OHL: Olympiques outlast 67’s in chilly outdoor game

OTTAWA, ON – A Mitchell Balmas hat trick sealed the deal for the Gatineau Olympiques in the first ever outdoor junior hockey game in Ontario. They beat the Ottawa 67’s – and the cold – in front of 11,671 fans Sunday evening.

Despite the two teams doing battle in separate leagues, this interleague game had points up for grabs in each team’s respective standings. For the 67’s, the loss drops their overall record to 15-15-2-1.

The Olympiques got on the board first in the opening seconds of the second period. Shawn Boudrias advanced the puck in front of the Ottawa net, and dished a pass to Balmas for the game’s first goal.

Kody Clark would even things up at 13:39 – he formed the Clark(e) connection, taking the pass from Graeme Clarke and rifling home the game’s tying goal.

But the game wasn’t tied for long, as Gatineau had a quick answer and re-took the lead again. Balmas notched his second goal of the contest by swiping at a loose puck in the slot to get it passed a sprawling Olivier Tremblay.

Ottawa continued to apply the majority of the pressure in the second frame, but couldn’t get any opportunities to tickle the twine and the Olympiques kept their lead.

Gatineau had a goal disallowed, which kept the score close until the dying minutes of the game. Then, with five minutes to go, the Olympiques had a dagger come off the stick of Boudrias. A wrist shot from the right side that went off the far post and in for a 3-1 lead.

They would add a fourth goal – the third of the night for Balmas – to take the first leg of this rivalry set at TD Place.