IceDogs drop OT decision in Ottawa
Danil Gushchin scored his team-leading 22nd goal of the season in a 4-3 overtime loss at Ottawa Friday. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
The Niagara IceDogs returned to the ice Friday for the first time in 10 days and came away with a point.
The IceDogs dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Ottawa 67s in an Ontario Hockey League game played at TD Place in Ottawa.
The IceDogs last played Jan. 10 at Hamilton, dropping a 6-2 decision to the Bulldogs
“We were definitely very excited (to be back playing),” Niagara head coach Billy Burke said. “It’s tough to make sure you’re at that peak condition when you get two weeks off but I thought we got better as the game went on. I was definitely impressed with the leadership and the character.”
Vinzenz Rohrer scored the winner at the 3:27 mark of the third when he swept in off the wing and beat Niagara goaltender Josh Rosenzweig. The goal was the 10th of the season for Rohrer, who earlier scored on his own net.
“We had chances to win it in overtime,” Burke said. “It definitely stings we didn’t get that point but we’ll take the point we got and build off it.”
Ottawa took an early lead when Will Gerrior netted his second of the season off a tip-in from a shot from the point. The IceDogs tied it back up at 1-1 when Danil Gushchin scored his team-leading 22nd of the season on a nice individual effort. The 67’s outshot the IceDogs 9-5 in the period.
Each team scored twice in an eventful second period that saw each team collect 12 shots on goal to go along with a pair of fights as Cameron Peters tangled with Matthew Mayich before newcomer Daniel Michaud dropped the gloves with Thomas Sirman.
“I give a ton of credit to Peters and Michaud,” Burke said. “It’s never easy to drop the gloves and get in a fight like that. When I see that, it shows me the guys care. They care about the team and they care about each other.”
Liam Van Loon and former 67 Brendan Sirizzotti scored for the IceDogs while Brad Gardiner and Alex Johnston replied for the 67’s. Sirizzotti was credited with the goal when the Rohrer fired a clearing pass from the corner into his own net.
There was no scoring in the third period which saw the IceDogs hold an 11-7 edge in shots on goal.
Burke feels the IceDogs are playing with more purpose and confidence than at any other time this season.
“The feel on the team is much better,” he said. “We gave up a goal early but that was OK. We fight back and get it. We believe in each other. There is a good trust and identity forming.
“Obviously we’re all competitive and this (loss) doesn’t sit well but I’m proud of these guys how they’re coming together and continuing to improve.”
The IceDogs are back in action Saturday at Kingston before returning home Tuesday, Jan 25 to host the North Bay Battalion. Up to 500 fans will be permitted into Meridian Centre as per new government regulations as of Jan. 31. The IceDogs are holding a random lottery among season ticket holders for a chance for tickets for their home games Feb. 1, 4 and 20.
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