The Ottawa 67's were able to split their final weekend before the Christmas break, beating the Peterborough Petes to put them in last place in the East before losing to the Oshawa Generals, who moved into first in the conference.
Friday: Ottawa 5, Peterborough 2
Sunday: Ottawa 3, Oshawa 4
Friday night may not have been the largest announced attendance of the season, but it was certainly the most boisterous. Minor Hockey night brought out a young and loud crowd of over 10,000.
The home side didn't get off to the best start, heading into the dressing room down 1-0 after 20 minutes. The lone highlight of the opening frame, with the highlight of the period coming by way of a Brendan Bell fight with Chase Hatcher.
Cody Ceci and Dante Salituro each scored their eighth goals of the year in the second, and Bell and Taylor Fielding each tallied early in the third to chase Michael Guigovaz and give Ottawa a 4-1 lead.
Nick Ritchie and Sean Monahan, who was playing in his first game back from suspension, traded goals.
On Sunday, the Barberpoles were unable to take advantage of a very depleted Oshawa lineup. Even without the likes of Boone Jenner, Tyler Biggs and Lucas Lessio, Oshawa handed Ottawa their 20th loss of the year when trailing after two. The 67's haven't won yet this season while down after 40 minutes.
Remy Giftopoulos opened the scoring for Ottawa, but the visitors' lack of discipline finally caught up to them, as Chris Carlisle tied the game on the powerplay before the opening frame was out. Cole Cassels and Scott Sabourin each scored in the second to give the Gens a two-goal cushion.
Ottawa was able to stay out of the penalty box and catch up to Oshawa in the third period. Bell scored on a breakaway and Giftopoulos added his second of the game at the midway point of the third, but Cassels would add his own second of the night to give the Generals the win.
With the trade freeze coming, it doesn't appear as though the 67's will make any moves until January. Chris Byrne, however, helped spark a number of trade rumours when he and his staff were in attendance for the Barrie Colts home game against Plymouth on Saturday.
It's believed that Ottawa is looking for a 2012-first round draft choice as the base for a deal that would involved Cody Ceci, while a deal for Tyler Graovac would have to start with a young player who can step into the lineup right away.