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Attack collapse in North Bay

The Owen Sound Attack kicked off their northern road trip in disappointing fashion on Thursday night, letting a 2-0 lead slip away and allowing the North Bay Battalion to come all the way back before Justin Brazeau sealed a 3-2 overtime victory for the troops.

A pair of goals by Brady Lyle in his return to his hometown wasn’t enough for the Attack, who squandered a two goal advantage in the 3rd period after dominating the first two frames.

Playing on the North Bay Memorial Garden ice for the 1st time since being traded to the Attack, Brady Lyle made his return home a memorable one by opening the scoring less than 3:00 into the 1st.

After taking a cross ice from Igor Chibrikov, Lyle quickly snapped a shot towards Julian Sime in the Battalion cage, fooling the netminder and making it 1-0 for the Attack. Maksim Sushko also assisted on the play, giving the Belorussian five points in three games since returning from the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Lyle’s goal proved to be the only marker in the frame, but it was all Attack, all the time through 20:00.

North Bay didn’t record a shot on goal until former Owen Sound forward Matthew Struthers directed a bouncing puck towards Mack Guzda with about six minutes left in the opening period, and when the horn went to signal the 1st intermission the Attack not only led 1-0, but also had an 11-4 lead on the Mark McDade Chestnut Park shot clock.

And when play resumed, the 2nd period began in much the same way was the 1st.

Less than 3:00 into the frame, Brady Lyle was putting his name on the shoresheet again – this time by absolutely blasting a slapshot past Sime to make it 2-0.

Alan Lyszczarczyk recorded the lone assist on Lyle’s 2nd of the evening and 7th on the season, while the former Battalion rearguard revelled in potting a pair against the club that drafted him in the 1st round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.

Just like the 2nd began the same way as the 1st did, so would it end in the same manner.

Owen Sound scored the lone goal of the frame, and after a late delay of game penalty to Jesse Saban put the Battalion down a skater to close out the stanza, the Attack would start the 3rd with a brief man advantage.

But just like their previous two powerplays, the Attack were unsuccessful in converting when play resumed and after a largely uneventful first half of the frame, the Battalion came awake.

Ending Mack Guzda’s shutout bid, Riley Bruce got the Battalion on the board at the 12:12 mark of the 3rd by floating a shot towards the Attack cage that beat a screened Guzda.

Then, 58 seconds later, Matthew Struthers would also score against his old team, bringing the Battalion level by knocking him a Luke Burghardt pass from on top of the blue paint.

Struthers’ 11th of the year forced overtime, where a late 3rd period tripping penalty to Cade Robinson sunk the Attack.

Just 21 seconds into the extra frame, and with North Bay on a 4-on-3 man advantage, Justin Brazeau tipped home a backdoor pass to complete the come from behind victory, and give the Battalion the full two points in a 3-2 win.

Brazeau’s game winner gave him the distinction of Mac Taylor Corporation 2nd Star of the Game, while his teammate Riley Bruce was named 1st star.

Brady Lyle picked up 3rd star honours in the losing cause.

The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Real Estate Shots on Goal finished at 32-17 for the Attack, with Mack Guzda making 14 stops in the defeat.

Owen Sound will continue their road trip on Friday night with a stop in Sault Ste. Marie before concluding the road swing on Sunday, Jan. 14 in a matinee affair in Sudbury.

This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.

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