March 11, 2011
Chilling hit knocks out 67's Prince'It's really tough to see that happen,' teammate says
By JAMES CULIC, QMI Agency
Headshots in hockey are a problem that goes beyond the NHL, as the Ottawa 67’s 3-2 overtime loss against the Niagara IceDogs showed Friday night at the Rona Centre.
Midway through the first period, Niagara’s Tim Billingsley layed into the 67’s Shane Prince hard enough to send him and his helmet flying in different directions.
“It’s really tough to see that happen to one of our guys,” Ottawa’s Dalton Smith said in a TV interview after the first period. “We got to step it up, hit ’em back, and let them know we aren’t going to be pushed around like that.”
The packed Rona Centre went eerily quiet as trainers rushed out to check on Prince, who remained sprawled out on the ice for several minutes before being helped off by trainers. Prince, who already had three points against the IceDogs this season, did not return to the game.
Retribution came in the form of Jake Cardwell’s knuckles, as he immediately dropped the gloves to square off with Billingsley.
Cardwell delivered a number of fist-meat sandwiches directly to Billingsley’s face before referees separated the two. Then, much to the crowd’s dismay, Cardwell was given a 10-minute misconduct for instigation.
The IceDogs capitalized on a Alex Friesen goal to open the scoring six minutes into the first, but the lead was short-lived as Sean Monahan scored his 18th of the season a little more than two minutes later.
With 67’s goalie Petr Mrazek still out nursing an injury, backup Shayne Campbell got his 12th start of the season.
Campbell played a strong game, stopping 30 shots and keeping the 67’s in it with a slick glove save near the end of the second period.
The 67’s outshot Niagara 20-8, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
They did take the lead in the third, as captain Thomas Nesbitt netted his 32nd of the season to give the 67’s their first lead of the game with just over seven minutes left.
The IceDogs tied it up four minutes later on the power play. Ryan Strome teed up a slap shot from the point that hit Campbell and trickled in.
Strome then put the final nail in the 67’s by scoring another power-play goal with just six seconds left in overtime, giving the IceDogs their third win over Ottawa this season
The 67’s close out the season with three more home games, the first of which is Sunday against the league-leading Mississauga Majors. Mrazek is expected to be back in net for that game.