Better late than never for 'Dogs

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

IceDogs 4, 67's 2

The Ottawa 67's would have preferred if the Mississauga Ice Dogs and their team bus hadn't showed up at all.

Mississauga's bus broke down on Hwy. 401 during its trip to Ottawa, yesterday, forcing a 56-minute delay to the start of last night's OHL game. But when the game finally got going, it was the 67's who looked like road kill.

They trailed 2-0 early, tied it halfway through but ended up on the short end of a 4-2 decision at the Civic Centre. "It's disappointing because we just weren't ready to play this game," said dejected 67's goalie Danny Battochio who made 29 saves and gave his team a chance.

The players knew it, telling Battochio he had played well while walking by him in the Ottawa dressing room after the game. It was little consolation to Battochio, who always takes losses like this one to heart.

"We were sloppy right after they dropped the puck. We waited a while, but it shouldn't have affected us," he said. "They took it to us. It's one of those mental things, and we've got to learn from that kind of stuff."

The IceDogs got bogged down in Brighton, and spent an hour on the side of the highway until a replacement bus arrived from Peterborough. They arrived in Ottawa, quickly got into their gear, warmed up and prepared for the game's start, which occurred at 8:26.

"It might have been a good thing," said IceDogs coach Greg Gilbert of the highway delay. "The guys just went out and played really hard. That was good to see."

The IceDogs struck quickly early, scoring twice within a 16-second span. David Pszenyczny got the first for Mississauga, banging in a rebound at the right side of the net five minutes in, while Ottawa's Elgin Reid sat in the box for an interference penalty.

Then Orleans native and former Cumberland Grad Keith Wynn put the Dogs ahead by a pair, taking advantage of an Ottawa defensive breakdown. Wynn, an OHL rookie, took a pass near the point, cruised into the slot and ripped a wrist shot to the far side past Battochio's blocker for the goal.

The IceDogs appeared to build on the lead later in the first while killing a penalty. Jordan Owens stripped the puck away from Reid along the boards and moved in on Battochio, firing a wrist shot that got behind the 67's goalie.

The goal judge did not turn on the light, referee Ryan Carroll waved his arms to signal no goal, and the play moved up the ice into Mississauga territory despite protests from Gilbert. TV replays showed the shot was clearly in the net -- the puck bounced off the back bar behind the crossbar, and back out.

A few minutes later, Matt Lahey got his third goal in his fifth game since returning to the lineup from injury, taking a pass from Jamie McGinn in front to beat Mississauga goalie Michael Ouzas.

The 67's tied it halfway through the second when McGinn benefitted from a great play by Logan Couture. Carrying the puck into Mississauga's zone, Couture put on the brakes at the right point and delivered a tape-measure pass through the slot to McGinn, who tipped the puck behind Ouzas.

But the 67's took a penalty later in the period, and Mississauga capitalized when Vladimir Svacina scored the go-ahead goal with three minutes remaining in the second.

Owens put it away by scoring into an empty net with 40 seconds left.

The 67's return to action tomorrow for a 2 p.m. game in Kingston.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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