67's goalie saves best for parents

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

The good news for the 67's is that Brigitte and Daniel Flueler will be in Canada for the team's next two games.

Their son Lukas plays well with them watching.

The bad news, however, is that Brian Kilrea may have lost another veteran forward.

Arron Alphonso feared his right hand was broken in yesterday's impressive 4-1 victory over the Guelph Storm at the Civic Centre.

Alphonso, the team co-leader in goals with five through eight games, was driven into the boards from behind after a foiled semi-breakaway while Guelph goalie Jason Guy sat on the bench in favour of an extra attacker still 12 minutes from the final buzzer.

Alphonso finished the game, but was headed for X-rays afterwards.

The 67's, who learned Friday they'll be without top-line centre Logan Couture for the next month as he recovers from mono, came up with a good team effort before an announced crowd of 7,194 fans.

"We needed that one for a lot of reasons," said Kilrea, whose club is now 3-5. "Everyone in our division is pulling away.

"We're not going to outscore a lot of teams right now, so we're going to have to outwork them. Today was an outworking game."

Providing the sturdy backbone was Flueler, who stopped 33 shots for his first OHL win. A day earlier, his parents arrived from Switzerland for a week-long visit.

"It was very nice (to have them in attendance)," said Flueler, who entered the afternoon with an 0-2 record and 5.95 goals-against average. "But the first point I looked at before the game was to play a good game. The last two were not so good."

The 67's gave him all the offence he would need by the 1:11 mark of the first, as rookie Thomas Nesbitt made it 2-0 just 18 seconds after Jesse Biduke opened the scoring.

BUILT 4-0 LEAD

Brett Liscomb increased the lead to three before the intermission, and Alphonso put Ottawa up 4-0 before the six-minute mark of the second.

Flueler lost his bid for a shutout with just 5:34 left in the third, when Guelph's Jamie Arniel scored on the power play after 67's defenceman Joe Grimaldi had taken a bad, cross-checking/roughing double minor.

"That's not the big point," Flueler said of losing the goose egg. "The big point is we got two points after we lost the last one at home."

This was the Flueler the 67's had counted on when they selected him with the 21st pick in the CHL import draft.

While the Ottawa defence moved the puck well and the forwards did a better job of backchecking, Flueler came up big with his team twice two-men short.

"It's got to be good for everyone's confidence when he plays like that," said Kilrea. "His, and (his teammates) because it gives them confidence in him, too."

"It was a huge win," said Alphonso. "I think everyone played a lot better than we had been playing."


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