By Jared Crozier, SenShot
The Ottawa 67's were outplayed at even strength for a vast majority of the game, and it showed on the scoreboard as they fell 8-3 to the Saginaw Spirit. Brandon Prophet's two goal effort paced the Spirit attack against a 67's club that looked sluggish and disinterested for most of the contest. Vincent Trocheck added a goal and two assists for the victors, while Sean Monahan scored twice in the losing cause.
Ottawa couldn't get in synch at all, and didn't get any bounces or many favorable calls from the officials.
Saginaw got on the board just past the midway point of the first period, with Brandon Prophet's point shot deflecting in off 67's defenseman Mike Vlajkov. Blair had no chance as the deflection came through traffic and he never saw it coming. Less than two minutes later the Spirit completed a textbook 2-on-1 to double their lead, courtesy Eric Locke. Again, Blair was hung out to dry, as the defender failed to block the pass across on the odd man rush. Steven Janes got one back with just over two minutes remaining, picking up a loose puck and backhanding it past Jake Paterson.
Saginaw opened the second on the power play, and they capitalized on it. Goalie Paterson sent a long outlet pass, catching the 67's defensemen napping. Andrei Alexeev snuck behind them and took the long pass, fended off the backcheckers and lifted it glove side to beat Blair. The Spirit lead was extended further when Jimmy Lodge slipped through what is becoming a porous defense and tucked it around Blair to make it 4-1. Just when it looked like Ottawa would trail by 3heading into the third, a power play goal from Sean Monahan with 34 seconds left gave the solid crowd a reason to stick around for the third.
It didn't take long for the Spirit to increase the lead in the third, 1:04 to be exact. Brandon Prophet walked into the slot and wired a wrist shot over Blair's glove to make it 5-3. Monahan got his second power play goal of the contest, picking up a loose puck and slamming it home from the edge of the crease, to bring Ottawa back within 2. However, former 67's first rounder David Perkins answered right back 39 seconds later to restore the three goal margin. Trocheck put the nail in the coffin and Brandon Lindberg added insult to injury in the final two minutes to make the final 8-3.
MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS
It was a disappointing game, and even more disappointing was the pair of fights on the same stoppage interest last minute. Jonathan Duchesne and Mike Cajkovsky were both victors in their respective tilts, but it was too little, too late. Perhaps some passion like that during the first 59 minutes would have led to a better outcome for the home side.
This stretch of seven of eight games home stand was supposed to be an opportunity to gain some ground in the standings, but losses to Kingston and now Saginaw have gotten them off to a rough start. Neither loss was to top end teams, and not getting at least a point in either game has to be disheartening and frustrating for those in the dressing room.
Ottawa will try to end the slide at home on Sunday, against the archrival Belleville Bulls, at 2:00 pm.