Alrighty, it was my first - and mostly last - OHL game of the year tonight. The purpose of said trip to Ottawa was to see Misshy. Yes, I trekked all the way to Ottawa to see a baby Hab.
But before we get to Misshy, you get to hear all about the game and all that lovely stuff!
First, no pics because I stupidly left my camera at home by accident. Yes, I had a fit when I realized it while I was half way to Ottawa.....
Second, I want to say that I LOVE this arena. I love it. It's a really nice arena. It's kinda weird because there's a short side and a not short side. Basically half of the building slopes away so on one half you only have a few rows of seating, while on the other half you have a ton of seating. Apparently they nicknamed the lower half "the asylum" because it can get a little crazy down there (I got to witness some of this when the Petes took a time out in OT and the fans behind the bench started whacking drums. I dont' get the point of this but it was amusing). I stayed on the not short side where the views are better.
Also, I have to hand it to Ottawa. At least for tonight, the 67s had a really solid number of fans. Was very impressed to see the turnout for the game. My Hammies and Juniors envy you (my Juniors also want to trade buildings with you). I guess it's easier just to go to a 67s game than to trek out to KANATA where The Cave is (yes, I just dissed the Sens). The atmosphere was great (was very entertained by the group of people behind me. I could tell how much they had been drinking by the number of swear words they kept adding to their conversation. Not to mention the conversation made no sense by the end of the game).
If all OHL teams have this kind of support - and I know a lot of them do - then wow... the OHL is awesome. It's up to you, Voltigeurs to restore my love for the Q in February. Right now, I'm loving the OHL. Anyone feel like funding a trip to Kingston to see the Frontenacs/Petes next week? Hmmmmm?
A few complaints though (because I'm me and I need to complain sometimes): 1) I hate their cheer. "Let's go Siiixiiiity-Seeveeens let's go!" (I can't even describe properly how annoying it was) is the most annoying and catchiest cheer around. GUH. 2) get those cheerleaders out of there. Even they looked embarrassed to be there. 3) They need do something better about their entertainment in-between periods. Having random kids "sing" for a reason that I couldn't understand because the MC guy was having trouble speaking was just annoying. As was the group of well....they weren't exactly "scantily clad" dancers, but they were on the ice in freaking heels and they were waving pom poms and they looked stupid. They kept falling on the ice too. For a team that makes their zamboni drivers wear helmets (not lying) letting these girls out there in heels is just stupid. Get them out of there.
It was pretty funny looking at the goalies. Misshy is huge while the 67s goalie is... well.. not. Misshy could kneel down and still be at the same height as Perugini (and yes, I just now looked up Perugini's height. He's generously listed at 5'10). I figured if Misshy dropped the gloves with Perugini, he could just step on him and squash him.
Anyway, the game got off to a good start. It was evident that the Petes had played last night (they won 5-1 against Belleville at home). Their passes were a little off and they just seemed a little tired. Still, shots were even after the first period with the Petes enjoying a 1-0 lead. Heelis scored while Perugini was being obstructed by his own player. Hey, I can't help it if the guy's teammates want to help out the Petes.
It was really only a matter of time before the 67s scored though. And they did about 5 mins into the second period. Someone's head was in my way so I didn't get a great view, it but looked like Misshy wasn't hugging the post enough. That or he misplayed his angles and the puck went into the far corner. Like I said, someone's head was in my way and I missed the replay (oh yes, we get nice replays at the Urbandale Centre). I was also distracted by the incredibly ugly goal horn. I've never heard anything so ugly in all my brief time as a hockey fan. Hands down, the ugliest goal horn ever. ANYWAY.... A minute later, Breen got what looked like a kinda weak goal on Peruguni (I gotta be honest, I kept reading "Penguin" when I looked at the back of his jersey). The Petes were sort of controlling the play and one just shot the puck at the net. It must have deflected in or else Peruguni was totally not ready for that shot. Anyway, weak goal made it 2-1 for the Petes. Apparently holding leads is not the Petes thing however. Just a minute after that, the 67s score again. I really blocked this one from memory so I don't know what happened here. Pretty sure it went glove side on a pretty much half open net. I can tell you I was worried about the Petes at this point because they were looking drained. Officially, the 67s had outshot the Petes 18-9. Despite the two goals he let in, Misshy was making some big stops too. Essentially, he was the reason why his team was not losing.
