Gone Streaking: 67’s Extend Win Streak to Five with Undefeated Week
Photo credit: Greg Mason Photography
The last time the 67’s were five games above .500? The 2015-16 season.
This past week Ottawa achieved that mark with wins over the Kingston Frontenacs, Windsor Spitfires and Erie Otters. Now in the midst of a five-game winning streak, the 8-3 67’s are beginning to hit its stride, especially offensively.
Tye Felhaber scored his eleventh goal of the season and rookie phenom Marco Rossi now has seven goals in the last five games.
Ottawa head coach Andre Tourigny pointed to his team’s ability to play and practice together now that the season is in full swing, something they were unable to do early on due to some players spending time at various professional camps.
“We started the season without having the chance to practice with our full team, now we’re starting to get better every day, and for sure, when you’re at home you really want to set your team up for success and being good at home is something that’s really important,” said Tourigny after Wednesday night’s home win over Kingston. “Now we’re playing better every night.”
The 67’s won 4-1 over the Frontenacs on Wednesday. Felhaber scored off a beautiful pass from Austen Keating in front of the net to open the game. Later in the first period, Rossi came up with a takeaway and played give and go with Felhaber before burying his fourth goal of the season. Along with scoring the game’s first two goals, the 67’s outshot Kingston 11-2 in the opening frame.
Jason Robertson, the OHL’s leader in goals, scored for Kingston short-handed midway through the second period. He has been a dominant player on a Frontenacs team that has had a very slow start out of the gate, especially in terms of generating goals. They are the second lowest-scoring team in the OHL. Robertson’s goal was Kingston’s only in the game.
Sasha Chmelevski scored on the power play to put the 67’s back up by two. It was the first goal of the new season for Ottawa’s leading scorer last year. Graeme Clark scored an empty net in the game’s final minute and the 67’s walked away with a dominant victory.
The 67’s returned to action on Friday night, besting the Windsor Spitfires 4-1. Rossi scored the first two goals of the game in the second period, including a one-timer on the power play off a perfect assist from Keating. It was only the second power play goal the top-ranked Spitfires penalty kill has given up this season. Rossi finished the game with three points.
Chmelevski scored midway through the third period with a wraparound goal to put the 67’s back up by two following a marker from Windsor’s Kyle McDonald. Felhaber finished the game with an empty-netter.
Cedrick Andree had perhaps his finest performance of the season thus far, stopping 23 of the 24 shots he faced and picking up his second win of the week.
Entering the week, the 67’s had given up the second most goals against in the OHL. In the three games this past week, Ottawa only gave up a combined five goals.
The 67’s capped the weekend with a 5-3 win over the Erie Otters. Donning their brand-new Redblacks inspired alternate jerseys, Ottawa put 38 shots on goal in the victory.
Graeme Clark hammered home the game’s first goal, staying with the play in front following a point shot from Nikita Okhotyuk. Kyle Maksimovich, the Otters’ leading scorer, answered but Felhaber put the 67’s back up late in the first period.
Maksimovich responded once again with his second of the game but again the Redblacks had an answer to go into the intermission up one. Rossi scored on an incredible individual effort where he darted through the slot to the right side, back towards the middle of the net and dove as he tucked the puck in with his forehand.
Ottawa opened the final frame on the man advantage and Chmelevski delivered for the third straight game with a goal off a tape-to-tape, cross-ice pass from Felhaber. Erie scored to bring them within one but Felhaber answered with his second goal of the game and 11th this season with an empty-netter. Rookie Will Cranley picked up his first career victory at TD Place.
Felhaber (two goals, one assist) and Keating (three assists) had three points apiece against Erie. Their offensive dominance has been the story for the 67’s season thus far and it continued in a big way this weekend. Keating and Felhaber are now the first and second ranked point getters respectively in the entire OHL.
The 67’s penalty kill was perfect this past week, stopping all 13 opportunities they faced.
This week will be the 67’s second extended road trip of the season. Ottawa will travel to matchup with the Niagara IceDogs (Thursday), Erie Otters (Saturday) and Mississauga Steelheads (Sunday).