One final duel with the 67’s
Oshawa, Ont., – A relief for some maybe, the Ottawa 67’s will make their final visit to the Tribute Communities Centre on Friday night… in the regular season.
In what is still a first-round OHL playoff preview, the Generals will hope to end their season against the 67’s on a high – a win would be just their second in eight tries against the league-best team from Ottawa. Up one point on the Kingston Frontenacs, any result other than a regulation loss to the 67’s must be seen as a positive at this point.
Both the Generals and Frontenacs are in some dark stretches of results, with Kingston winning just one game in their last 14 while the Generals have won just two over the same stretch.
Can Oshawa increase their lead over the Frontenacs for 8th or will it be their eighth straight loss? Puck drop on the St. Patrick’s Day special game night is scheduled for 7:35.
Both teams’ last action was just two days ago, on Wednesday, March 15th in Ottawa, against each other. It was Oshawa’s last regular season trip to the Arena at TD Place, and it was another trip to forget. Like so many times this year, it was actually the Generals coming out to a hot start. The first 10 minutes, Oshawa held possession in Ottawa’s zone for extended periods of time, hemming a forecheck deep into the 67’s zone. Stuart Rolofs opened the scoring with his 31st of the season, but it was downhill from there. Ottawa woke up and rattled off five straight goals and never looked back. Ottawa took the game 8-3 and got that much closer to clinching the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. Oshawa’s loss was their seventh straight.
Players to Watch: Oshawa
Stuart Rolofs: Just about the only Generals forward in the head of the 67’s has to be Stuart Rolofs. With nine points in seven games against Ottawa this season, Rolofs has been the driving force of any Oshawa offence against the 67’s. On Wednesday afternoon, Rolofs scored goals 31 and 32 on the season, and assisted on Ryan Gagnier’s 28th of the season, getting in on all three goals. Rolofs leads the team in goals with 32, and trails Gagnier for the team lead in points by seven.
Ben Danford: You might not notice him on the ice all the time, but as a young rookie defenceman in the OHL, that’s usually a good thing. Nearing the end of his first season in the OHL, Ben Danford has been turning heads all over the league with his explosive skating ability and hockey IQ. In 59 games, Danford has shown flashes of his offensive abilities as well, putting up 20 points, 17 of which come the way of assists. Every team wants to have that dependable play-making quarterback on their blueline, and the Generals seem to have exactly that in Danford.
Player to Watch: Ottawa
Will Gerrior: Single-handily taking the Generals out on Wednesday was a hattrick from Will Gerrior. The Ottawa, Ont., native exploded for a career-best three goals on Wednesday afternoon, scoring his first ever hattrick. In 64 games this season, Gerrior has set new career highs in goals with 13, assists with 21, and points with 34. In seven games against the Generals, Gerrior has six points.