Panic mode set in for the Ottawa 67’s on Friday when they found out that road captain Sean Monahan had been suspended ten games for a hit to the head on Plymouth's Colin MacDonald, and the first three games of the team’s nine-game roadtrip were a wakeup call as they were outscored 14-7 in three losses this weekend.
The team was also missing Brett Gustavsen to a lower body injury, Tyler Graovac to a groin injury, Daniel Walsh to a concussion, Mike Vlajkov for the last of the three games to a lower body injury and Steven Janes appeared to be shaken up on Sunday in Belleville. Trevor Dulong joined the team and made his OHL debut on Friday.
Friday: Ottawa 2, Oshawa 4
Saturday: Ottawa 5, Guelph 7
Sunday: Ottawa 0, Belleville 3
Ottawa’s best chance to steal two points in their three-in-three came on the Friday night as they took on an Oshawa Generals team that had only won three of 15 on home ice going in.
Dante Salituro opened the scoring early, but less than five minutes later, Boone Jenner and Scott Laughton had a pair of goals 15 seconds apart for the Gens, who took a 2-1 lead and 17-9 shot total into the first intermission.
Jenner added his second of the game in the middle frame. Cody Ceci answered with Ottawa’s second powerplay marker of the night early in the third, but Tyler Biggs added an empty netter to finish the Gordie Howe Hattrick and cap off a 4-2 Generals win.
Jacob Blair got his first start of the weekend on Saturday in Guelph, taking on the goaltender he backed up to start the season in Keegan Wilson.
The Storm quickly lit up Ottawa’s rookie netminder with three goals in on eight shots in the first 10 and a half minutes, causing Clint Windsor to come back into action. Brock McGinn opened the scoring 47 seconds in with his brother and 67’s Alumni Jamie McGinn in attendance.
Once again, Ottawa’s powerplay got them back into the game. Ryan Van Stralen put his team on the board to make the game 3-1. Guelph continued to fire on all cylinders, taking a 6-2 lead, before Nevin Guy scored with the man advantage, his first goal in the OHL.
Steven Janes and Sean Callaghan scored early in the third, before the host Storm were finally able to put the game away. Scott Kosmachuk, who also had an assist and a fight on the night, added his third goal into the empty net as Guelph walked away with a wild 7-5 win.
Windsor appeared in his third game of the weekend on Sunday, although fatigue didn’t seem to be his problem. Goal support was, however, as the Barberpoles were shut out for the first time this year.
Stephen Silas finally cracked Windsor in the second period on Belleville’s 27th shot. Belleville outshot Ottawa 30-14 in the first 40 minutes, and only piled on in the third period, increasing their shot advantage to 53-23. Sergey Kuptsov and Carter Sandlak scored in the third to put the game away.
Taylor Fielding was named Team 1200 hardest worker for the Saturday and Sunday games, but Windsor deserves a ton of credit, stopping 127 shots this weekend.
Of all the 67’s rookies who dressed throughout the weekend, 2012 first-rounder Dante Salituro was the most impressive, adding a goal and four assists. With Monahan and Graovac out, he had every opportunity to take over as the top line center and get quality ice time.
The 67’s fall into a further hole in the Eastern Conference, now sitting seven points out of eighth place. The last-place Peterborough didn’t gain any ground on Ottawa this weekend. The Barberpoles head south next weekend to take on Plymouth, Saginaw and Windsor.