67's cap rally to even series

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Score another one for the Rally Helmets.

The 67's produced another remarkable comeback -- and once again turned their headgear backward to mark the occasion -- in a do-or-there's-big-trouble first-round playoff game against the Peterborough Petes last night at the Civic Centre.

Joe Grimaldi's low blast from the point with the 67's enjoying a 5-on-3 power play 31 seconds into the third period stood up as the winner in a 4-3 final.

The victory, in front of 5,669 fans, evens the best-of-seven series 2-2.

"I saw him slide over a little too much, so I tried to keep it low on the stick side," Grimaldi said of the slapper that beat Peterborough goalie David Shantz, who kept his team in the game with a 41-save performance. "Sometimes good things happen, I guess."

When they're least expected, at that.

Ottawa trailed the game 3-1 in the second period but --as the 67's did in Game 2 at Scotiabank Place when they bounced back from a 4-1 deficit with seven unanswered goals -- clawed back against a team that finished the regular season 33 points higher in the standings.

Grimaldi and roommate Brodie Beard had noticed the Atlanta Thrashers turn their helmets backward on the bench a couple of weeks ago, and thought the 67's should adopt the ritual. They wait to do it until the game is over, however because they "don't want to look too cocky," according to Grimaldi.

"We wanted to do something for the team, so we thought, 'let's do the rally caps,' " said the 19-year old blueliner. "Things are going good so we're not going to stop."

Judging by their actions after the game, the Petes expected things to go a lot differently. Peterborough players had words for 67's and the officials following the final buzzer, and GM Jeff Twohey was cursing at Dave Lynch, the attending OHL supervisor.

The 67's had 11 power-play opportunities, scoring three times. The Petes were good on 2-of-8 opportunities.

"All I know is we won, we survived, now it's a 2-out-of-3 and we'll see our fans Sunday," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "I don't think we could have played any better than we did in the first period. We played really well."

TALBOT TALLIES IN RETURN

Indeed, the 67's started with the expected jump of a team getting its captain back from a three-game suspension.

Shantz was forced to make seven saves during an early penalty to defenceman Trevor Hendrikx, and Ottawa held a 17-4 edge in shots when Julian Talbot, in his return from a three-game ban for a spearing incident on March 19, finally opened the scoring on the power play at 12:15, cashing the rebound from a Matt Lahey point blast.

Rookie Logan Couture, who missed on a penalty shot in the second minute of the second period, wound up with a goal and two assists. Jamie McGinn scored Ottawa's other goal.

Talbot also had an assist, as did Grimaldi, while Matt Lahey chipped in with a pair of helpers.

Danny Battochio stopped 23 shots, including a game saver off a Scott Downie short-handed breakaway with nine and a half minutes to go.

Jordan Staal scored twice for the Petes, who broke a 1-1 draw with two goals in a 28 second span early in the middle period. Patrick Kaleta had the other.


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