Ottawa 6, North Bay 3

For Ottawa 67’s captain, Luca Pinelli, Family Day has a special significance.

“My family comes up a lot, they make the drive. It’s like five and half, six hours from where I’m from,” he said. “I’m grateful for them and they’re a big part of the reason I’m here in this position right now.”

Originally from Stoney Creek, his billet family, too, was at TD Place on Monday to celebrate Family Day too. (To mark the occasion Monday, after the game, players from the Ottawa 67’s joined their fans in a public skate. They spent their time signing autographs and taking pictures).

As for Pinelli, he scored his 39th and 40th goals of the season on Monday — a personal best — but getting a win was definitely cool, too, he said. Other 67’s scorers were Brady Stonehouse with two, Henry Mews and Samuel Mayer.

“It’s nice to hit that milestone and I’m going to keep going from here.”

Pinelli has also reached a new personal high of 66 points in a season. He had smashed his previous goal record of 29 earlier this month against the Flint Firebirds.

“It’s a cool achievement,” Pinelli said.

Pinelli credited his success to his hockey IQ and his three years of experience in the Ontario Hockey League.

The 6-3 win Monday over North Bay was a strong start to a week that is far from over for the 67’s. On Friday, they play the Oshawa Generals, who are third in the Eastern Conference. On Saturday, they’re up against the London Knights, who are currently dominating the OHL with 83 points in 55 games. The next best team, Saginaw Spirit, have 79 points in 54 games. The 67’s are fifth in the Eastern Conference with 62 points.

London has clinched a playoff spot already. That said, Pinelli is still confident in his group.

“We’ve got a great group of guys here. We’re going to keep on building and get playoff ready.”

Last time Ottawa played London was this past October, losing in overtime and picking up a point, proving they can compete with the Knights. Can they do better this time, well, that is yet to be seen.