In fact! his team started winning again in the third period. Larson had a gorgeous goal when Perugini imitated a penguin and flopped all around his crease and Larson skated around him and popped the puck into the back of the net. Whoo! Fast forward until the end of the game. There's just over two mins left. The Petes get a PP. Great chance to put the game away, right? Right. Well, it was PP fail night as neither team had scored on the PP and the Petes failed. No big deal. They still controlled the play and time was winding down.... Okay so the 67s got to pull their goalie. No biggie. Someone just needs to shoot the puck down the ice, hit the empty net and.... miss the net and get the icing call? Not what I had in mind, boys. So the 67s get an offensive zone faceoff with just 7 seconds left in the game. The Petes just had to hang on for 7 seconds. How hard would that be? Riiight, well, you see, the Petes weren't holding any leads tonight. It was amazing that they had held this lead for as long as they did. Well, the 67s won the faceoff, controlled the play,everyone crowded Misshy and he couldn't control the puck and............ blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! went that damn goal horn and it was a tied game. There went my hopes of leaving Ottawa early.
OT was stressful as the 67s enjoyed a PP. Thankfully some more PP fail and some nice defensive and Misshy kept the puck out of the net. Shootout time.
I didn't think that Misshy would do well. I'll explain more why after, but he's not great at this whole movement thing. Anyway, as it turned out, Misshy stopped two of the 67s players while another one shot the puck wide. On the other end Spooner scored and Perugini sorta stopped Daley. As Flandersdude would say: do the math and the Petes won the game.
YAAAAAAAAAAY! Ole ole ole! Ole ole ole!
My totally NON-expert opinion of Misshy
Obviously Misshy isn't a puny guy. He's a bloody giant out there. As such, it's not a surprise that movement is one area that needs work. He doesn't move as well as some the other guys out there. There were a couple of instances where he had to make a diving sprawl to get from one post to the other. Looked great, but it shouldn't have been needed. Yes, goalies get caught out of position, but Misshy was getting caught more often that I would have liked (hey, at least he gets support from his defense).
I wasn't happy with his puck control tonight. I'm not talking rebounds. I'm talking actual control. There were about half a dozen times when he had the puck, seemed in control, and lost the puck. This wouldn't be too bad if the puck wasn't somehow landing about a foot away from him. Picture that big mistake by Jake at the Worlds. Misshy has control issues like that. They didn't really cost him too much (well, I think if he had controlled the puck better at the end of the game, I wouldn't have had to stress out over OT and a shootout but that goal was not just his fault) but that's something to think about.
Also, I've never noticed a goalie where the pucks seemed to bounce off him and straight up into the air before. It's hard to explain but it seemed quite a few pucks bounced off him and went straight up, leaving everyone to scramble for it. I noticed on one occasion he tried to deflect the puck off his arm and instead of bouncing away, it went straight up and he was forced to catch it with his glove (rather reminiscent of baseball players catching the ball). I don't know if this always happens with him and I don't know how this can be fixed. If it happened once or even twice, I wouldn't be concerned. But it happened at least three maybe four times. It left everyone scrambling for the puck right in front of his net and on at least one of the times it nearly plopped into the back of the net.
While I think the second 67s goal actually went in glove side, Misshy does have a glove hand (unlike Vesa on most nights) and it did work. He had a few really nice glove saves.
Despite some of the technical issues, he kept the Petes in the game. Particularly in the second period where the 67s completely dominated the game.