67's fighting off 'Dogs, flu down stretch

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

The Mississauga IceDogs might want to load up on their vitamins and chicken soup before entering the Civic Centre tonight.

The 67's are getting hit with a flu virus that has spread to many members of the team over the last several days.

"It seems like one gets it, then they all get it," said 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea.

Goalie Danny Battochio, who will start tonight, missed last weekend's home games due to the bug before returning to the net during Tuesday's 10-4 loss in Kingston.

On Wednesday, rookie centre Logan Couture and winger Matt Lahey missed practice due to the flu, and rookie Shea Kewin had to leave the ice -- quickly -- during the on-ice session.

Yesterday, only Lahey was unable to answer the bell.

Kilrea wasn't certain which of his players would be available for tonight's game, like last Friday when backup goalie Brady Morrison was forced into duty mere hours before the opening faceoff when Battochio became ill.

This particular virus is spreading despite 67's players receiving flu shots earlier in the season.

The IceDogs will try to take advantage of this unfortunate situation to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Mississauga trails Ottawa by 13 points for the final playoff spot with the end of the regular season one month away.

GAMES 'DO OR DIE'

IceDogs coach Greg Gilbert said yesterday his team still has a shot.

"We're looking at every game as do or die," he said. "We just have to focus on each game that's coming up, and give ourselves an opportunity."

Despite their low standing in the conference, the IceDogs have had some of their best success against Ottawa this year, winning all three meetings.

On the last trip to the Civic Centre in November, the team's bus broke down on Hwy. 401 near Brighton, and the IceDogs didn't arrive in Ottawa until moments prior to the scheduled start.

That didn't affect them, as they took an early lead and ended up with a 4-2 win.

"Maybe we'll leave later, get the gear on, then go out at the last minute and play so the guys don't have to worry about it as much," said Gilbert.


Videos

Photos