How much difference can a day make?
Wednesday morning, it was all doom-and-gloom for fans of the Ottawa 67’s as leading scorer Joseph Blandisi was peddled to the Barrie Colts.
A day later, the Barberpoles were steamrolling a Windsor Spitfires team that had coasted to a 4-1 victory nine days prior in Ottawa’s home barn.
In Thursday’s statement 8-3 win, the newest member of the 67’s, Erik Bradford, had a goal and two assists.
Bradford, who grew up a 67’s fan watching his cousins Tye and Jamie McGinn, was the ’94-born forward who came over, along with a third-round pick, for Blandisi.
Ryan Van Stralen, the overaged left winger who was all-but-certain to be traded out of town, had a goal and three helpers in the Windsor game.
And Travis Konecny, basically the only real untouchable on the team, had his best game in his young OHL career.
Suddenly, things don’t look so bad in the Nation’s Capital.
The 67’s made a second move before the deadline to acquire goaltender Liam Herbst from the London Knights for a pair of draft picks.
Connor Hughes, also acquired from London earlier in the season, has been sent back to the GOJHL as a result.
Finally, it appears, the 67’s are set in goal for the future.
Herbst, who struggled with injuries early in his Junior career, is now backing up Philippe Trudeau, who started his 27th straight in the win over Windsor.
It’s expected Herbst will split the starts from here on out, before taking over the starting job next year.
Chris Byrne has indicated he is still interested in Western Michigan commit Ben Blacker who recently represented Ontario along with Konecny at the World Under-18’s
“We know he’s a project for the summer to try and get him signed,” said Byrne. “We had been working on it in the summer, he’ll play the rest of the year in Milton, and we’ll take a run at him in the summertime.”
This trade could be the nail in the coffin as far as trying to recruit Blacker, but if he does still come on board, the 67’s would be set for at least two years between the pipes.