67's muzzle Greyhounds, ex-teammate Perugini

AEDAN HELMER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:55 PM ET

It wasn’t the happy homecoming ex-67’s goaltender Chris Perugini was looking for.

Perugini’s former teammates lit up the Soo Greyhounds starter for a touchdown in a 7-3 Ottawa win in front of 9,862 fans at the Rona Centre on Sunday.

“It was obviously not the best outing, but there’s always next weekend,” said Perugini, whose record dropped to 4-6-2 with his new club after he started the season 3-0 with Ottawa.

“I’m playing lots of games now (for the Soo) but there have been some frustrating nights.”

Sunday’s tilt was another tough one for Perugini, whose Greyhounds teammates took three straight penalties to open the game, with Ryan Martindale cashing in on a two-man advantage to open the scoring at 6:17 of the first.

After Thomas Nesbitt put Ottawa up by two, the 67’s went for a snooze in the second period, and by the two-minute mark, it was a brand new game after quick strikes from Jake Carrick one minute in, and Daniel Catenacci on a power play at 2:11.

Carson Dubchak put the visitors ahead midway through the period when the game took a physical tone.

Julian Luciani sparred with David Quesnele in a spirited tussle; Luciani’s second fight in as many games since being acquired Saturday from the Belleville Bulls.

“(Fighting) isn’t the only element to my game, but I felt like the team needed a little spark, and I’m not a scorer. I let the other guys score and I just do my thing. It worked (Sunday),” said Luciani.

The fight turned around the game. Quesnele left the game with an injured shoulder and the 67’s responded by scoring in quick succession, potting the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 40-second span.

“When you take three penalties off the hop and give up two goals, it’s tough,” said Soo coach Denny Lambert, who also lost Carrick to a concussion in the third period after the veteran was rocked by Marc Zanetti. “Then when you lose two (veterans) out of the lineup, it gets even tougher for some of the younger guys.”

Perugini’s day got even tougher after the fight, as Nick Foglia tied the game by driving the puck and his body hard into the net.

Perugini was a bowling pin on the next shift when Soo defenceman Derek Hartwick, another former 67, lost an edge and went crashing into the crease.

Ottawa’s big line, with Martindale centring Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince, took over from that point, combining on the next four Ottawa goals.

The trio, who now find themselves challenging for the OHL scoring lead, were all named game stars. Martindale had two goals and assist, Toffoli two goals and two assists, and Prince added a goal and three helpers.

“Our team is really coming together and right now (our line) is playing really well together,” said Prince, who is playing the best hockey of his career in his draft year. “It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been a good stretch of hockey. I’m very fortunate to play with two guys who are already drafted and who are two really fantastic players.”

aedan.helmer@sunmedia.ca


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