Still a fighting chance

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

LONDON -- The 67's desperately want one last shot at beating the Knights -- Sunday, in the Memorial Cup championship game. One game, winner-take all. But first, there's a big obstacle -- Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic.

Needing to beat the Knights by two goals last night to get a bye into Sunday's final, the 67's were stopped dead by penalties, giving up three power-play goals in a 5-2 loss in the final round-robin game.

The Knights, who advanced to the tournament final with a 3-0 round-robin record, didn't give the 67's much of an opportunity.

Even with the presence of MVP goalie Danny Battochio, who played despite suffering a collarbone injury after being hit by a slap shot during practice on Wednesday, the 67's fell short, winding up with a 1-2 round-robin record.

"We were overpowered," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "We're going to skate (today) and hopefully find some players that will play better than they did (last night).

"We're here because our players played better (this season). We need them to be at their best, and they're not at their best."

Chris Hulit gave the 67's a 1-0 first-period lead, before Dan Girardi tied it. But the Knights dominated the middle period, scoring three unanswered goals -- by Dylan Hunter, Danny Syvret and Corey Perry -- and outshot Ottawa 22-5.

"Once they got on the power plays, they got up a couple of goals," said 67's centre Brad Bonello. "And once that happens, they're a tough team to come back against."

The period ended with some chippy stuff.

Knights winger Brandon Prust got sent off for interference after he speared 67's defenceman Brodie Beard in the groin in front of the Ottawa net.

Kilrea was upset with referee Mark Hicks many times during the match, and ignored the official when he came to the Ottawa bench near the end.

"If we had been face to face, I might have said something," said Kilrea. "He might have been coming over to make a point, but I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to try and finish the game, so I talked to my trainer instead."

MOCKING MANNER

Bonello got a misconduct with two minutes left in the game after skating to the penalty box in a mocking manner after Hicks gave him a penalty for high sticking.

"I just wanted to skate to the penalty box as quick as possible before he called something else on me for some reason, like if I looked at him funny or something," Bonello said.

Mark Mancari scored his second goal of the tournament during a two-man advantage, but Danny Fritsche made it 5-2.

Ottawa was the last team to win the Memorial Cup after winning a semi-final, as host in 1999. If Ottawa wants another crack at London, it'll have to get through Rimouski.

"We would have liked a day off (tomorrow) too," captain Will Colbert said. "But we'll have to do it the hard way. It seems like we've done that all year. Why not again (tomorrow)?"


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