The Ottawa 67’s welcome the Kingston Frontenacs to the Arena at TD Place on Saturday afternoon for their fourth of 12 Ontario Hockey League matchups. The game featured a little bit of everything — some rough stuff, some big saves, and an incredible lacrosse-style goal from Martin Chromiak. It may have been a loss on the scoreboard for the 67’s but you have to like how they played in the 4-3 loss. Here’s what you need to know about the game.
67’s Killing Too Many Penalties
The 67’s spent far too much time in the penalty box on Saturday afternoon but it wasn’t for a terrible lack of discipline. A quick disclaimer, I don’t believe that a game is ever decided by the officials and I believe that more often than not, they do a good enough job, but over the past two games for the 67’s something has been amiss. In their weekend series against Kingston, Ottawa was given 16 penalties, while the Frontenacs were assessed nine. Of course, a discrepancy in the number of penalties doesn’t mean the officials did a bad job, but with the number of soft calls to go against the 67’s, it’s impossible to not talk about it. All weekend long, it seemed that the officials were quick on the whistle one way and missing many easy ones the other, something that’s not lost on Ottawa’s head coach Dave Cameron.
“We took too many penalties in the two games to allow us to sustain the speed we wanted to sustain with games that close together,” said Cameron. “Two games in a row, nothing you can do about it. We can talk all day about [the penalties being lopsided] but I’m not gonna. I don’t think were an undisciplined team.”
“Stay out of the box,” he continued when asked what he says to his team. “[When that doesn’t happen] you kill them [off].”
Many of the penalties were momentum killing penalties that came at incredibly inopportune times in the game. It seemed that just about every time the 67’s looked as if they had a counter punch lined up, they were paraded to the box. Despite the eight penalties on the afternoon, Ottawa held the Frontenacs to just one goal on the man advantage, and impressive feat considering the firepower that the Fronts had on the ice at all times. No matter the circumstances, cutting down on the time spent in the penalty box will be one of Cameron’s top priorities going forward.
Dylan Robinson Performing at High Level
In the 67’s opening game of the season, Dylan Robinson was the lone member of the team to register a goal. During that game, he was issued a five-game suspension, but since coming back, he has been a man on a mission. Through his five games this season, Robinson has already set a new career-high in goals in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with three, and has added an additional two assists bringing him to a point per game early in the new season.
Since his return to the lineup, Robinson has been very good and has frequently made a big impact on the game even when he isn’t scoring. He came into the season as somewhat of an unknown for the 67’s after missing the vast majority of the 2019-20 season and then of course the lost 2020-21 season. Having played only 45 OHL games in his two previous seasons, it was really hard to gauge what exactly they would get out of Robinson.
His early success shouldn’t be classified as a surprise with how much talent he has shown to have in the past, but it is certainly a welcome addition to the lineup. Robinson was acquired via trade with the Oshawa Generals ahead of the 2019-20 season in exchange for two second-round picks and a third-round pick. It was clear then that the 67’s thought he could be a difference maker in the OHL, and so far this season, that has been the case. Another win for their scouting department.
Deserving the Win
In sports, there are those losses that you hate and then there are those losses that you look at and can’t be too upset with. No one ever wants to lose, but the 67’s probably deserved to beat the Frontenacs on Saturday afternoon, they just didn’t the the bounce they needed. They put in a full 60-minute effort and created many scoring chances, but they didn’t catch the breaks.
“I had the one-timer at the end and kinda fanned on it and then a couple close calls at the end with the six-on-five we were in their zone, and then another power play earlier in the period,” said 67’s forward Cam Tolnai. “It is frustrating. They got the good bounces tonight, but hopefully next game we get those.”
Against a Kingston team that is supposed to hold a distinct advantage over the 67’s, they have held their own this season. On Saturday in particular, Ottawa held the advantage in the shots category, outshooting the Frontenacs 32-23. This was just one of those games that you look at and you have to acknowledge the effort and say the opponent did just enough to get the win. Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
Good Weekend Despite Split
A series split against you biggest rival isn’t always the best result, but on this particular weekend, you have to look at the split as a success for the 67’s. Everyone would love to come away with all four points, but other than the first period in Friday night’s game in Kingston, Ottawa controlled the game. They deserved better, but usually you get the results you deserve. The 67’s will be back in action at TD Place Arena in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 5 against the Peterborough Petes, the first time Ottawa and Peterbourugh will meet this season.