Semi will come down to discipline

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

LONDON -- Sidney Crosby expects to take a few hacks, slashes and punches from the 67's in tonight's Memorial Cup semi-final.

But the Rimouski Oceanic's superstar centre also hopes the referee will call penalties if the 67's take the illegal route to get him off his game.

"We have to take everything (from Ottawa), and I'm sure they're going to be playing the same," said Crosby, who many believe was mugged by the 67's during Tuesday's 4-3 Rimouski win in the round-robin.

"Both teams are going to have to be disciplined. One bad penalty can hurt you."

Discipline is the common theme coming from the Rimouski camp.

Coach Doris Labonte spoke about its importance in tonight's game following the team's practice yesterday at the Western Fair Arena.

"To win the game is the only thing we want. If they abuse him, if the ref is calling the penalties, we'll get the power plays and we'll win the game because of that," said Labonte. "That's the way it should be.

Oceanic enformer Eric Neilson, who protects Crosby on the ice and billets with him in Rimouski, also spoke of his team's desire to remain disciplined if Crosby gets hit.

"I'm going to watch what's going on on the ice and I'm going to make sure nobody's going to take his head off," Neilson said.

"We have to stay disciplined. If they're going to take penalities, they're going to go to the box, and the referee's going to do his job."

At least that's what the Oceanic hope. The 67's know they need to keep Crosby in check, but that's easier said than done. Crosby has a goal and an assist in each of his three round-robin tournament games.

"Every game is probably tough for him because everybody keys in on him," said 67's winger Julian Talbot.

"We keyed on him a little too much in the last game. We let him get the puck to his teammates."

Kilrea said he hopes his players deliver a solid effort in tonight's game, and display some emotion that has been surprisingly rare at this event.

"We've got some forwards who are not hitting and they're not punishing, and they're not playing as well as they can, and they should," said Kilrea.

"We're not far off. Everybody's not playing at the same level that they did. But, really, we're not far off."

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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