Travis Konecny scored the lone goal in the shootout displaying his quick hands and undeniable skill to give the 67’s a crucial 3-2 shootout win over the Bulls in Belleville tonight.
A crucial two points gives them a two point lead over the Niagara IceDogs and tied in 7th place with the Mississauga Steelheads. The two clubs have a game in hand on the 67’s and faceoff against each other tomorrow night.
Returning to the lineup was veteran forward Ryan Van Stralen who was sidelined 5 games with an injury. While Van Stralen was the only one who missed 5 games, the whole team appeared to be rusty for the first half of the contest. They were outshot 12-5 in the opening frame. Another early penalty dictated the pace of the period and the 67’s were kept in it against by goaltender Phillippe Trudeau.
“[Trudeau]'s a good goalie and we're glad we got him at the start of the year. I think he's helped us win a lot of our games this year and it's definitely nice to have him back there,” Brett Gustavsen told TV Cogeco in the first intermission.
Aaron Berisha opened the scoring with a hard shot from the point after Niki Petti fed him with a nice backhanded pass from the net. It was 1-0 after 20 minutes.
“Not the period we wanted to have. We want to come out stronger in the second and especially the third. I think we came out with a bit of bus legs and now that they're out we've got to come back in the second,” Gustavsen commented on the weak start.
And following Gustavsen’s advice, the 67’s did just that. The 67’s registered more shots on net which created more scoring chances where Charlie Graham had to be sharp. Both goaltenders gave their teams a chance to win. But the 67’s finally connected on a one timer from Connor Brown trailing behind Erik Bradford who assisted on the play. Andrew Ming regained the Bulls’ lead when he banked in a rebound from Justin Bean’s point shot.
The 67’s captain would tie the game at 2 with 6:07 remaining in the third period. He tallied his 21st goal of the season off a pass from Bradford behind the net.
Nothing would be resolved in regulation nor in overtime. All players were denied in the shootout except for 67’s rookie sensation Travis Konecny who came through with another highlight reel goal to win the game.
The 67’s roadtrip continues into Saturday and Sunday this weekend with more big games in Barrie and Owen Sound. They return home on March 4th to host the Mississauga Steelheads in a big playoff impacting game.
Game sheet here.