Attack down Firebirds on record setting night
It was a record setting night at the Bayshore on Wednesday, Feb. 15 when the Owen Sound Attack took on the Flint Firebirds.
Turning aside shots in the team’s 4-0 win, Michael McNiven recorded his 11th career Ontario Hockey League shutout, passing Jordan Binnington for most all time in Attack franchise history.
McNiven was instrumental in the win, making save after save on a string of Firebirds powerplays late in the 3rd period while turning aside all 16 shots he faced en route to picking up his 30th win of the season.
Also coming up big for the Attack on the evening were Cordell James and Petrus Palmu, who both had three points on the night.
James scored twice and added a helper for Owen Sound, while Palmu tickled the twine once while picking up two assists in the win. Also scoring for the Attack in the win was Nick Pryce.
Owen Sound jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Cordell James rip on the man advantage just 4:51 into the game.
With Matthieu Henderson in the box for holding, Sean Durzi and Ethan Szypula worked the puck to James who launched his 22nd of the year into the yawning cage for a 1-0 Attack lead.
Owen Sound wasn’t satisfied with just a one goal margin though.
Just 31 seconds later Nick Pryce would add to the lead by jamming home his 6th goal of the year on a strong net front drive.
Petrus Palmu and Cordell James would draw the assists as the Attack went up a pair on just their 4th shot of the evening.
Owen Sound’s lone trade deadline acquisition would then make it a three goal lead for the home team just beyond the midway point of the opening frame.
After picking up an off-the-wall pass from Petrus Palmu, James would drive to the net and bang home his own rebound while laying on his stomach. Santino Centorame would also assist on the play, which came at 10:21 of the period.
That 3-0 lead would stand for the Attack when the opening frame ended, but a golden opportunity to extend the lead presented itself as time wound down in the 1st.
With 1:04 left on the clock, Flint’s Michal Steinocher was ejected for boarding, giving the Attack a 5:00 powerplay that would carry over into the middle stanza.
And when the 2nd period began, the Attack would take advantage of the major to Steinocher.
With 2:32 gone in the frame, Petrus Palmu would snap a puck off of the shoulder of Flint goaltender Connor Hicks’ shoulder, up into the air, and eventually into the back of the net. Kevin Hancock and Santino Centorame would draw the assists on Palmu’s 31st goal of the year and and the 4-0 lead.
That would be the only goal scored in the frame, but Owen Sound needn’t do much more than play a strong defensive game, as the Firebirds were only able to muster three shots on goal in the period.
When the Firebirds did get chances on Michael McNiven, Owen Sound’s netminder stood tall, and with under 2:00 to play in the 2nd he was called upon to make one of his signature glove saves, which he did with ease.
Flint would try to mount a comeback in the final 20 minutes of play, but McNiven’s stellar goaltending would prevent the Firebirds from making a dent on the scoreboard and the Attack would convert their four goal lead into a victory by the same margin.
McNiven’s shutout and milestone would earn him the title of Mac Taylor Corporation 2nd Star of the evening in what was a clean sweep of post game awards for Owen Sound.
Cordell James was named the game’s 1st star while Petrus Palmu would pick up 3rd star honours.
Chase Campbell was named the Hatten Home Building Centre Hardest Working Player of the Game for his efforts.
The Mark McDade ReMax Shots on Goal finished at 35-16 in favour of Owen Sound on the evening.
The Attack now hit the road to take on the London Knights on Friday, Feb. 17 before returning home for a 7:30pm match up with the Oshawa Generals on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Tickets for that game are available at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office, online at www.attackhockey.com, or by calling 519-371-7452.