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Ottawa 67’s end Bulldogs season after Game 6 victory

Brantford BulldogsOttawa 67's end Bulldogs season after Game 6 victory

Brantford Bulldogs season came to an end after the Ottawa 67’s won game six of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

For the first time in the series, the 67’s struck first, taking the early lead on the power-play just 4:47 into the game with Will Gerrior striking for his second of the post season coming from Jack Dever and Brady Stonehouse to give the 67’s a 1-0 lead. The hosts doubled their lead at 13:22 with Brady Stonehouse tossing a shot to the front of the net that deflected on the way through, coming off of Matteo Drobac and landing for Jack Dever who recorded his second of the postseason to take a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. 

The middle frame saw the Bulldogs get an early jump, out-shooting the 67’s by an 8-1 margin close to the halfway point but Collin MacKenzie held the 67’s outfront. Ottawa extended their lead at 15:50 as Bradley Horner took the puck out of a pile off the left wing boards, strode into the left circle and hit the back of the net for his second of the series, giving Ottawa a 3-0 lead heading into the final frame.

The Bulldogs opened the third period on the power-play and at 1:04, Owen Protz held the puck onside at the left point skating down the wall where he exchanged with Marek Vanacker. While getting the power-play unit set in the offensive zone, Vanacker gave the puck to Zakary Lavoie skating in off the right point and down through the circle where he whistled a drive over MacKenzie’s shoulder for his fourth of the series to get Brantford back within a pair at 3-1.

Ottawa quickly moved to close the door however at 6:26 as Luca Pinelli and Jacob Maillet combined to find Will Gerrior on the right side who’s shot made it over Drobac’s shoulder and tucked under the crossbar to restore the three goal Ottawa lead at 4-1. With time ticking away, the Bulldogs pulled Matteo Drobac to the bench with just over five minutes to go. After chances for Lardis and Lavoie were turned aside, Bradley Horner caught up to a Samuel Mayer clearance and tossed it into the open goal, putting Ottawa up 5-1 at 15:23. Chris Barlas added one more for the hosts at 19:19 to close out the series with the 67’s taking Game Six, 6-1. 

With the series coming to a close, the Bulldogs said goodbye to a special group of overage players. Captain Lawson Sherk, became the seventh captain in Bulldogs history to open the 2023-24 season. Having been a key part of the 2022 OHL Championship team, Sherk became just the second Bulldog in franchise history to skate in 250 games. The consummate leader, Sherk leaves the Bulldogs as one of the most respected locker room presences in team history.

Goaltender Matteo Drobac will graduate from the Bulldogs holding five franchise records, including: most wins, games played, minutes played, saves and shots faced by a Bulldogs goaltender. Another member of the 2022 OHL Champions, Drobac has been one of the most prolific netminders in Bulldogs history.

Though Daniil Sobolev only played a half season with the Bulldogs, he’ll graduate from the team having been a big part in the development of a young group of blueliners who have looked up to him and learned tremendously from him right from his arrival. 

“The Bulldogs would like to say thank you to our graduating players and to all our fans who have followed along from the very beginning in our new home in Brantford. A tough end won’t diminish a tremendous season for the Brantford Bulldogs.”

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