Game 1 of this Eastern Conference series started out pretty good for the Belleville Bulls, and ended great for the Ottawa 67's. Ottawa wins 3-2 in OT, and lead the series 1-0
These two teams are alot closer then we think, but only when it comes to playing everyone else in the OHL, not each other. In the season series Ottawa owned the Bulls, out scoring Belleville 41-18 and winning 7 games and only losing once and that was in over time. Ottawa picked up 15 of 16 possible points Vs the Bulls. The 67's and Bulls ended 17 points apart with 88 and 71 point total's respectfully, but if you eliminate the games against each other there point totals are alot closer. The 67's would have 73 and the Bulls would sit at 69. So if Belleville plays like they can and Ottawa plays Belleville like they play every one else ? We might not only have a game, but we will also have a series.
The home team went with the pride of Ostrava, Czechoslovakia Petr Mrazek. As advertised Mrazek was good and played well in the victory. His most work came in the 1st when he faced 19 shots. He allowed 1 goal in the 1st, but he held the 67's in the game. After a little bit of a shaky start Belleville played a very good opening frame. They had a great chance on the PP where they did everything but score. Petr wasn't to busy the rest of the way only facing 11 shots combined in the 2nd and 3rd. He faced 30 shots in total and none in OT.
Like they do and who could blame them, the Belleville Bulls would start Malcolm Subban and he didn't disappoint, he showed that he is the Number 1 ranked goalie in North America. Malcolm faced 43 shots and stopped 40, he had his most work in the 2nd period facing 26 shots including stopping Taylor Fielding on a penalty shot. With that stop Subban remains perfect on penalty shots and in shootouts this season. Subban showed he's ready to play and it wont be easy for the 67's. Malcolm had a very strong effort, I expect him to be just as good on Friday.
Ottawa got on the score sheet first when the OHL regular season goal leader Tyler Toffoli scored his 1st of the playoffs on the PP with Garrett Hooey in the box for tripping from Shane Prince and Marc Zanetti at 16:44 of the 1st. Before the period ended Belleville Captain Luke Judson tipped home a Jason Shaw point shot to score his 1st at 19:14 to tie the game 1-1. Belleville out shot Ottawa 19-8.
In the middle frame it was Ottawa that broke the Tie at 9:11 when Steven Janes lite the lamp for the 1st time this post season from Zanetti and Prince. Belleville tied it up 2-2 at 16:08 when Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Adam Payerl slipped one past the goal line with Top NHL Prospect Brendan Gaunce drawing the lone helper.
The 3rd period was scoreless.
In over time Ottawa didn't want Belleville to get set up in their trap and grind things out. They wanted to end it early. It took 2:02 and future Los Angeles King Tyler Toffoli scored his 2nd of the night on a break a way from Michal Cajkovsky and Janes to send most of the 4284 in attendance home happy. Bulls were 0/5 on the PP, and Ottawa was 1/3.
3 Stars 1- 67's Marc Zanetti 2- Bulls Malcolm Subban 3- 67's Tyler Toffoli
This was a good game, and at times both teams looked great, with Belleville owning the 1st and Ottawa owning the 2nd. If not for the Play of Mrazek in the 1st and Subban in the 2nd this is a way different game. Toffoli showed why he was recognized in the Coaches Poll and Belleville has to find a way to shut him down. It wont take long to find out what club benefits from a quick turn around as game two goes Friday night in Ottawa.