After opening their West Division road trip with a win against the Spitfires in Windsor on Thursday night, the Owen Sound Attack were unable to build on that momentum in Saginaw on Saturday night.
A pair of goals by Jonah Gadjovich was all of the offense that Owen Sound’s big line was able to muster as a pair of goals each by Marcus Crawford and Caleb Everett helped lead Saginaw to a 5-3 win over the Attack.
The opening of the 1st period was not kind to the visitors, with the Spirit putting a pair on the board before Owen Sound could find their skating legs.
Saginaw opened the scoring at the 3:30 mark of the period when Cole Coskey cleanly won a faceoff back to Caleb Everett who one-timed it past Mack Guzda.
Then, just under 4:00 later, Marcus Crawford scored on Saginaw’s 1st powerplay opportunity of the game to make it 2-0.
Owen Sound gave Saginaw two more chances to score on the man advantage before the period expired, but the Spirit were not able to take advantage of them.
In fact, it was Jonah Gadjovich who caught the home side sleeping, blocking a shot and chasing after it before going in on a short handed break and rifling a backhander past Cameron Lamour to make it 2-1 just 12 seconds before the intermission.
Gadjovich’s 9th of the season seemed to spark the Attack when play resumed in the middle stanza, and they began working at tilting the ice firmly in the other direction.
While they weren’t able to score right away, Owen Sound was able to make inroads and tie the game up at two when they scored just 11 seconds into their 4th Baywest Nissan Powerplay of the evening.
Picking up his 2nd of the game was Gadjovich, who deftly tipped a Sean Durzi snapshot into the back of the net at the 10:56 mark of the period. Aidan Dudas registered the secondary assist on the play by working the puck off of the halfwall and back to Durzi at the blueline for the shot.
The Attack weren’t able to convert that tie into a lead though, with Saginaw restoring their one goal cushion just 54 seconds later on a slick passing play that saw Caleb Everett also pick up his 2nd goal of the contest.
Owen Sound also tied things up again when Gadjovich broke out on another shorthanded breakaway with less than 30 seconds to play in the 2nd, but he missed the net on his hat-trick attempt and the Attack would be forced to search for the game-tying goal in the 3rd period.
A slow start to the final period by both teams finally saw some life injected into it thanks to a hard working shift from the trio of Aidan Dudas, Chase Campbell, and Maksim Sushko that resulted in a game-tying tally by the Philadelphia Flyers draft pick.
With 6:21 gone in the period, Chase Campbell broke out of the the Attack’s zone and fed the puck to a streak Markus Phillips. Phillips crossed into the Spirit zone and rifled a low, hard shot off of Lamour’s right pad and onto the stick of Sushko who quickly rammed it into the net for his 10th of the season.
Saginaw was relentless though, and after a pair of minors to Sushko and Brady Lyle, a Spirit 5-on-3 set up Marcus Crawford for his 2nd of the game to make it a 4-3 lead for the home side with 6:09 to play in regulation.
The Spirit thought they made it a 5-3 game just over a minute later, but the referees determined that Mack Guzda was hooked by a Saginaw forward’s skate, negating the marker and keeping Owen Sound within a single tally.
That no-goal call allowed Owen Sound to get Mack Guzda out of the net with 1:25 left in regulation in favour of the extra skater, but it was all for naught as Coskey fired his 3rd of the game into the empty net with 54 seconds left on the clock to ice the game at 5-3.
The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Real Estate Shots on Goal finished at 33-26 for the Attack on the evening, with the Mac Taylor Corporation 3 Stars of the Game going to Marcus Crawford, Caleb Everett, and Jonah Gadjovich.
The Attack will wrap up their West Division swing with a stop in Flint on Sunday to take on the Firebirds.
Fans can listen to that game live on Kia of Owen Sound/Terry’s Trailer Service Bear Radio on 560 CFOS, or they can tune into Rogers Local 53.
Puck drop is slated for 4:00pm.
This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerner’s Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.