67's draw even with Majors
AEDAN HELMER, QMI Agency
|67's goalie Petr Mrazek makes a second-period save against the Majors Friday night at the Urbandale Centre. (Doug Hemstead, The Ottawa Sun)
The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors got mad, and the 67’s got even.
The 67’s got plenty of chances and they finally solved the mystique of the league’s best penalty-killing team, torching goaltender Chris Carrozzi for four power-play markers on the way to a 7-2 win, drawing even in their best-of -seven series at 1-1.
After the 67’s were shut down by the Majors in the opening game of the series, coach Chris Byrne made a few subtle changes to his lineup, inserting rookie netminder Petr Mrazek in place of Chris Perugini and breaking up the dynamic duo of Tyler Toffoli and Cody Lindsay, who each struggled in the Game 1 loss.
The moves paid off.
Mrazek made 26 saves for the win, Toffoli led the offensive charge with a goal and three assists on a line with Anthony Nigro and Corey Cowick, and Lindsay added a pair of assists, playing primarily in a checking role with Dalton Smith and Andrew Merrett.
“Sometimes a little change-up gets guys going,” said Byrne. “For us, we need everyone contributing and tonight was a case where everybody contributed.”
But Byrne cautioned the team against getting too high after a dominant performance.
“It’s great to win, but whether it’s 3-2 or 7-2 it doesn’t matter,” said Byrne. “In their locker room, they’re probably thinking that they got the split, so they did their job. Our job is to go down (to Mississauga) and get a split and hopefully get home ice back.”
The 67’s looked fragile in the early going, committing turnovers and defensive-zone gaffes before a game-saving stop by Mrazek changed the complexion of the game.
At the 12-minute mark, Mrazek made amends for his shaky start, stabbing out his glove to rob Ryan Lopes after a Toffoli giveaway.
“I thought (Mrazek) played well,” said Byrne, who refused to speculate on who will start when the series shifts to the Hershey Centre for Game 3 Sunday. “It was tough getting in and letting in a shot early and that’s the start to his series, but I thought he was solid after that.”
The 67’s rode the momentum the save gave them, and finally found their game thanks to some strong physical play.
Smith dumped the puck in the Mississauga corner and rode defenceman Blake Parlett heavily into the end boards. As both players got back on their skates, Smith delivered a forearm shiver to Parlett’s face and parked himself at the edge of the crease, where Lindsay found him with a hard pass from behind the net.
Smith made no mistake, burying his one-timer through Carrozzi’s pads.
The 67’s struck again less than two minutes later with their first of four power-play goals.
They had 10 power plays in the game.