It wasn’t the most consistent regular season for the Ottawa 67’s, but despite facing some adversity the team is off to the post-season for a third straight season. They finished seventh in the eastern conference and draw one of the elite teams in the conference, the Mississauga Steelheads, in the first round of the OHL playoffs. The 67’s will open the series on the road for games one and two on Friday and Sunday and return home to TD Place for games three and four of the series next Tuesday and Thursday.
Sudbury beats Mississauga so Ottawa will meet the Steelheads on Friday night at 7:00 on @TSN1200 for game 1 of round 1.
— Kenny Walls (@LongBallsWalls) March 22, 2017
Playing a Complete Game
Head coach and general manager Jeff Brown has preached all season long about playing a complete game and this was again the case on the final weekend of the regular season. With a 5-0 lead after two periods last Saturday against the Oshawa Generals, the 67’s let their foot off the gas and let the Generals back into the game as they scored two unanswered goals. When the playoffs start, the 67’s will have to ensure they don’t let their foot off the gas and play a full 60 minutes.
[miptheme_quote author=”Head Coach Jeff Brown after the 67’s game on Saturday.” style=”text-center”]Come playoff time, those games got to be lights out, third period, grind the clock down and its game over. They (Generals) completely dominated us in the third period, I can’t believe our guys did that, we played so well to get to where we wanted to. It’s back to the drawing board.[/miptheme_quote]
— Ottawa 67’s (@Ottawa67sHockey) March 18, 2017
Facing an opponent like the Steelheads who lead the eastern conference in goals scored with 240 during the regular season won’t be an easy task for the 67’s. The team will need to play a much more complete game than they have shown for stretches of the regular season.
Confidence and Excitement
The 67’s are full of confidence heading into their third straight post-season. The team has yet to make it past round two under Brown’s tenure as head coach — something they will be looking to fix this go-around in the playoffs. Brown believes his team can compete against all the team’s in the eastern conference and the results speak to that — the 67’s have wins against the eastern leaders Peterborough Petes, Generals and the Steelheads.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 6, 2017
After the 67’s last regular season win against the Generals, Brown spoke about his team competing against some of the best teams in the eastern conference.
“We are excited about the playoffs, there are teams that are pretty good on our side but we’ve competed against them all. We get on a little bit of a roll, you just never know what could happen.” Brown told the media.
For Colorado Avalanche prospect and 67’s captain Travis Barron, this is the first time he is leading his team into the post-season. After two consecutive years of first round exits in the OHL playoffs at the hands of the Niagara IceDogs, Barron and the 67’s are ready for more post-season success.
“Every game is a war, every game is the biggest game of the series. You can’t take any game for granted, you don’t know what is going to happen every shift, every second is crucial for the series. It’s tough losing to Niagara two years in a row, but I am really excited and looking forward to giving everything I have to push us past the first round.” Barron told the media after the 67’s faced the Generals last Saturday.
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) January 25, 2017
Facing a tough Steelheads team, which has seven NHL prospects on its roster, won’t be an easy task. With the 67’s having played a tough set of games just to get into the playoffs, the team should be battle tested for the pressures of a seven-game series. This will be a series to watch and the 67’s will be looking for the upset against a team that some have picked to be in the OHL Final this year.