By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
It may not have been the way the Generals wanted to win, but it was a win nonetheless.
After squandering a two-goal lead in the third period, it took Matt Brassard a mere 13 seconds into overtime to give Oshawa a 4-3 win over the Ottawa 67s on Sunday, Jan. 28.
Coming in from the blueline, Brassard fed a pass to captain Jack Studnicka, who immediately returned the favour, giving Brassard an angle to rip a shot past Ottawa goalie Olivier Tremblay.
Serron Noel kicked off the scoring, netting his 18th of the year at 15:48 of the first period.
Around the seven-minute mark of the second period, Ottawa’s Tye Felhaber tied the things up 1-1.
However, just under two minutes later, Kenny Huether scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season on the powerplay with assists from Nick Wong and Brassard.
Not to be outdone, Wong would add his 14th of the season at 15:36 to give the Generals a two-goal lead.
The 67s kept the pressure on and scored twice in the third to tie the game up again, silencing the 5,200 fans in attendance who had been loud for the majority of the game.
Despite some late chances, the Generals were not able to solve Tremblay and the game went to overtime, where Brassard quickly put things to bed.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Oshawa, capped by a 5-1 road defeat to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night.
After the excitement from Brassard’s goal subsided, assistant coach Greg Nemisz didn’t give his team’s performance a glowing endorsement.
“There was no reason for us to get into overtime with a two-goal lead in the third. We just stop playing the right way, and we were lucky to come out on top,” Nemisz said post game.
To him, the team needs to get back into a “defensive mindset”.
“We’ve been giving up way too many scoring chances, luckily we’ve had good goaltending,” Nemisz stated.
The Gens have found themselves outshot in their past 10 games, surrendering more than 40 shots in four of those meetings.
Nemisz says the strong play of Kyle Keyser has kept them in a number of games lately.
“He’s one of the major reasons we got two points tonight. He stood on his head to allow us to get into that game.”
Defensive struggles aside, Nemisz says overall he feels the team has been “playing pretty good hockey” so far in the season’s second half. Since returning from an extended break during the holiday season, the Gens have posted an 8-6 record.
“Our last little stretch we’ve been playing some pretty good teams and we didn’t get the results we wanted.”
With Sunday’s win, the Gens currently sit with 49 points, good enough for third in the OHL’s East Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference.
With just about six weeks left in the season, Nemisz says its time for the team to bear down and prepare for the playoff push.
Oshawa will have a busy weekend, heading out to Kingston and Peterborough before returning to the Tribute Communities Centre on Sunday, Feb. 4 to host the Windsor Spitfires at 2:05 p.m.