Ottawa offence continues to struggle

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

It was the same old new problem for the Ottawa 67's.

You have to score more goals than the other guy to win games.

Last night, the 67's scored just two, and one was with a two-man advantage, as they lost 5-2 to the London Knights.

Ottawa's local content, defenceman Brad Staubitz, has been agonizing about lack of scoring all Memorial Cup tournament. The team scored eight goals in its three Memorial Cup round-robin games and it wasn't enough, even for a defensive team. Still, they are in the semifinal tomorrow with hopes of a remedy.

Londoner Mark Mancari, a forward, did get a goal last night, but he's seeking a solution as well.

"We're not finishing our checks in their end," he said. "If we don't finish our checks, we're not getting offensive chances."

Last night, the 67's mustered only 28 shots on the Knights' Gerald Coleman, compared with the Knights' 49 on Ottawa goalie Danny Battochio, who has been mainly responsible for getting the 67's this far.

Ottawa head coach Brian Kilrea is aware of the offensive weakness also.

"We got a lift by scoring the first goal and then didn't get the chances," he said.

Staubitz missed most of the first period with a broken skate blade that sent him to the dressing room, but he returned in the second period and delivered a couple of thunderous checks on Corey Perry. However, he put his team down two men late in the second with an interference call that cost his team a goal.

Despite having six 20-goal scorers, the 67's have been short of firepower in the Cup -- just as they were during their five-game OHL final series with the Knights.

Going into last night's game, defensive defenceman Staubitz was Ottawa's top scorer with two goals and an assist. On the first goal last night, it was defenceman Will Colbert who jammed the London net and assisted on a Chris Hulit goal.

"Our forwards have to start scoring," Staubitz said.

It was a wish that Kilrea repeated. Anyone, just anyone to step up would please him, Kilrea said earlier.

Staubitz was a Jan. 10 trade deadline acquisition by the 67's specifically to shore up what Kilrea felt was poor back-end defence.

Staubitz had scant offensive stats with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. But he started putting up points with the 67's immediately while doing the defensive job he was brought in to do.


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