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Ottawa, Ontario

Friday, December 28, 2007 - Monday, December 31, 2007

The tournament is the Bell Capital Cup, played in 31 different rinks in and around Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This years tournament featured 485 teams from all across the world, with teams from China, Russia, and Finland joining those from the US and Canada. Our Squirt A Binghamton Junior Senators was one of the lucky participants in the largest youth hockey tournament in the world.

Jill, Michael and I headed out on Friday morning, making the trek up 81 and across the border at Wellsley Island, before heading up the 401 and 416 to Ottawa. We stopped near the Scotiabank Place and found a Boston Pizza for lunch. A stop at Wal-Mart for boots for Michael and Jill (it's bit slushy and snowy in Canada) and we were off to our hotel. This trip, we stayed with the rest of the team at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Ottawa. It was a few kilometers from the rink, but well situated right in the heart of Ottawa, with Parliament Hill a few blocks away. As an added honor, Michael was chosen to play in the Major Atom B all-star game on Friday night at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena. He was one of three participants in the game (Jeremy Wilbur and Nate Walker the other two) representing the Sens in this game. Michael played on the blue team, wearing number 6. An odd number for a goalie, but after the result of this game it may be his new 'number'. He played part of the second and part of the third period, letting in one goal in that span of time. At the end of the game, Michael was awarded the Adam Harlow Trophy, which is awarded to The Scotiabank-Canadian Tire All-Star Game's top goaltender. Adam Harlow was a dedicated goalie for the Kemptville Panthers who died on March 24, 2002, at the tender age of 10. He is survived by his mother and father - Lajla and Bob -, and siblings Julie and Mark. A great honor for Mike!

Saturday morning was the Sens first game in tourney play. Michael was given the morning off as the Sens took on the Gloucester Blackhawks. The Sens were on the losing end of a 7-1 decision in this game.

In the afternoon, Jill and I took some time to walk around the area near the hotel, looking through the Byward Market, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Canadian Mint. We grabbed lunch at Zak's Diner before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the second game of the day.

Michael was starting the second game on Saturday, playing against the Aurora Tigers, a team from just north of Toronto who had amassed a 26-0-1 record up to that point in the season. Michael played the absolutely best hockey game of his career, stopping shot after shot, and only allowing one goal (which came after he made three great saves and his defense couldn't clear the puck). Unfortunately, the offense in front of him couldn't help out his great performance, and the Sens lost 1-0. Michael was awarded his second piece of hardware for the tournament, being named MVP of the game.

After Michael's game, Jill and I boot scooted to Scotiabank Place to watch the Ottawa Senators play the Washington Capitals. Surprisingly, for as much hockey that we travel and watch, this was the first NHL game we had ever been to at Scotiabank Place. We were here a few years back to watch the Binghamton Senators play, but this was the first time we got to experience this building filled to the rafters! Unfortunately, the O-Sens were unable to solve the player that is Ovechkin, and on the heels of his four goals, the Sens lost to the Capitals 8-6.

Sunday morning brought the third and final game of the tournament for the Junior Senators. The third opponent for the Sens were the Eperviers de Beauport, the only French Canadian team the Sens faced in the tourney. Michael played the second half of the game, giving up the only Beauport goal of the game when his defense hung him out to dry and he did his best to deal with a 2-0 break. Final score of the game was 4-1, Binghamton's only win of the tournament.

We hung around for a bit after the game to watch the skills competition, and then left in search for the Ottawa Civic Centre. A quick stop for a snack along the way at Tim Horton's, at it was back downtown. We found the Ottawa Civic Centre UNDER Frank Clair Stadium, the 28,826 seat football stadium in Ottawa. This has to be the strangest rink/arena we have ever been in, with one side of the rink rising up 30 rows, and the other half only 10 rows high since that side of the rink was situated under where the football stands were.

This would be Jill and I's second OHL game, and Michael's first, as we had gotten tickets for a matinee game between the Ottawa 67's and the Erie Otters. Our seats were about even with the blueline, somewhere close to the rafters (Upper 21, Row LL, Seats 14-16 - on the aisle)! Attendance on this day was 9,572, but it was a decidedly quiet crowd. Beyond the arena design, the other 'oddity' was the fact that the 67's had cheerleaders! Cheerleaders in hockey...I don't think so...thumbs down on that one. The home team finally won one, with the 67's shutting out the Otters 4-0.

After the game, it was back to the hotel. Most of the families had already headed back to Binghamton, but the Conrow's, Bailey's, and O'Neill's remained. All 14 of us treked across the street to the Lone Star for dinner, and after some problems with getting seated we had dinner together. At night, the boys headed down to the basement to play knee hockey, with parents in tow as spectators.

Monday morning, we packed up the car and did some last minute walking around and had a late breakfast at Zak's diner we started the trek south. We stopped in Cicero for lunch at the Plainville Turkey Farms before finally making it back to Binghamton around 5:00 on New Years Eve.

