February 11, 2011
67's rally, extend winning streak
By JAMES CULIC, Special to QMI Agency
The 67’s scored twice in the final five minutes on Friday night to sink the Erie Otters and keep their winning streak afloat.
Dalton Smith scored the game-winner at 16:28 of the third for a 4-3 victory at the Rona Centre, bumping the 67’s streak to five games, and allowing them to grab 12 of a possible 14 points during their seven-game homestand.
The 67’s, who have had problems in the third period, showed no signs of weakness late in this game.
“There was bad coaching in the third period of those last few games, and (Friday night) we had better coaching,” said 67’s bench boss Chris Byrne.
The Otters drew first blood early when 67’s goalie Petr Mrazek gave up a rebound, which the Otters’ Brett Thompson scooped up and deposited in the net three minutes into the first period.
A one-timer that narrowly missed the net with five minutes left in the opening frame finally sparked a sleepy 67’s offence, setting off a flurry of chances the ended with Jon Carnevale undressing Otters goalie Ramis Sadikov.
Early in the second, a high-sticking call and delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the boards gave Erie a two-man advantage, and Shawn Szydlowski capitalized to put the Otters up 2-1.
Ottawa’s Shane Prince scored his 23rd of the season five minutes into the second to tie it up again, only to have the Otters answer just 16 seconds later on a breakaway goal by Mike Cazzola.
Toffoli nets 45th
A hooking call with six minutes left in the third sent the 67’s to the power play, where league-leading goal-scorer Tyler Toffoli picked up a loose rebound and potted his 45th to again pull the 67’s even. Less than a minute later, Smith gave the 67’s their only lead of the game.
The late goal proved good enough for the win, but Byrne wasn’t happy with the start.
“We sat back too much in the first, but when all else fails, shoot the puck, and that’s what we started doing,” said Byrne.
The 67’s now hit the road to face Barrie Saturday night and Mississauga Sunday afternoon.