DiPietro’s Historic Weekend Leads Ottawa 67’s to Consecutive Wins
Photo credit: Valerie Wutti
67’s goaltender Michael DiPietro is still new to Ottawa, but he is starting to show everyone why the trade that brought him here was considered so significant.
DiPietro started both games at TD Place this weekend, picking up two wins and a historic shutout. The 67’s allowed only 15 shots on goal but DiPietro shutout the Peterborough Petes on Friday night. It was the 17th of his OHL career, setting the all-time league record in front of a full Ottawa crowd.
Over 5,500 fans packed in for ‘Dunder Mifflin night’, celebrating the hit sitcom the Office. The themed event included new Office-inspired jerseys for the 67’s. The 67’s beat the Petes 4-0.
“It feels great to get this one. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without the guys in front of me and we played phenomenal tonight,” said DiPietro after the game. “It was a good week of practice for us and I’m really happy to get this win.”
Ottawa defenseman Nikita Okhotyuk opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. It kicked off a three-goal second period for the 67’s.
Marco Rossi scored next on the power play by tapping in the puck off a deflection from the backboards. Jack Quinn and Tye Felhaber added to the lead as well with a goal each. Felhaber’s goal followed a magnificent move in which the forward utilized a toe-drag to escape the Peterborough d-man, before unleashing a deadly wrist shot.
Following the win over the Petes, the Hamilton Bulldogs came to town for a Saturday afternoon matchup. The 67’s topped the Bulldogs 5-3, but needed a comeback effort to do so.
Ottawa struck first with a goal from Kody Clark but Hamilton answered with three straight of their own. That stretch included two goals on the power play. The Bulldogs went 2/3 on the man advantage.
Hamilton did a great job getting bodies in front of the Ottawa goal early on. Two of their goals came off tips or bounces down in deep. The third came off a 67’s turnover in their own end.
With a 3-1 lead, the game looked squarely in the hands of the Bulldogs. But as we have seen all season, the 67’s have the offensive firepower to overcome even the slowest of starts. Their power play unit helped get them back in the game by capitalizing on their lone opportunity of the afternoon.
Rossi delivered on the power play and then scored again two minutes later to quickly tie up the game. The rookie tallied three goals in the 67’s two games this weekend.
Alec Belanger scored his first career OHL goal with a one-timer off a feed from new 67 Lucas Chiodo. Not only was it the 16-year-old’s first goal as a 67, Belanger’s mark also ended up being the game winner.
It was not quite the shutout performance that he had the day before, but DiPietro came up clutch with some critical saves late when the 67’s were nursing a one-goal lead. Felhaber then found the empty net for his 48th goal of the season and the game clincher.
The 67’s will split time at home and on the road this week. They will start with a home and home against the Generals, first in Oshawa on Friday night and then in Ottawa on Saturday. They will finish the weekend with a game at TD Place against the Saginaw Spirit.