Perugini stands tall for 67's

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

The littlest 67 came up large at the Civic Centre yesterday.

Goalie Chris Perugini -- 130 lbs. and lucky not to be sent tumbling down Bank St. on the windy days -- was solid as oak when it mattered most.

After giving up a couple he should have had early in the game, the 16-year-old from King City played a starring role against an ornery Kingston Frontenacs team.

Perugini hunkered down and stopped 34-of-37 shots through three periods and overtime -- and that was just his warmup act.

In the shootout, he didn't give an inch on deke attempts by Jesse Brown and national team member Cory Emmerton , then stubbornly followed Nathan Moon through the slot on the do-or-die chance -- to settle the issue once and for all.

THRIVES UNDER PRESSURE

Moments earlier, 67's captain Jamie McGinn turned to an old trick in scoring the winner of a 4-3 victory in front of 6,851 spectators.

"I thrive off pressure, and the shootout is definitely a pressure situation," Perugini said a short while after being mobbed by his teammates in celebration of their fourth win in five tries. The 67's grabbed a point but lost their home opener to the Niagara IceDogs in a 5-4 shootout loss Friday.

"I just kept calm and did what I had to do."

MCGINN GOLDEN

McGinn, who has a golden touch, missed the net with his chance in the shootout Friday. He made no such mistake against a Frontenacs team that showed some character after an 11-2 loss to Belleville the night before.

McGinn brought the puck to his backhand then put it under the crossbar on a move that works well for him.

"I had to make sure I put that one in," said the sniper. "If I missed the net again, Killer would have had me hanging by a string or something."

The reference was to coach Brian Kilrea, of course, and McGinn is probably right. While praising his netminder and commending the Frontenacs for a gritty effort, he expected better from his group, which is now 4-0-0-1 after winning three and tying another in four pre-season games.

"Thank God he came to play," Kilrea said of Perugini, "because we had other guys who didn't. I think they're still patting themselves on the back for our three wins on the road."


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