67's Week 11 in review
At the start of this nine-game road swing, 67's were hoping that it was just what the doctor had ordered, that a solid stint away from 'home' would help the team turn it around. Now, those are the same fans hoping that Sean Day gets exceptional status into the 2013 OHL Draft.
Now, rock bottom seems to have been hit for this Barberpoles squad that sits at 7-20-0-3 and at are only two points out of last place (Peterborough also has a game in hand.
Tyler Graovac and Sean Monahan will be heading to Canada's Under-20 Camp later in the month, although one has to wonder what will hurt this team more; losing their top two centers, or how deflated Cody Ceci may be after he wasn't invited to tryouts.
Either way, the 67's have played the majority of this road swing without Monahan and Graovac. If there has been one positive for this team, it's been rookie Dante Salituro, and his ability to step in as the top-line center and perform.
Salituro had the lone goal on Friday night in a deflating 4-1 loss to Plymouth on Friday, and also added a pair of markers on Saturday in Saginaw.
He opened the scoring against the Spirit, but by the time he had his second of the game, the home side had put up a ten-spot on the 67's.
Brendan Bell also had his first as a 67 after Salituro's opening marker before Saginaw scored ten consecutive goals, chasing ex-Spirit Clint Windsor despite his great effort.
Ex-67 David Perklin also kicked off a late-game incident, being kicked out of the game for the second time in as many games vs Ottawa this season.
Taylor Davis, already shaken up after Friday's game, was driven head-long into the boards by Perklin before a scrum ensued.
Mike Vlajkov also sat out the last two games of the weekend with an injury, while Daniel Walsh and Brett Gustavsen continued to nurse their respective ailments.
Graovac was a -6 on Saturday night, and it turns out he wasn't fully recovered from his groin injury.
Ottawa managed to garner a much-needed and well-deserved point in Windsor on Sunday afternoon, despite being outshot by a 2:1 mariging yet again. Taylor Fielding had the lone 67's goal after Chris Marchese kicked off Windsor's Teddy Bear Toss.
The game headed to a shootout, which was probably the best chance a tired and undermanned 67's team had to pull out a win, but Marchese, Kerby Rychel and Brady Vail each scored, all three goals identical to one another, on Jacob Blair to give the home side a win.
If this is how the 67's continue to play without their two top centers, it's a real reason for concern with Canada's camp coming up. Salituro is proving that he can hold some of the weight on his shoulders, but whether or not this team can claw out of the basement is another question.
The 67's head to Niagara, Erie and Kitchener -- three teams that they have defeated this year -- to finally wrap up their road trip. At 0-5-1 on the road trip and a rough home record, it's anyone's guess whether or not a return home is a good thing for them or not.