Playoff Hockey In Ottawa As 67’s Clinch, Fight For Third


For every low-point the 67’s have hit over the past two years outside the playoff picture, it seems as though the Battalion franchise has always been there at the peak to rub their nose in it.

In February 2013, the then-Brampton Battalion not only shut out the 67’s, but held them out of the shots column for the first 26 minutes of the game.  The loss officially clinched last place for Ottawa.

In March of 2014, needing a win to force a one-game playoff on the last day of the season, the soon-to-be North Bay Battalion, benching three regulars, still managed to embarrass the Barberpoles with a 12-1 win, ending Ottawa’s season.

Finally, it looks like the tables might be turning.

The current struggles of the Battalion aren’t as catastrophic as the 67’s collapse a year ago, and it isn’t the tipping point that will cause them to spiral downwards.

But it is what it is; the Battalion, heavy buyers at the deadline, are starting to falter, and the 67’s, who were petty sellers, have passed them, have an easy week upcoming and have clinched a playoff spot first.

Scoreboard watching

With a playoff spot clinched, all that’s left to watch is the race with North Bay; Niagara isn’t likely to catch either team and Oshawa has won the division, ensuring the 67’s can’t finish top-two.

North Bay has three winnable games this year against good but non-powerhouse Barrie, Kitchener and Niagara, while Ottawa faces off with the three worst teams in the West.

Jeff Brown on clinching a playoff spot:  “It’s not me, it’s the players.  When they buy in and play for one another and become a team, that’s what it’s all about.  It’s fun to be able to stand behind the bench.”

Ottawa got the “x” beside their name in the OHL’s standings page Sunday after another Mississauga loss, but their 7-3 win over the Steelheads on Saturday guaranteed a spot (even if Ottawa lost out and Mississauga won out from that point, Peterborough would’ve been bumped out).

This could be a fun time for the junior ranks in the Nation’s Capital.

Remember, the last time the 67’s reached the postseason, their best playoff performers through the first two rounds were Cody Ceci and Shane Prince.

Image courtesy of Valerie Wutti