Major loss for 67's

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

Majors 5, 67's 4

Danny Battochio is rarely outplayed by the guy wearing the opposition uniform at the other end of the ice.

But it happened last night, and at an inopportune time for Battochio and the Ottawa 67's, who dropped their home opener 5-4 to the St. Michael's Majors at the Civic Centre.

The loss marked the first time in three starts that the 67's tasted defeat in this regular season, and also the first loss in nine games overall, counting six pre-season victories.

Justin Peters stole the show by stopping 34 shots for the Majors, many of which came during a dozen power play chances for Ottawa.

He made several key blocks at big moments, and was at his best while killing a 51-second two-man disadvantage in the second period.

After the Majors killed both penalties, Peters made one of the most spectacular stops, sliding across the crease to rob rookie Shea Kewin on a one-timer attempt from close range near the side of the net.

Ottawa trailed 4-2 after the second and was behind by three when rookie Matt Caria beat Battochio for his first OHL goal during a power play three minutes into the final period.

But the 67's made a game of it, getting back-to-back power play goals from captain Julian Talbot.

"We dug ourselves a hole because we didn't play well in any phase of the game," said 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea.

"It was a poor effort by a lot of the guys, but especially some of the veterans."

Ottawa tried to get the equalizer in the final minutes, but fourth-year winger Bryan Bickell got called for slashing behind the play with 1:36 remaining.

When they weren't trying to beat Peters, the 67's were seeing double -- as in twins Justin and Tyler Donati who both beat Battochio for goals, while Justin added assists on two other Majors goals.

Both teams scored on their first shots.

Justin Donati beat Battochio with a wrist shot from the slot 18 seconds after the opening faceoff, but Bickell got it back for Ottawa 50 seconds later.

Justin DiBenedetto scored a shorthanded goal for St. Michael's late in the first, before the Majors struck twice early in the second in the span of 69 seconds on goals from Tyler Donati and Cory Vitarelli to take a three-goal lead.

Chris Hulit scored his first goal of the season during a power play later in the period.

Ottawa continues its home opening weekend tomorrow against the Kingston Frontenacs at 2 p.m.

GRAHAM'S A CRACKER FOR 'PIQUES: At the Robert Guertin Centre, Ryan Graham scored twice for the Olympiques as Gatineau improved to 4-2 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Victoriaville Tigres.

Graham scored 10 seconds into the game and added another goal to give Gatineau a 3-1 advantage in the third.

Cam Fergus broke a 1-1 tie early in the third, and added an insurance goal late in the final period.

Goalie David Tremblay made 32 saves for the 'Piques, who travel to Baie Comeau for their next action tomorrow.

IN THE CREASE: Attendance for the home opener was 8,522 ... The 67's raised the Czech and Slovak national flags in addition to the Canadian and U.S. banners last night, in honour of imports Jakub Vojta from the Czech Republic and Tibor Radulay from Slovakia who are with the 67's this season ... The 67's also raised a banner to commemorate last year's Eastern Conference playoff championship.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos