Close call for Ottawa's Battochio

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

LONDON -- Danny Battochio seems to have survived a scare at practice yesterday.

The Ottawa 67's goaltender left practice at the Western Fair after he took a slapshot, courtesy of teammate Jakub Petruzalek, off his left collarbone. The 67's wouldn't be in the Memorial Cup without Battochio, their star netminder.

"I should be fine," said Battochio, who emerged from the dressing room with a large ice pack on his shoulder and his arm hanging limply. "It's a little sore. You don't expect (shots) like that in practice but they will happen."

Coach Brian Kilrea said Battochio will play against the London Knights tonight.

"If he doesn't, Bert (O'Brien), Vinny (Mallette) and I won't go (to the game)," Kilrea said, referring to his assistant coaches.

Petruzalek, who hurt his knee earlier in the tournament, was not sure whether he would play tonight.

NO PUSH OVERS

Tonight's game (7, Sportsnet) is a rematch of the Ontario Hockey League final, when the Knights beat the 67's in five games. But the London players are taking nothing for granted. Ottawa's only win in the series was at the John Labatt Centre.

"It's not going to be a cakewalk," Mimico native David Bolland said. "We have to break (Battochio) down right off the bat. He is pretty small and we have to get them up high."

Battochio said the victory here gives the 67's confidence.

"We know can beat them," Battochio said. "Everyone looks pretty equal in this tournament."

BRIEFLY

As expected, the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL have hired one-time NHL defenceman Moe Mantha as their new general manager and coach.


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