Dylan Robinson Plays Hero as 67’s Down Battalion

The Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League wrapped up their weekend looking to go a perfect 2-0 against a red hot North Bay Battalion club that had been sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference for quite some time. It was a game full of wild ups and downs that perfectly exemplified exactly what junior hockey can be. The 67’s managed to secure a 2-1 win with a crazy final minute of the game. Here’s how that all happened.

67’s Turn In Complete Team Effort

There have been games that the 67’s have deserved to win but have lost, and there have been some games when they won but didn’t really deserve it, and then there was their performance on Sunday afternoon. It was a game that they deserved to win that they just barely snuck out when they were stuck on the heels killing penalties at the end of the game. It was possibly their best game of the season so far, and it all culminated in a close team against one of the best teams in the league through the first month of the season.

“I thought it was a hell of a hockey game, period,” said Dave Cameron, the head coach of the 67’s. “If you’re a first-time fan of junior hockey coming to watch that game, to me, I thought it had everything. It was physical, I think everybody stayed within the boundaries of the rules. It was two teams that just went at it for 60 minutes.”

Vinzenz Rohrer, Ottawa 67's
Vinzenz Rohrer, Ottawa 67’s (Frankie Benvenuti / The Hockey Writers)

“I liked everything about our team today,” Cameron continued. “We were ready, we had no passengers, we were fast, we were competitive. We made good decisions, the [defence] made had good gap, the forwards competed, the special teams were good.”

Related: Ottawa 67’s Appoint 6 as Alternate Captains

It was a very entertaining hockey game, to say the least. For large portions of the game, the 67’s controlled the pace, leading the shots on goal category 39-27 at the final buzzer. They got themselves into some trouble with penalties in the third period, but they found a way to kill them off and score a goal late in the game to beat a very good Battalion team. It showed resilience and determination, something the 67’s have been committed to being for the past handful of seasons.

Brady Stonehouse Scores First OHL Goal

It was yet another milestone for one of the 67’s players on Sunday. This time, it was Brady Stonehouse scoring his first OHL goal. It should come as no surprise that his first goal comes on a second chance play considering the kind of player he has shown to be in his short time in Ottawa. After a breakaway chance was turned aside, Stonehouse stayed with the rebound and slid a second chance opportunity through the legs of Dom DiVincentiis.

“It was just really reliving to get that first one,” said Stonehouse. “I think getting the first one really builds your confidence, and you can see it in the next shift. I came right down after and almost scored another. I knew it was coming eventually. It’s just good to get one and build my confidence from here.”

It hasn’t been a quick process to score his first goal in the OHL, but it hasn’t been for a lack of chances. Stonehouse has made the front of the net his second home and has had plenty of chances to score a goal; it just hadn’t happed for him. He has made some nice plays to set others up for goals, and it was just a matter of time before a bounce went his way and scored a goal. That’s exactly what happened for him on Sunday.

Brady Stonehouse, Ottawa 67's
Brady Stonehouse, Ottawa 67’s (Frankie Benvenuti, The Hockey Writers)

“What I tell the young guys coming into the league is establish your game and then grow it,” said Cameron. “Establish your game means your positional play is really strong; it’s simplified, you’re not turning pucks over. Then when you get comfortable and you figure the league out then maybe you can get a little more creative offensively. But until you establish your game or you have a history of offence, keep it simple.”

“He’s got a heavy shot, that’s one thing I will say,” Cameron continued. “He skates well, but I see him getting more goals like the way he scored today. Get it to the net and follow it up for that second and third whack.”

Dylan Robinson Was the Day’s Hero

In the first period, Dylan Robinson was the victim of a hard hit that landed Alexander Lukin in the penalty box for charging. As Robinson lay on the ice, all you could do was hope that he would be okay. It didn’t look too promising as he was helped back to the locker room. He didn’t return for the remainder of the first period, but amazingly, he was back on the ice in the second.

Dylan Robinson Ottawa 67's
Dylan Robinson, Ottawa 67’s (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

In the final minute of the game with the 67’s short-handed, Robinson stripped the puck from Battalion star Brandon Coe and headed in on a breakaway. He was slashed by Ty Nelson, causing him to lose control of the puck, and he was awarded a penalty shot. With 27 seconds left, he skated around thinking about what he should do, but he was offered some advice.

“I was skating around and our goalie Will Cranley says go blocker. I ended up going down and going glove,” said Robinson with a chuckle. “I was leading blocker the whole way and [DiVincentiis] kinda just dropped that way.” Robinson was asked what Cranley knows about scoring, his response; “Not much, he knows how to save the puck.”

The penalty shot goal was what the 67’s needed to break the deadlock and finally beat DiVincentiis, who had been rock solid all afternoon long. The goal stood as the game-winner, and Robinson was the hero after being nearly knocked out of the game in the first period.

“A little revenge, but at the end of the day I’m just happy we got the win,” said Robinson. “That’s the revenge at the end really to get the win.”

Tied for First With More to Come

With the win, the 67’s have moved into a tie with the Battalion and the Hamilton Bulldogs for first place in the Eastern Conference. However, they’re tied for the third-best points percentage in the entire OHL with the Flint Firebirds. This is a team that is supposed to be rebuilding, but it seems that no one has told the players that. They will have a tough week coming up, playing the Kingston Frontenacs on Tuesday and the Mississauga Steelheads on Friday before heading on a Saturday and Sunday road swing where they will take on the Hamilton Bulldogs and Oshawa Generals.

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