67’s on the Wrong End of High Scoring Affair
The Ottawa 67’s started their 2001-2002 season in Belleville, Ontario. The two teams are expected to have competitive seasons, as the rivalry between the two has been at it’s outmost the past 5+ years. Last year, the Belleville Bulls won the division title, breaking the 67’s 5-year streak as #1.Both teams underwent significant changes to their respective rosters. The Senators witnessed players such as Jonathan Zion, Vadim Sozinov, Jeremy Van Hoof, Lance Galbraith, among others, leave, and newbies such as Lane Moodie, Mark Mancari and Yaroslav Sklenar enter the picture. The Bulls have started their season with a lot of question marks. Gone are the top-liners Branco Radivojevic (Phoenix training camp), and Randy Rowe (Worchester), which leaves Kyle Wellwood as the remaining member of the Bulls’ former first line.The 67’s were missing two significant members of their team. Sebastien Savage suffered a hairline fracture of the jaw, and does not yet look close to returning to action. He was seen skating a little bit, but has not participated in scrimmages yet. Carter Trevisani is currently at the Carolina Hurricanes training camp, and is expected to eventually return.The new captain of the Ottawa 67’s this year is Zenon Konopka, with Brendan Bell and Miguel Delisle the assistant captains. Right now, it is expected that Konopka and Delisle will be the main offensive contributors, with Brendan Bell as the main puck handler. Brian Kilrea, the coach of the Ottawa 67’s has mentioned that he expects Delisle to be a 50-goal, 125-point producer, at the very least this year. According to Brian, Delisle’s skating allows him to be effective on the penalty kill as well.The Ottawa’s top line this evening consisted of Adam Chapman, Zenon Konopka and Miguel Delisle. At goal, the 67’s were represented by John Ceci, while the Bulls responded with Jan Chovan. Ceci, a backup last year to the departed Seamus Kotyk will have a lot of work on his shoulders this season, but he impressed many last year, as he performed consistently behind Seamus; Ceci had a save percentage above the respectable mark of .900.
The First PeriodAfter the drop of the puck, the flow of the game became clear; both teams played a quick-skating, offensive style. Zenon Konopka got the first scoring opportunity of the game as he tested Jan Chovan with a wrist shot, but was denied.The Bulls opened the scoring, as tough guy David Silverstone slid the puck underneath John Ceci to make it 1-0 Belleville. The 67’s had lost control of the puck at the side of the net, unable to get it out. The Bulls capitalized to take the early lead.Soon after, the 67’s were called for too many men on the ice. Belleville made it 2-0 on the powerplay, as Mike Renzi started his own 4-goal rampage from Robinson and Stajan. A nice passing play resulted in an easy up-close goal.Belleville looked powerful early, outshooting Ottawa 7-3 in the early stages. However, the 67’s shook off the rust and brought themselves back in the game thanks to a couple of 16-year olds. Rookies Mark Mancari and Lane Moodie combined to score Ottawa’s first goal of the year. Moodie (Ottawa’s first-round pick) shot the puck top shelf, after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Mancari.Soon after, with the 67’s on the powerplay, Ottawa tied it up, as Adam Chapman capitalized on Miguel Delisle’s feed to unload the puck past the helpless Jan Chovan.The 67’s looked more confident and aggressive on the ice, as they took over the lead in shots, 13-11. Ottawa scored it’s third straight goal as Miguel Delisle did some hard work in front of the Bulls’ net to redirect an Adam Chapman shot. Battling the defender, Miguel managed to keep the stick down to give Ottawa the lead.Just in a few seconds, however, the Bulls responded as, the two familiar names, Mike Renzi and Nate Robinson combined for another goal. Robinson snapped a quick wrist shot form the right faceoff circle to tie up the game. John Ceci looked surprised on that shot, as he seemed unprepared for it.Although both teams looked shaky in their own ends, Ottawa’s Karol Sloboda looked solid defensively early in this one, as he was able to tie up Kyle Welwood to prevent a scoring opportunity.The period ended in a tie, with a lot of back-and-forth action. Both teams showcased plenty of speed and offensive creativity. But defensively, it was somewhat of an ugly spectacle. Belleville outshot Ottawa 16 to 15. Both squads were 1 for 1 on the powerplay.
