marc-Antoine Pouliot had the other.
Lukas Kaspar, Brad Staubitz and rookie Jamie McGinn replied for the 67's, who outshot the Oceanic 51-39.
The result evened the record of both teams to 1-1 in the round-robin tournament. A win by the Oceanic in tonight's game against the Kelowna Rockets would eliminate the Western Hockey League champs and assure the 67's of a spot in Saturday's semi-final.
Crosby, named the top junior player of the year earlier in the day, showed little of the flash that's made him one of hockey's brightest prospects in years.
"Everyone is playing desperate now. Everyone wants to get to that semi-final," said Crosby, who opened the scoring during a power play in the 12th minute of the first when he fired a shot from the right slot past Danny Battochio on the far side. Roussin gave Rimouski a 2-0 lead four minutes later off a scramble in front.
Kaspar scored on a power play late in the opening period. Pouliot scored one minute into the second.
Ottawa got within a goal in the opening minute of the third when Staubitz scored on a dribbler from the deep slot. Roussin banged in a rebound to restore the two-goal lead. McGinn tipped in a Staubitz shot to again cut the lead to one.
The 67's got no good chances after a Rimouski interference penalty in the final minute.
"We didn't play the best we could, but we were still in the game," said McGinn. "We were ready to go and we knew what we had to do, but it just seemed like we didn't get it done."
Ottawa centre Jakub Petruzalek missed last night's game after hurting his left knee during Sunday's game against Kelowna, but skated yesterday morning and said he would be available for tomorrow's game against London.