67's turn in stinker vs. Fronts

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

The alarm clock woke the 67's early yesterday.

But instead of gettin' up and gettin' at 'er, they turned it off and went back to sleep.

Facing a Kingston Frontenacs team that had won just six of its first 31 games, the 67's fell behind before all of the 8,066 ticket purchasers fell into their Civic Centre seats.

The 1-0 deficit at the 78-second mark became a 7-3 loss to the Doug Gilmour-coached Fronts, a poor bounce-back for an Ottawa team that started the weekend with a dismal 4-1 loss to another team (Barrie Colts) it sits above in the OHL's Eastern Conference standings.

"We started off poorly and it got worse," summed up 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "We didn't play in their end very much, or well, and we didn't play very well, and too much, in our end."

The loss left the 67's with a 15-14-0-2 record and in third place in their division behind Oshawa, which jumped into second spot following a 4-3 win over Sudbury last night.

Burying the 67's on this day was their inability to stop the Kingston trio of Colt Kennedy, Mitch Lebar and Matthew Kang, a line that combined for 12 points.

Replying for the 67's was Logan Couture, Corey Cowick (with his team-leading 20th goal of the season) and rookie Pieter Schinkelshoek.

Chris Perugini faced 40 shots in the Ottawa goal while the 67's fired 34 pucks Mavric Parks' way.

"It's disappointing for us as a team," Couture said of the back-to-back defeats against supposedly weaker teams. "In this league you have to pick up points every weekend or you're going to fall behind the pack. I've witnessed that for the past three years here. We've had weekends like this and it keeps us out of the top of the conference, which is disappointing.

"It's tough. We didn't play well at all."

James Marsden put the Fronts in front when he jammed a puck behind Perugini, who was looking the other way, in the second minute. Kingston controlled most of the opening period, in fact, and went up 2-0 on Kennedy's first of two, a shot from the deep slot with the visitors on the power play.

NO MOMENTUM

But despite the lousy first period, Couture nearly had the 67's on even ground at the intermission. He scored his ninth of the season after being sent in on a nice neutral-zone pass from Cowick with 54 seconds before the break, then hit the crossbar with just 30 seconds to go.

Instead of going forward with that momentum, the 67's surrendered three unanswered goals in the second period.

Cowick's short-side power- play goal brought them to within three with 16 minutes remaining in the third, but again the 67's failed to build on a positive.

"Everybody's always looking at their points," said Kilrea. "Maybe what I'll do (today) is put the goals against (up). There's a lot of familiar numbers on (for) goals against."

Moving rookie Tyler Toffoli onto a line with Couture and Cowick left the second unit wanting, as Anthony Nigro (minus-4), Ryan Martindale (minus-3) and Thomas Nesbitt (minus-3) were burned most often. Defenceman Marc Zanetti was also a minus-4.

The 67's are off until Friday, when they host Oshawa before hitting the road to Sudbury (Saturday) and the Soo (Sunday).


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