MacKenzie backstops impressive shutout win for 67’s over Oshawa

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If you’re asking the Ottawa 67’s, it’s probably good to have Collin MacKenzie back.

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After missing 11 games due to injury, the 67’s star netminder returned to the crease on Friday night at TD Place, pitching a 33-save shutout as his team routed the Oshawa Generals 5-0.

Five different scorers came through for the home side, while MacKenzie backstopped them to a key divisional victory. It’s the seventh win in eight tries over the Generals, as the 67’s moved to just one point behind them for second place in the Ontario Hockey League’s East Division.

MacKenzie’s first-star performance was kicked off by a Kimi Körbler goal, just 2:05 in, converting a Chris Barlas faceoff win, as he dangled his sixth of the season past Jacob Oster to open the scoring.

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On their second power play of the opening frame, Henry Mews made a cross-ice feed to Sam Mayer, and the overage defenceman blasted home a one-timer home for his 20th of the campaign.

Just 40 seconds into the middle period, Jacob Maillet’s first home goal with the 67’s made it 3-0. The Generals appeared to get back into the game soon after, but a would-be goal was waved off after a lengthy review because of a high stick.

Chris Barlas celebrates his goal against the Oshawa Generals. (Photo by Tim Austen/Ottawa 67’s)

On the ensuing faceoff, Barlas skated in on a two-on-one, beating Oster with a high-blocker shot, for a 4-0 lead.

The scoring was ended at the 4:23 mark, of the second thanks to a slick goal by Jack Dever. He snuck in behind the Oshawa defence, and received a Brad Gardiner pass all alone in front of the net.

Oshawa tried to rally, outshooting Ottawa 12-6 in the third, but MacKenzie and the 67’s held firm, for the decisive win.

The 67’s face a tough test on Saturday, with the league-leading London Knights in town for a 3 p.m. puck drop.

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