67's Downie but not out yet

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

PETERBOROUGH -- Petes 4

67's (OT) 3

The Ottawa 67's lost more than another overtime heartbreaker on Petes ice last night, this one by a 4-3 count at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

They trail the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final 3-2 and also lost winger Brett Liscomb after the 67's winger received a gross misconduct in the second period for calling Steve Downie of the Petes a "fag" after a whistle.

The incident occurred when the players were face-to-face near the Peterborough net and began jawing at each other.

The linesmen stepped in and separated the former teammates and road roommates with the Windsor Spitfires.

But then Liscomb became visibly agitated with referee Mike Pearce.

REFEREE'S CALL

During an interview later, Liscomb said Pearce made the call.

"(Downie) called me something, and I told him, 'F--- you, fag,' " said Liscomb.

The Long Sault native skated off the ice in a huff, and faces a suspension from the Ontario Hockey League.

The Sun attempted to speak with an official following the game, but was told to call the league office for a statement.

"I was furious. It's a joke," huffed Liscomb. "(Pearce) knows we're in a playoff hunt, and he knows what the repercussions of a gross misconduct."

Several players, including Downie, said following the game that they hear the word often during games.

Downie chuckled at the incident in the Petes dressing room following the game.

"It's unfortunate that the ref was standing right there," said Downie. "I'm good friends with Liscomb and I'm not hurt by it. I just guess it's a rule."

Many of the 67's players were disgusted with the call.

"It's frustrating when you think about it because you can go out there and hit a player from behind and do more damage than flipping a puck over the glass or calling a guy a name," said 67's defenceman Elgin Reid, who returned to action after serving a two-game gross misconduct penalty.

Reid received the ban after flipping a puck into the stands last weekend after a whistle during the second game of the series in Ottawa.

"I've probably heard every insult," said Reid. "I've probably heard that 50 times on the ice (last) night."

A sullen 67's coach Brian Kilrea would not comment on the penalty call, fearing reprisals from the league.

"You have to ask the official. He told us that he heard him say something derogatory," said Kilrea.

Peterborough defenceman Aaron Dawson scored the game winner 66 seconds into overtime from the left point following an Ottawa turnover.

He shot the puck on net from about 50 feet out and beat Ottawa goalie Danny Battochio high for the huge goal.

"I've never felt a sweeter feeling in hockey," said Dawson, who scored only two goals during the regular season. "I don't score many goals period, so I guess I save them for times like this."

OVERTIME HERO

The Petes mobbed Dawson after the goal and skated off the ice to the delight of many of the 3,866 who watched.

"That was huge by Dawson," said Downie. "He stepped up for this team. He deserves it because he works so hard for us."

The 67's will try to recover from another oh-so-close loss in Peterborough, their second defeat in overtime on Petes ice.

Ottawa scored the game's first goal and held three separate leads.

Defenceman Derek Joslin put the 67's ahead with their third power-play goal early in the third, but Michael Ryder scored on a scramble in the 14th minute of the third to tie it.

"This was just a weird game for us," said Ottawa captain Julian Talbot. "It's like we got the short end of the stick.

"We have to rebound. We've been playing well at home and we've owned them in our own rink so far in this series. Hopefully, we'll come back (tomorrow) and then we'll be right back in it."

BARRE.CAMPBELL@OTT.SUNPUB.COM


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