Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ottawa 67s 6 at Oshawa Generals 2 (OHL) - November 22, 2015


After watching the Beast knock off the Komets in ECHL afternoon action, I headed back east along the 401 along with about half of Toronto. Seriously, how can there be a traffic jam on a Sunday evening? Why isn't everyone home watching the CFL playoffs? Anyway, the traffic wasn't THAT bad  and I made it to Oshawa about ten minutes before the scheduled 6:05 puck drop.



The Oshawa Generals play out of the General Motors Centre, which is not a coincidence. Oshawa is the headquarters of General Motors Canada and the team is named for the company, which was a sponsor way back in 1937. The arena, opened in  2006, is located in downtown Oshawa, with plenty of free street parking in the vicinity.



The cheapest seat on game day is $21 for a bowl seat, which are the sections outside the blue lines. I found the drink rail (below) to be less crowded and spent most of the game there, it is open to all as tickets are not sold for these spots.



My view from the drink rail in the southwest corner is below. Prospects Bar and Grill is another interesting area; it is a restaurant above the seating bowl between the blue lines (you can see it in the middle right of the below photo) that offers full service during the game and has a few TVs tuned to other sports. Tickets are sold in groups of 4 ($26-$34 each on game day) and this might make an interesting evening out for a group of friends. Other food options are pretty basic, but there are two concessions that stand out: a carvery and a protein/veggie setup that both looked quite tempting.



The GM Centre has no shortage of historical touches. First is the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame next to the main entrance. This collection of memorabilia is very impressive for its breadth in sports covered and attention to detail. Bobby Orr played for the Generals and his jersey is on display, among many others.



History is not limited to the Hall of Fame, around the top of the concourse you will see the Ring of Excellence, which is a series of posters honouring players who have gone on to the NHL, such as Alex Delvecchio.



Throughout the building, there are plaques that honour those inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most of these are pencil drawings and quite impressive. You really should get here early and take your time to look around.



Also note the large number of banners in the rafters; the Generals are one of the most successful junior clubs, with five Memorial Cup titles to their name, including the most recent one last season. As an aside, I attended their 1990 win over Kitchener at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton; it remains one of the best hockey games I have ever seen.



The game on this day wasn't that exciting, but it was very entertaining, particularly when compared to the ECHL match I had seen earlier in the day. First, Ottawa scored just 11 seconds in when Oshawa turned the puck over in their own end and Sam Studnicka passed to Trent Mallette (son of Troy) who was all alone in front and he eventually buried it behind Jeremy Brodeur (below, son of Martin). Man, am I old.



The 67s added a second marker when Dante Salituro, recently released from a tryout contract with Columbus, converted a perfect 2-on-1 pass from Travis Konecny (Philadelphia's 1st-round pick this year, 24th overall). Oshawa scored on a goalmouth scramble in the second to make it 2-1, but Ottawa replied quickly when Salituro and Konecny combined with Jeremy Addison (drafted 207th overall by Montreal this year) on a pro-level passing play to regain the two-goal advantage. Before the period was out, Ottawa had another when two Generals collided in their own end, allowing Konecny to feed Nathan Todd who drove the puck home.

The third period started with Brodeur being replaced by Logan Gauthier, and the Generals responded with a goal but then took a penalty immediately thereafter and Ottawa capitalized, with Salituro notching his second with another assist from Konecny. Oshawa pulled Gauthier with 3 minutes left, but this only allowed Salituro to get his hat trick on the empty netter, assisted yet again by Konecny who finished with five helpers on the night.



The game took just 2:10, with only one timeout per period and none of that time-wasting scuffling after every whistle that mars the minor leagues. Having seen an ECHL game on the same day, there is no doubt that the OHL is far more entertaining.

Notes

The urinals had a hockey net to improve your aim. Brings out the hockey player in all of us. Well, all of us guys at least.

This was my 600th venue lifetime. Hoping to get to 700 in early 2017. 

Next Up

I'm returning to Mississauga tomorrow to see the newest team in the NBA's D-League, Raptors 905 and then heading to Peterborough on Thursday to see the OHL's Petes before flying to Winnipeg for the Grey Cup on Sunday. Check back for recaps of all the excitement!

Best,

Sean

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