The Second PeriodThe action picked up where it left off, as the 67’s took the lead at the 42-second mark. Adam Chapman scored his second of the game; Delisle and Konopka assisted on what was a beautiful display of passing ability.The 67’s lineup featured an interesting new name in it’s lineup. Czech winger Jaroslav Sklenar, the 6th round pick of the 67’s, is the team’s new European representative, replacing the departed Vadim Sozinov. Sklenar showed some excellent speed in the game and had several scoring chances. On the Belleville’s side, Adam Paiement was in the lineup; he is the son of Wilf Paiement, a former member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.The Bulls tied up the score at 4, as Nate Robinson scored on his own rebound from Malcolm Hutt. The goal persuaded Brian Kilrea to pull the struggling John Ceci in favour of the backup, Doug Groenestege. The departed Ceci stopped only 20 of the 24 shots he had faced. The move didn’t prove to be effective, however, as just seconds later, Mike Renzi scored a powerplay goal from Robinson and Wellwood. Renzi was left all alone in front of the Ottawa net, as Groenestege had no chance.Later on, with Adam Smith in the penalty box for slashing, Kyle Wellwood scored his first on the year from Hutt and Renzi. Smith was called for a slash, which was clearly an unnecessary penalty. Doug Groenestege got a piece of the puck, but could not hold on to it, as it tricked behind him into the net.Although it seemed like the Bulls controlled the play, the 67’s outshot Belleville 15 to 13 in the period. In the dying minutes of the period, Delisle and Bulls’ McCormick got into a fight, which resulted in a 10-minute misconduct and a roughing minor for Delise (which would later cost Ottawa). McCormick got away with the 2-minute roughing minor.
Third PeriodOnce again a goal took place in the first minute of a period, as Ottawa (on a 5 on 3 powerplay) scored a goal to come within a goal, 6 to 5. Newcomer Jaroslav Sklenar scored his first goal in North America from Konopka and Rodney.Moments later, Groenestege allowed a weak one to go by him, with Ottawa still on a powerplay, 5 on 4. Renzi scored his third goal on the night, shorthanded, with an assist from Nate Robinson.Robinson remained hot, as he unloaded a hard slap shot which nearly took Doug Groenestege out of the game. Hitting him in the right shoulder, the force of the shot kept Groenestege down on the ice for a moment.With roughly 4 minutes to go in the game, Mike Knight, a Bull forward, was given a 2-minute minor. The 67’s, unable to get hold of the puck, allowed Mike Renzi to sneak in on the breakaway to beat the helpless Groenestege for his fourth goal of the game.The 67’s played shaky hockey and nearly allowed another goal with rougly 2 minutes left in regulation. The period ended with the Belleville Bulls outshooting Ottawa 14 to 10.
OTT – Ceci (24 shots, 20 saves), Groenestege (19 shots, 15 saves)
BLV – Chovan (40 shots, 35 saves)
1st per- BLV Silverstone (Deveaux, McCormick)
1st per- BLV Renzi (Robinson, Stajan) PP
1st per- OTT Moodie (Mancari)
1st per- OTT Chapman (Delisle, Bell) PP
1st per- OTT Delisle (Chapman, Konopka)
1st per- BLV Robinson (Renzi)
2nd per-OTT Champan (Delisle, Konopka)
2nd per-BLV Robinson2 (Hutt)
2nd per-BLV Renzi2 (Robinson, Wellwood) PP
2nd per-BLV Wellwood (Hutt, Renzi) PP
3rd per-OTT Sklenar (Konopka, Rodney) PP
3rd per-BLV Renzi3 (Robinson) SH
3rd per-BLV Renzi4 (unassisted) SH
Shots on Goal:
Belleville: 43 (16, 13, 14)
Ottawa: 40 (15, 15, 10)
Adam Chapman. OTT 2 goals, 1 assist
Nate Robinson. BLV 2 goals, 4 assists
Mike Renzi. BLV 4 goals, 2 assists