Cowick does the trick for 67's

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:49 PM ET

Corey Cowick hopes to play full-time at Scotiabank Place someday.

He sure looked right at home Sunday.

The 67’s winger, a sixth-round selection of the Senators in 2009, turned in a four-goal performance as Ottawa sent the Niagara IceDogs pakcing for the season with a 5-1 victory to wrap up the first-round OHL series 4-1.

For the first time since their run to the Memorial Cup in 2005, the 67’s advanced to Round 2 of the OHL playoffs. They will face the Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors in Game 1 at the Urbandale Centre on Thursday.

Cowick score another goal, but it was ruled he tipped a Anthony Nigro pass out of the air by Niagara goalie Mark Vesintin with a high stick. He was awarded his third goal when he was interfered with while getting ready to take a shot on an empty net on a breakaway.

“It means a lot to me. This is a team (the Senators) I grew up loving and watching and to be drafted by them was a huge accomplishment,” said Cowick, who completed the four-goal effort with a second empty-netter with 39 seconds left. “Then, to kind of showcase a little bit with one of my best games of the playoffs in front of them and in their barn, it definitely meant a lot more.”

The 67’s, kicked out of the Unable to play at the Urbandale Centre because of the annual Home Show, looked comfortable at Scotibank Place, pulling out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Tyler Tiffoli and Cowick.

When the 67’s ran into trouble, goalie Peter Mrazek was there to bail them out. He made 31stops, his best a pad save off Freddie Hamilton with Ottawa ahead 3-1 late in the second period.

Marco Insam scored the lone goal for the IceDogs.

Mrazek took over for Chris Pereguini Thursday in Niagara and it was no surprise coach Chris Byrne decided to stick with him.

“For whatever reason, when we’ve used both guys, those have been our best stretches,” said Byrne. “We’re able to have a fresh guy in the net all the time and I think that’s to our advantage. There aren’t a whole lot of teams that have two guys that they can put in the net at any time and know that they’re going to put a good game together.”

The Majors, who are owned by the Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and are the No. 3 seed at Eastern Conference behind Ottawa, completed a sweep of the Peterborough Petes Thursday. The 67’s were 0-4 record against St. Mike’s during the regular season, but they know history is thrown out the window in the post-season.

“They’re a very structured, well-disciplined team that plays hard,” said Byrne. “They had a great first half and a decent second half and it’s almost like they were waiting for the playoffs to start. They had a quick four-game series with a pretty decent Peterborough team. We know it’s only going to get tougher from here on in.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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