OHL Eastern Conference Playoffs - (7) Belleville Bulls Vs (2) Ottawa 67's Game 4 Review
The 2363 fans who did their part to #packtheyard, were rewarded with a thrilling over time victory by the home town Belleville Bulls. Belleville defeated the Ottawa 67's 4-3 in OT and tied the series at two games each.
Before the game there was a real buzz going around the Yardman, the fans, the media, Bulls staff and players, every one was fired up for game 4. After winning Game three in OT on Sunday afternoon, and with momentum now on Belleville's side, this was Belleville's game to lose.
Bulls Charlie Graham, Alex Carnevale, and Mack Lemmon were all victims of the numbers. After leaving Sunday's game on his own with an upper body injury Dylan Corson also didn't dress. 67's scratches would be Shayne Campbell, Daniel Broussard, John McFarland, and Daniel Walsh. Earlier in the day the 67's learned they would be without Captain Marc Zanetti for the next three games. Zanetti was suspended 5 games for a spearing incident that happened during the pre-game warm-up in game two.
Belleville got off to a great start and scored at 0:52 of the 1st. Bulls playoff goals leader Micheal Curtis scored his 3rd, when he finished a real nice passing play from Game 3 hero Jordan Mayer and Captain Luke Judson. Its nice to see Curtis get rewarded, after netting 19 goals in his rookie year followed by totals of 9 in 2010-11 and 13 this season, the offence hasn't came easy for Curtis , but he has turned in to a great defensive player that the Bulls have been known for under Burnett. Belleville would keep the pressure strong in the games first few minutes. At 3:11 Ottawa's Taylor Fielding took a 4 minute double minor for high sticking that lead to top NHL prospect Brendan Gaunce 1st post season goal from Judson and Daniil Zharkov. The goal would break a slump of 0/14 on the PP in the postseason. Belleville was clearly the better team in the 1st carrying the play and out shooting the 67's 14-6
The second period was scoreless with both teams firing 14 shots on net. This was one of the most exciting scoreless periods I've seen this season. Both goalies played very well, both teams were skating well, some nice hard hits. Everyone in Black was blocking shots. Mayer blocked two in a row on one shift and Brady Austin had a great period and was up and down the ice leading the way for the Bulls.
The third period started good when Austen Brassard scored his 1st of the post season from Joesph Cramarossa and Garrett Hooey at 8:30 to give the Bulls a 3-0 lead. But then everything changed Belleville started sending one guy, maybe two and not skating the way they were in the 1st and 2nd. We all know what happens when you stop skating , you take penalties. So with Carter Sandlak in box 67's Tyler Toffoli scored his 3rd of the playoffs on the PP from Michal Cajkovsky and Mike Cazzola. All of a sudden the Belleville Bulls are back on there heels and before you can say "Bay of Quinte" Ryan Van Stralen made it 3-2 on his 1st from Shane Prince. Ottawa had taken the momentum back and was looking for the tying goal and at 18:22 Jake Cardwell tied it 3-3. in the third Ottawa out shot Belleville 16-11.
In OT both teams had 5 shots and it looked like they wanted to end it. With everyone in the building on their feet, holding their breath and ringing their cowbells Brady Austin skated with the puck from inside his own blue line after a pass from Jake Worrad and ripped the winner home at 7:46.
This game was the third of the first four to go to OT. Good goal tending has been the norm. Petr Mrazek was good, just like he has been in every game and stopped 40 of the 44 shots he faced. In the second and when the visitors where picking up steam in third, he was at his All World Best. Malcolm Subban was also at his All World Best making 38 saves on 41 shots and was named the games 2nd Star.
3Stars - 1- Bulls Brady Austin 2- Bulls Malcolm Subban 3- Bulls Luke Judson.
This was a great game with lots of back in forth action. It didn't have the same edgy feel that Game 3 had , it had more of an lets get this win, feel from both teams. saying that there was plenty of hits, after whistle stuff, and Worrad and Giftopoulos dropped the mitts in the 3rd. Ottawa took the games first 8 minor penalties and finished 6/7 on the PK. Belleville went 2/3 on PK. Game 5 goes Friday night in Ottawa.