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Monday, July 15, 2024

Ottawa 67’s Brad Gardiner follows within the footsteps of pop, Bruce Specific Instances

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The earlier time Brad Gardiner stepped onto the ice floor at Canadian Tire Centre — one 12 months earlier, to the minute — he had but to be drafted by an NHL workforce and his dad’s former jersey quantity was not hanging from the constructing’s rafters.

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It was, nevertheless, a much more gratifying expertise for Gardiner and his Ottawa 67’s teammates than Wednesday’s “College Day” conflict with the Kingston Frontenacs.

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Precisely 12 months after instructing the Frontenacs a factor or two with a 7-1 spanking that improved their document to 16-1, the 67’s have been schooled by the Frontenacs in a 5-1 closing earlier than 14,583 principally screaming followers, who have been simply comfortable to get out of sophistication for the morning.

The end result dropped the 67’s to 10-6-1, whereas the Frontenacs moved to inside a degree of them at 10-9-0.

In the meantime, it’s fairly attainable that a minimum of a part of the post-game “debrief” Gardiner had along with his previous man fell on deaf ears.

First, for many who don’t know, Brad Gardiner is the son of Bruce Gardiner — a hard-working, likeable, entertaining and really assured centre who spent most of his 312-game NHL profession with the Ottawa Senators from 1996 till he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for winger Colin Forbes on Nov. 11, 1999.

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Bruce Gardiner wore No. 25 earlier than it belonged to Chris Neil, whose jersey quantity was retired after his 1,026-game profession spent solely with the Senators.

Gardiner’s son is the spit and picture of him, proper right down to their measurement, as Bruce performed at 6-foot-1, 185 kilos and Brad is listed on the similar top and 4 kilos heavier.

The 2 are additionally fairly shut.

When Bruce Gardiner, an 18-year member of the Barrie Police Service, can’t make it to the video games, he normally calls Brad, each earlier than and after them.

“Each occasionally will probably be good and each occasionally (on the post-game name) I’ll put the telephone just a little farther from my ear … I don’t like listening to it on a regular basis,” Brad mentioned with a chuckle earlier this week. “Most of time, it’s fairly optimistic.”

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As needs to be the case.

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A 3rd-round decide of the 67’s in 2021, the junior Gardiner was a third-round decide of the Dallas Stars this previous June after scoring 19 objectives and 20 assists whereas registering a plus-19 in enjoying in all 68 video games in the course of the 2022-23 season.

In 17 video games to this point this season, he has 4 objectives and 10 assists whereas usually working as sniper Luca Pinelli’s set-up man on common shifts and the facility play.

Coach Dave Cameron says it took Gardiner a short time to get his footing this season, prefer it does for many gamers who’re coming back from the joy of a NHL camp.

“He’s been actual good these days,” Cameron mentioned of Gardiner earlier than Wednesday’s sport. “He’s all the time in nice form, however the largest step ahead that he’s taken is along with his puck poise. He’s holding onto pucks. He’s enjoying like a professional centreman. He’s in the course of the ice. His sport is progressing and it’s his poise with the puck that’s made the most important leap.”

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Gardiner says his good pal, former teammate and fellow Aurora product Thomas Sirman, gave him No. 25 a few years in the past so he might proceed to put on it in honour of his dad, who has been an amazing affect all through his profession.

“He has helped so much by way of the entire course of,” Gardiner mentioned of his father. “From my first 12 months within the OHL, the second 12 months with the draft and the strain with that, and now the brand new objectives and new targets you set, getting contracts and being an older participant on this workforce. I feel he helps so much as I’m rising as a participant and an individual.”

Directions Gardiner obtained from the Stars weren’t particular to 1 space, however simply to work on his sport consistently.

“I feel principally simply getting higher every day,” he mentioned. “Clearly, my linemates assist me so much and Dave’s an amazing coach to have the ability to assist me, our assistants as effectively. Simply getting higher and and changing into extra of a professional participant day-after-day, and simply the mentality coming to the rink. I’m slowly getting there.”

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Sluggish is an effective phrase to explain how the 67’s began on Wednesday, and from there issues acquired worse earlier than they acquired higher.

The Frontenacs opened the scoring close to the halfway mark by way of the primary interval when Jacob Battaglia — an influence ahead who wears No. 88 and has been in comparison with Eric Lindros — put a transfer on defenceman Derek Smyth then skated across the Ottawa internet earlier than centring a cross underneath Smyth’s stick with Paul Ludwinski, who one-timed it dwelling for his eight purpose of the season.

Nathan Poole scored the one different purpose of the interval with a shorthanded effort lower than three minutes later, earlier than the 67’s have been outscored 3-0 — on objectives by Tyler Hopkins, Jacob Holmes and Linus Hemstrom — whereas being outshot 15-6 within the second.

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The 67’s had a flicker of life within the third interval with Kaleb Lawrence scoring the lone purpose as they outshot the guests 12-7.

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TIC-TAC-TOE

The 67’s have been with out goalie Collin MacKenzie, who was shaken up within the second interval of Ottawa’s victory over Sarnia on Sunday. Ottawa product Matthew Saari dressed because the backup to Max Donoso, who stopped 28 photographs … Returning to Canadian Tire Centre has change into previous hat for Cameron, an assistant with the Senators for 3 seasons earlier than taking on from the fired Paul MacLean and staying on as head coach for one more 21/2 campaigns. However for Kingston coach Troy Mann, it was the primary time standing behind a bench within the constructing because the Senators unceremoniously dumped him because the coach of their AHL affiliate in Belleville on the finish of final season. “It has no impact anymore as a result of I’ve been again, I’ve been again (as an assistant) with Calgary, and I used to be on the (Senators) sport final week with L.A.,” Cameron mentioned. “It’s all the time good to return again as a result of there’s nonetheless a variety of good folks working there that have been there after I was there and I contemplate them buddies. It’s all the time thrilling to get to it and NHL constructing. It’s only a nice expertise for everyone, however while you’re an previous coot like me it’s been there, finished that.” … Up subsequent for the 67’s are video games Friday in opposition to Brantford (7 p.m.) and Saturday in opposition to Mississauga (3 p.m.). The 67’s and Frontenacs hook up for a “College Day” sport in Kingston Nov. 29 at 10:30 a.m.

dbrennan@postmedia.com

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