Peterborough 5, Ottawa 2

The Ottawa 67’s had everything they needed to make it a three-game win streak on Saturday. 

The 67’s were tied for first in their conference, with a solid 34 points. The Petes had dropped to third with 30.

A win on Friday would also be a first this season against the Peterborough Petes, as they led the series 2-0. 

The game wouldn’t go 20 seconds without getting heated, with an early 67’s goal called back.

But that didn’t stop Ottawa. A shot off the boards bounced to defenceman Henry Mews who secured a 1-0 lead for real this time.

Mews now has 23 points in 24 games. He said he’s happy with with his game, but still looking for more.

“It’s been pretty good so far. It could always get better.” Mews’ draft year is coming up, but for now, he’s focused on the season.

As for the Petes, they soon tied things up with a Sam McCue shoot first and score.

Adding to Peterborough’s momentum was a short-handed goal from captain, Donovan McCoy. It took the Petes 15 seconds on their penalty kill.

67’s head coach, Dave Cameron, was left unimpressed with his team’s powerplay on Friday. It was “terrible, slow.”

Cameron said it’s a direct reflection of the team’s short bench.

“Guys are overplayed and over extended.”

Things would get worse for Ottawa with Habs prospect Owen Beck sliding a backhand shot through traffic for a 3-1 lead. 

Ottawa replied soon after with Chris Barlas taking advantage of a loose puck to rifle it home. He now has a handful of goals this season. 

It seemed like Ottawa had caught their second wind, but a high-sticking call against put it to the test near the end of the period.

Kill it they did. 

Things evened in the second period with a solid back and forth. Ottawa’s netminder, Colin Mackenzie, was eyeing his sixth win straight, but because of the unfortunate start, Cameron shook things up, throwing Max Donoso in net.

The teams were at an impasse. A whistle hadn’t been blown for a solid quarter of the game with either team matching each other’s energy, a solid back and forth. 

A shot off the post for the Petes would turn into one-timers for the 67’s on Peterborough’s netminder Zach Bowen. Either team would meet each other halfway on hits too. 

The stalemate continued through the second period, but something had to give. 

Saturday’s game had no shortage of physicality. Ottawa defenceman Matthew Mayich drives Peterborough’s Owen Beck into the 67’s’ bench. [Photo courtesy Tim Austen]

Going into the third period, Ottawa had 20 minutes left to bring this game back in their favor. It started with another power play.

But again, Peterborough had prime scoring chances short-handed, including two breakaways. Donoso stopped the first one, and not a minute later, stopped another.  

After killing their penalty, the Petes got a powerplay of their own. They’ve converted less than a fifth of their power plays. This was almost one of them. 

A Peterborough power play goal was called back as a kick. A moment of grace for Ottawa, but it didn’t last.

A simple breakout for the Petes gave them time and space for another odd man rush. Another cross-ice pass to Tommy Purdeller from Beck made it a two-goal lead. 

And despite a slewfoot call to send Ryder McIntyre back to the dressing rooms, giving Ottawa a five-minute powerplay, they couldn’t convert. Even worse, they took a penalty of their own with a minute left in the man-advantage against the Petes.

The 67’s killed their penalty, and with two minutes left in the game pulled the goalie. The Petes would score into an empty net, taking their third straight win against Ottawa this season. 

A strong start with a messy ending.

Cameron said the 67’s had faced a strong goalie in the loss. But he said the team has a great opportunity on the road trip which begins in Peterborough, offering a chance for revenge against the Petes.

“For guys, when they’re healthy, are looking at you like ‘I want to play more coach,’ well, those guys are going to play and let’s see what they do.”

Mews says he believes the next game is a chance to get back at their rivals.

“I think we’re more skilled than them, we’ve got more firepower than them, we just have to work harder, play our game,” he said.

“We weren’t on our game tonight. When we’re on our game we can beat any team in the league.”

Meanwhile Ottawa is now tied for first in the East Division with Brantford; Peterborough is two points back at 32.