Entries in Shane Prince (13)

Thursday
Apr192012

Ottawa 67's vs Niagara IceDogs Series Preview

by Alex Quevillon (@A_Quevillon)

The Ottawa 67’s will meet the Niagara Ice Dogs in the Eastern Conference Finals, and while these two teams finished right next to each other in the standings, their paths to get to the third round couldn’t be any more different.

Niagara made quick work of the Bramtpon Battalion in a four-game sweep, while the 67’s allowed the Barrie Colts to tie the seventh and deciding game of their series with eight seconds left in regulation, before Brett Gustavsen put the series away for good with an overtime winner.

The struggles that Ottawa faced playing lower seeds (although Barrie wasn’t far behind), mixed with their poor record against the Ice Dogs this year, make OHL fans believe that this will be a very short series in Niagara’s favour.

For Ottawa to win:

As tired as the 67’s may be, they have to try and catch the well-rested Ice Dogs flat-footed and get to Mark Visentin early on – something they’ve had no trouble doing this season.

In the Ice Dogs’ two visits to the Nation’s Capital this season, Visentin allowed goals on four of the first nine shots he faced. He was pulled in November in a 5-2 loss, while he recovered nicely in the second game and helped hand Ottawa a 5-1 loss.

(See: Is Mark Visentin Ready to Fall? - Brandon Sudeyko)

The 67’s are going to have to flex their physical muscles in this series. In their lone win on the year, they played their most physical game of the season and that, combined with Visentin’s poor performance at the time, the then-visiting Ice Dogs were out of the game early.

For Niagara to win:

Niagara needs to pepper Petr Mrazek, keep the 67’s to the perimeter and get under their skin. With the Ice Dogs’ offencive ability, a stacked defence with guys like Jamie Oleksiak, Dougie Hamilton and Brock Beukeboom, and the styles of play employed by the likes of Andrew Agozzino and Alex Friesen, none of those should be any problem for the one-seed.

Mrazek was highly criticized for the number of goals he has allowed from long-range so far in the postseason but when he was called upon in high pressure situations, he did somewhat step up to the plate. We’ll see how well he does against a team that sends shots his way all game, not to mention get in his face on numerous occasions. Ottawa’s netminder doesn’t shy away from scrums, but Niagara could use that to get him off his game.

Much like the 67's had to try to avoid in the first two rounds, Niagara can't get into any bad habits early in the series. They were pretty dominant in their first two series wins against Oshawa and Brampton, and won the season series 3-1 with 18 goals for and 10 against, so the Ice Dogs should be set.

Bad Blood:

Niagara has been a hated team in Ottawa since a game last March where Thomas Nesbitt and Shane Prince were knocked out of the 67’s lineup via unnecessary cheapshots from Myles Doan and Tim Billingsley respectively. The first re-match between these two teams here in Ottawa this season was a heated one, but not as nasty as last year’s event.

With this history and the aformentioned antagonizing skills of a pair of Ice Dogs, mixed with the boatloads of toughness these two teams possess, we may be in for a physical and perhaps even nasty third round. Am I predicting that this series will re-enact the Flyers and Penguins? Not quite. But it should be more hostile than the second round for these two squads.

Another Makeshift Asylum:

Well, Barrie’s attempt to mock our asylum was laughable to say the least. Now, the 67’s get to put up with another group of wannabe hooligans. The drummer in Niagara doesn't even bother with a real drum, electing instead to bang straight on the glass (an infraction that would have you escorted out of the J. Benson Cartage Centre). Even still, you won't see Chris Byrne ask the refs for them to stop (See: Hawerchuk, Dale)

Prediction: Niagara in Six

Monday
Apr162012

Barrie Colts vs Ottawa 67's Game 6 Review

by Alex Quevillon (@A_Quevillon)

The Barrie Colts made Game Six interesting, perhaps too close to comfort for the Ottawa 67’s, but the visitors ultimately prevailed at the Barrie Molson Center on Sunday evening and these two teams will head back to the Nation’s Capital to play the seventh game of this series on Tuesday.

The win brought amongst a heavy sigh of relief from the 67’s faithful who are, in fairness, used to seeing their team blow leads such as this one. But the Barberpoles have shown enough resiliency to hold onto two late leads in back-to-back games to level this series at three games apiece.

Can We Decline the Penalties?

In what may have been the NHL’s game of the year on the afternoon of the 15th, the Philadelphia Flyers’ powerplay put on a clinic, going four for seven against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game between the 67’s and Colts that followed saw the complete opposite as the two combined for no powerplay goals on ten opportunities.

