Season of discontent

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

The 67's should be relieved the playoffs don't start for another couple of months.

If they deliver efforts like the one yesterday, they'll be lucky to last more than four games in the post-season. And that's if they make the playoffs.

The aggravation of this up and down season is reaching a critical point after the 67's came out flat again yesterday, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Plymouth Whalers.

They were listless from the opening faceoff, and really didn't show anything until rookie Shea Kewin scored on a power play late in the third.

But by then, it was too late, and Ottawa lost its third straight.

"It's very frustrating. You watch guys just come around and joke around, and that's not the way you want to see things," said third-year defenceman Brodie Beard. "Everyone wants to win, but no one wants to work for it."

Coach Brian Kilrea will deal with that problem while the club prepares for an important game Wednesday in Belleville. After yesterday's game, he suggested major changes were coming in the form of line shuffles.

"Some guys, I don't think, are really working as hard as they can. You may have talent, but if you don't work, it doesn't matter," he said. "We'll see if we can put ... a couple of lines together that can help us."

The frustration was evident when Ottawa captain Julian Talbot headed to the locker room with eight minutes left after taking a slashing penalty, then a misconduct for protesting the call of referee Matt Parlette.

Talbot skated dangerously close to Parlette, nearly bumping the official before a linesman steered him away.

"Fortunately, the linesman saved it so that it was just a 10 (minute penalty)," said Kilrea.

The 67's might have been able to escape with a win yesterday had they shown any pluck early.

Defenceman Derek Joslin scored a power-play goal in the second minute of the middle period after the Whalers took a 2-0 lead in the first on a short-handed goal from John Armstrong and another during a man advantage by John Vigilante. But the Whalers got an important goal four minutes after Joslin's when the 67's got caught on a line change while killing a penalty.

"It kind of turned the game around," said Armstrong who later completed his first hat trick in the OHL halfway through the third after Danny Battochio replaced Brady Morrison in Ottawa's net.

Morrison made his first home start in a 67's uniform, breaking a streak of 33 consecutive starts by Battochio at the Civic Centre.

Kilrea replaced Morrison with 13 minutes left after he misplayed the puck on a dump-in, shocking the crowd as they watched the puck trickle through the crease and just barely away from the net.

"I thought he was a little nervous. You know, that's too bad," said Kilrea.


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