OTTAWA (AP) -Alexander Ovechkin found a constructive way to dull the pain of a freshly healing wound.

Ovechkin had four goals and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to an 8-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

The Russian star, who needed stitches to close a leg cut in Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss in Pittsburgh, scored a power-play goal 4:45 in to put Washington up 2-0. He added his second of the game early in the second before completing his first hat trick of the season in the third.

"Oh yeah, it was bothering me," Ovechkin said. "It was a little bit of pain but it's OK, I feel pretty good tonight. My parents were here, they arrived from Moscow and I was excited. It was a great time."

Ovechkin got his 30th goal of the season for his first career four-goal game on an empty net with 27.6 seconds remaining after he hit the outside of the net with a long shot moments earlier.

"What impresses me most is that he actually played tonight," Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig said. "If you guys would have seen the gash on his leg and I know a lot of guys were, not begging him but leaning towards, 'Hey, you think you can play tonight?' He had a lot of courage and he put on a heck of a show."

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau joked that Ovechkin might have earned himself a day off Sunday.

"I was looking for his skate to cut his other thigh, if that's what he's going to do every game," Boudreau said.

Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin each had a goal and two assists for Washington, which won both its games at Scotiabank Place this season.

Daniel Alfredsson scored twice for Ottawa, which ended a three-game winning streak. Jason Spezza also scored for the Senators, who had been 9-1-1 in their previous 11 games.

"It's frustrating to lose that one when we were kind of close and it was not a great game for us," Fisher said. "That would have been sweet to be able to come back but overall we've got to be better. We can't put ourselves in that position."

The Capitals, who won 4-1 in Ottawa on Nov. 8, have recorded standings points in five of their last six games despite only two wins.

Senators goalie Martin Gerber stopped 22 of 30 shots. Washington's Olaf Kolzig made 16 saves on 22 shots.

"It was definitely a ratings booster for the TV stations and I'm sure the fans got their money's worth, but I'm too old for these kind of games," Kolzig said. "It's going to force me to retire sooner than I want."

Backstrom scored his seventh goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the second to put the Capitals up 5-2.

Fisher scored a short-handed goal in the third to draw the Senators within 5-4 after Spezza scored earlier in the period to cut Washington's lead to two.

Nylander got his second of the game at 9:13 to make it 6-4, but Fisher's power-play goal at 12:36 cut the margin again to one.

Alfredsson scored his second goal of the game - his team-leading 24th - on a penalty shot midway through the second while the Senators were short-handed. He also scored a power-play goal in the first.

Notes: Ovechkin has three career hat tricks. His last was in a 3-2 win in Atlanta on Dec. 15, 2006. ... It was Fisher's first career hat trick.

Erie Otters 0 at Ottawa 67's 4 - Status: Final
Dec 30, 2007 - Ottawa Civic Centre

1st Period
Scoring - 1. Ottawa, C. Lindsay (8) (T. Cuma, J. Bailey) 15:53 2. Ottawa, M. Methot (10) (J. McGinn, T. Cuma) 19:13 PP
Penalties - N. Palmieri Er (elbowing) 2:37, T. Cuma Ott (hooking) 3:14, J. Demers Ott (holding) 3:14, N. Palmieri Er (holding opp. stick) 4:46, R. Ostrcil Ott (checking from behind) 8:04, S. Cowie Ott (tripping) 8:53, S. Szydlowski Er (slashing) 19:00

2nd Period
Scoring - 3. Ottawa, J. McGinn (20) (R. Ostrcil) 13:03 PP 4. Ottawa, M. Methot (11) (T. Kiriakou) 18:44 SH
Penalties - L. Gazdic Er (cross checking) 10:00, C. Lindsay Ott (tripping) 10:00, B. Shaw Er (tripping) 11:57, R. Ostrcil Ott (tripping) 15:49, T. Cuma Ott (delay of game) 16:57, M. Liambas Er (spearing, spearing) 18:56

3rd Period
Scoring - No Scoring
Penalties - J. Hodgman Er (unsportsmanlike cnd.) 9:53

ER Shots: 16 16 6 TOTAL: 38
OTT Shots: 14 16 12 TOTAL: 42

Power Play Conversion
Erie Otters 0-6. Ottawa 67's 2-7.

Erie Otters
Janus 5-14-2-1 Start: 1st 0:00 Min: 60:00 SV: 38 GA: 4 [L]

Ottawa 67's
Courchaine 13-10-1-2 Start: 1st 0:00 Min: 60:00 SV: 38 GA: 0 [W]

Start : 2:09 PM
End : 4:20 PM
Attendance : 9572
Referee I: Darren Price (3)
Referee II:
LINESMAN I: Tom Sweeney (56)
LINESMAN II: Eric Mainville (78)

Total Mileage: 650 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
127,568 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: November 9, 2009