The officiating was highly questionable throughout the night, the final miscue coming in the final minute when Ottawa’s Sean Monahan was sent to the box for a phantom hook on Josh McDonald, who innocently tripped on his own. But with how pitiful both teams were with the man advantage, along with the fact that Ottawa was able to ice the puck as a result, perhaps it worked in the 67’s favour after all. Whoever moves on to play Niagara will need a quick fix for their powerplay, otherwise it may be another short series in the Ice Dogs’ favour.

Missed It By That Much:

Barrie forward Erik Bradford has to be kicking himself for what should have been the equalizer early in the third period. For a 15-minute span at the end of the second period and start of the third, the Colts caught Ottawa on their heels. Gregg Sutch got Barrie on the board with just a minute and a half to play in the middle frame while a longshot from Alex Lepkowski brought the home side within one. Shortly thereafter, Bradford had a wide open net after putting together a perfect 2-on-1 rush, but couldn’t tie the game up.

Full Team Effort by Ottawa:

Steven Janes and Shane Prince may still be ragged on by Ottawa fans, but there’s no doubting the important role they played in sending this series the distance. Prince beautifully set up Janes on a breakaway as Janes was coming out of the penalty box; the 6’4 Etobicoke native scoring on his third shot in tight on the break to give the 67’s a 2-0 lead.

Tyler Toffoli had set up that situation by hitting double digits in goals with 10, a longshot past Mathias Niederberger that looked awfully familiar to Lepkowski’s goal in the third. The 67’s scoring was rounded out by Tyler Graovac, finishing a 2-on-1 with Ryan Van Stralen to put his team ahead 3-0 early in the second.

Despite a bit of a late collapse, Petr Mrazek helped his team stay in it, making six saves in the third period and 25 on the night. Niederberger made 27 at the other end.

Gloves Come Off:

In his rookie year with the 67's, I noticed a lot of similiarities in the games of Dalton Smith and Barrie tough guy Stefan Della Rovere. Despite the difference in age, I wanted the two heavyweights to go at it once, it would surely have been a great tilt. This wish never came to fruition, but Colts fans did get to see the skill that Smith possesses with his gloves off. He laid a beating on Anthony Camara during the second period of Game Six.

Heading Back To Ottawa:

As mentioned, the seventh and final game goes here in Ottawa on Tuesday night. Barrie is hoping that they can join their first round opponent Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and their potential third-round opponent Niagara Ice Dogs as teams that have defeated Ottawa in Seventh Games on home ice, with those two teams having done it in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

Final Assessment:

During Sunday’s broadcast from Barrie, the Colts’ commentators falsely claimed that the 67’s PA announcer guaranteed a Game Seven after winning Game Five. The actual quote heard at the JBCC on Friday was “we hope we can see you back here on Tuesday for Game Seven if necessary.” No more ‘if necessary’. The Colts and 67’s, much alike the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers in the West, have one game left to decide this best-of-seven conference semi-final.

Sunday
Apr152012

Barrie Colts vs Ottawa 67's - Game 4/5 Review

by Alex Quevillon (@A_Quevillon)

Last time I wrote about the second-round playoff matchup between the Barrie Colts and Ottawa 67's, Barrie had taken a one-game lead. Now, that's still the case, although the Colts have pushed Ottawa to the brink of elimination, winning Game Five 3-2 before the 67's won on Friday night, keeping their season alive with a 2-1 win.


With the Niagara Ice Dogs sweeping the Brampton Battalion in the other Eastern Conference Semi Final, the stage is set for whoever comes out of this one. For Barrie, perhaps the potential third-round opponent adds even more inspiration to close this out. They'd be enough of a feel-good story having gone from dead last in the league to the Conference Finals in just a year, imagine if they had the chance to stick it to their old bench boss Marty Williamson while they were at it. At the same time, 67's fans are hoping they haven't seen the last game in the classic Ottawa Civic Center, with the team slated to move to Kanata, Ontario next season.

Longshots Destroying 67's:

Same song and dance. For whatever reason, as well as Petr Mrazek's played in allowing only four goals in the last two games, he seems to have an issue with the longshots. The most deflating goal from far out came 20 seconds into the third period of Game Four, a quick wrister from Aaron Ekblad that should have easily been handled. Last night, he only allowed one goal, off the stick of Daniel Erlich from just inside the line.

It would appear that Ottawa's defencive tactic of sitting back and giving the other team the shot by keeping them to the perimeter simply isn't working. In fact, it hasn't been working for a long time in the Nation's Capital. Sean Callaghan (+1) and Michal Cajkovsky (+5) lead the team in playoff +/- in the postseason and are the two guys on the back end who constantly try to stand the opposition up at the blueline and use their long reach to deflect perimeter shots - perhaps the rest of the team should follow suit.

Goaltender Interference?

The winning goal on Friday night caused a bit of an uproar for Colts fans. After being pushed on top of Barrie netminder Mathias Niederberger, Dalton Smith remained there as Tyler Toffoli slid home a rebound in the final ten seconds of the middle frame. Niederberger, once again, refused to come onto the ice when presented with one of the three stars. Frustration? Nobody's really sure.

Swap Smith & Prince?

Aside from the controversial role he played for the winning goal, Dalton Smith hasn't been the best fit for Ottawa's top line. Meanwhile, Shane Prince continues to draw criticism from 67's supporters, being held off the scoresheet and becoming a -5 on the series. Perhaps it's time to re-unite Prince with Toffoli and Sean Monahan.

Stars Getting Physical:

These past two games never saw the gloves come off, but a number of heated scrums broke out. I'm not sure which team favours this matchup - the OHL's leading playoff goalscorer (tied with Kitchener's Tobias Rieder) in Toffoli? Or the best player in this series, Barrie's Mark Scheifele. The two were tangled up for a good minute after the final buzzer on Friday night, setting a physical tone for Sunday.

Final Word:

What a difference a week can make. Seven days ago, Ottawa was fresh off a Game One win. Now, they need another strong performance just to keep the season alive. In order to stay alive, the 67's will need to overcome their poor road record in this postseason. But, remember, their only road win of the playoffs did come in the last Game Six they played. It's Junior Hockey at it's best, and anything can happen.

Thursday
Apr122012

Barrie Colts vs Ottawa 67's Game 3 Review

by Alex Quevillon (@A_Quevillon)

The series between the Ottawa 67’s and Barrie Colts could very easily have been a 2-0 lead for the 67’s heading into Barrie, if it weren’t for a deflating overtime loss in Game Two. Perhaps the loss was more deflating than originally expected; the Barberpoles were thoroughly outplayed in Game Three, looking flat-footed and dropping a 5-2 decision to the Colts on Tuesday night.

With this being Ottawa’s first regulation loss of the playoffs, the Colts are now halfway to an upset. There is plenty of concern in the Nation’s Capital but at the same time, this series is far from over.

No Answer for Scheifele, Telegin
:

The Colts' duo of Winnipeg Jets draft picks continue to run rampant on the 67's as Ivan Telegin and Mark Scheifele had two points each in the third game. As Ottawa looked like they were going to make things interesting, Scheifele fired home a one-timer, set up by Telegin, for Barrie's second powerplay goal of the night, giving the home side a 4-2 lead.

The duo combined to set up Josh MacDonald for the fifth and final goal with exactly five minutes to go, effectively taking away any hope Ottawa had of a comeback. Alex Lepowski and Daniel Erlich (2) rounded out the Barrie scoring.

Second Line Silenced for 57 minutes:

The line of Shane Prince, Mike Cazzola and Ryan Van Stralen has faced its share of criticism from the Ottawa faithful through the first nine postseason contests. Their first shift of the game was a dominant one that lead to a goal for Cazzola, his seventh career playoff goal. From that point on, it was downhill. The trio, although split up late in the third period, was stymied for the majority of the night.

Single Digit Shooting:

In the first two matchups of this series, Ottawa fired 12 pucks at Niederberger in the opening frame, before letting another barrage of shots go in the following periods. On Tuesday night, they combined for only 13 shots on goal in the first two combined. As frustrating as Barrie’s goaltender may be, the 67’s have to continue firing on him. Both goals (Cazzola from behind the net, Marc-Anthony Zanetti from the point and through traffic) came as a result of just sending the puck on net.

Makeshift Asylum:

I was hoping that my focus on the fans would no longer be brought up, but a trio of wild Colts fans were very audible in their attempts to mock the “asylum” in Ottawa behind the bench. Contrary to Ottawa’s superfans and their noisemakers, cymbals and a drum, the Barrie spectators armed themselves with a coca-cola box, water jug, cowbell and whistle, forming a makeshift asylum behind the 67’s bench to act as a distraction. Chris Byrne seemed to take it in stride, while some of the 67’s players didn’t seem to be in favour of the noisy bunch.

Final assessment:

Perhaps mentioning Game Five, even for something as minimal as fan antics, was looking too far ahead. Game Four goes tomorrow night in Barrie and Ottawa desperately needs to come home with a split in Barrie – even more so than Barrie needed a split in Ottawa.

Discipline has to be preached - Barrie went 2/4 on the powerplay and Steven Janes took his second ten-minute misconduct of the playoffs. Overall, this team needs to do a lot less standing around. More pucks on net and better forechecking - the basics. Force Niederberger to make more than 25 saves and give Petr Mrazek an easier workload than the 37 shots he faced on the night, and the 67's can get back in this series. Game Four goes Thursday at the Barrie Molson Center.

Monday
Mar262012

OTT v BEL - Game 3 Playoff Review

by Phil Phillips (@filphillips)

In the playoffs when teams are down like the Belleville Bulls were to the Ottawa 67's two games to none,  they look forward to coming home and turning it around,  Belleville did just that winning 4-3 in OT on Sunday afternoon.   The win cuts Ottawa's series lead to 2-1.

 

Game 3 in the most important game in a 7 game series.  If the series is tied , it gives the winner a lead in the series,  if the team that wins game 3 is already up 2 games like the Ottawa 67's were coming in.  it gives that team a stranglehold on the series, and on the other side if your a team down 2 games like the Belleville Bulls were, you have to win game 3 to have any chance to claw your way back in to it. 

 

In Belleville they don't have $1 hot dogs (they should), they have $2 cowbells and they know how to use them.  The Yardman doesn't get lots of credit for being a loud building every night, mainly because its not. But when motivated it can be and today the 2509 in attendance were super motivated.  There was a strong group of Ottawa fans at the Yardman and you could hear them.  To be honest they brought the best out of the Yardman faithful and the atmosphere was the best its been in Belleville in a long time.

 

The 1st period was scoreless with Belleville out shooting the 67's 13-8.  It didn't take long for the tone of the game to be set, at 0:54 Micheal Curtis and Mike Cazzola each headed to the sin bin for slashing.  After every whistle sticks got high, and someone took a face wash.  It's easy to see that a strong dislike for each other is building in this series.

 

Belleville's version of the "Russian Rocket" Daniil Zharkov scored his 1st of the post season to open the scoring at 1:00 mark of the 2nd. The lead was Belleville's first in the series.  The crowd was already fired up from some great music selections from the Bulls DJ, and the Zharkov goal really got them going.  Unfortunately the Ottawa 67's also like Gun and Roses and scored the next three goals.   Tyler Graovac at 5:09 tied the game.  Next it was Brett Gustavsen scoring his 2nd of the series from Nicholas Foglia and Cody Ceci at 5:50.  Sean Monahan scored his 3rd a shorthanded beauty from Tyler Toffli and Bratislava Slovakia native Michal Cajkovsky putting the 67's up 3-1 after 40 minutes.  The visitors had the edge in shots 14-11 in the 2nd.

 

The 3rd started kinda flat for the Bulls and Ottawa was looking like they were ready to cruse to a 3 games to none series lead, when at 4:43 with Joseph Cramarossa in the sin bin Belleville's Micheal Curtis scored his 2nd of the series on a shorthanded break a way, after breaking up a play at his own blue line.   The goal brought the building and the Bulls bench back to life, all of a sudden it was the Bulls bringing the play to the 67's.  At 5:41 Jake Worrad tied the game on a long shot that Petr Mrazek got a piece of and the puck literally trickled across the goal line.  Carter Sandlak wearing a full cage and Jason Shaw picked up helpers on the goal.  Belleville out shot Ottawa 15-13 in the third.

 

In overtime the Belleville Bulls ended it real quick when Kingston native Jordan Mayer found the back of the net at 0:14 with his first as a Bull in the post season from Adam Payerl and Shaw.  Belleville had the only shot in OT. and out shot Ottawa in the game 40-35

 

This game lived up to the hype and was just as good as the first two held in Ottawa.  Both Malcolm Subban and Petr Mrazek played well.  Subban faced 35 shots and made 32 saves in his 1st career OHL playoff victory.  Mrazek made 36 saves on 40 shots.  Mrazek's best work in the game was after the Bulls tied it up 3-3, Belleville was pushing to end it in the 3rd and he shut the door forcing the game to OT.

 

Both Clubs went 4/4 on the PK.  And in the series so far Ottawa's PP is 1/12, and Belleville's  PP is 0/13. We knew Belleville was a good penalty killing team and bad power play team, but Ottawa's PK has been very strong looking just as dangerous offensively at times as they do 5 on 5. This game had a nasty edge to it and was very entertaining,  Game 4 goes Tuesday in Belleville,  Lets hope we can #packtheyard. 

 

3 Stars 1- Bulls  Jake Worrad  2- Bulls Michael Curtis  3- 67's Tyler Graovac