It was a tough season opener for the Bears, facing their Highway 26 rivals, the Barrie Colts in a game that saw a lot of action from Barrie’s young players.
Looking to continue on their pre-season success, the Attack opened scoring early in the first but ultimately fell to the Colts in a frustrating 9-2 battle at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Although Barrie seemed to be dominated the game early on, Daylon Groulx opened up scoring at 9:57 into the first, knocking the puck past Colts netminder Maksim Zhukov to make it 1-0 for Owen Sound.
After Groulx’ goal, Attack momentum picked up for the remainder of the first period.
The Attack headed to a Baywest Nissan powerplay at 15:54 as Colts Tyler Tucker landed a penalty for interference. The Bears had multiple chances during the powerplay but were unable find the back of the net.
With just over 1 minute on the clock, Colts Matej Pekar squeaks his first OHL goal past Mack Guzda to tie the score up 1-1 before heading into 1st intermission. Pekar’s goal was assisted by Jason Willms and Tyler Tucker.
Shots on goal after one period were 8 Attack, 9 Colts.
As the second period got underway, Attack momentum seemed to have wavered and Barrie took control of the game.
Early into the period we saw a rough hit on Aidan Dudas from Colts Aidan Brown. Brown landed a boarding minor at 2:05 to give the Attack an early powerplay. The Bears were unable to take advantage.
Lots of excitement as a bouncing puck in front of Guzda gets waved off at 5:13 into the second, but shortly thereafter Hawerchuk puts one through the five hole to make it 2-1 Barrie at 5:57.
Only a few minutes after Hawerchuk’s snipe, Sam Rhodes makes an impressive goal at 7:24 as he bats a wicked pass from Justin Murray right out of their air and finds the back of the net, making it 3-1 Colts.
Attack are offered another powerplay chance as Chris Cameron heads to the box for checking from behind at 8:32. Ultimately the Bears could not take advantage.
At 11:01, Barrie gets the two-man advantage as Cade Robinson and Kevin Hancock go to the box for hooking and roughing, respectively.
The Attack get revved up, showing their frustration with the current results of the contest thus far.
Making an impressive save, Guzda stretches post to post showing his flexibility during the 5 on 3 penalty kill. Although making multiple impressive saves, Tyler Tucker shot the puck past Guzda straight to the back of the net at 12:55 to make it 4-1 Colts.
A lot of controversy followed as it seemed the puck went out of play, hitting the netting in the end zone before coming back into play ahead of Tucker’s goal. After some time on the replay, the goal was confirmed.
The game headed to 4 on 4 play late in the second as Colts Luke Bignell and Attack Trenton Bourque both received a penalty for roughing at 16:35. Lucas Chiodo quickly made it 5-1 during 4 on 4 play at 16:50.
Doherty headed to the box for slashing with 1 minute left to play, giving Matej Pekar the chance for his second OHL goal, making it 6-1 Barrie as the 2nd period came to an end.
Shots on Goal for the 2nd period sat at 10 Attack, 23 Colts.
Attack momentum briefly picked up as late arrival from NHL camp Markus Phillips puts one in at 4:42 into the 3rd. Phillips spent that last two weeks at LA Kings training camp, and was recently sent back to the OHL today.
Attack offer Barrie another chance on the powerplay as Nolan Seed headed to the box for hooking at 5:27. Short lived powerplay for the Colts as only a few seconds later we see Jason Willms land a penalty for holding,
Ryan Suzuki, brother of Owen Sound Attack centre Nick Suzuki who is at Montreal Canadiens camp this week, scored on Guzda to make it 7-2 Barrie at 6:30.
Barrie continued to hold control of the game, until 13:54 into the third when both Joey Keane and Matej Pekar receive penalties, for roughing and slashing, respectively. Ultimately, the Bears were unable to take advantage of their two-man advantage.
Another goal for the Colts at 18:04 as Jaden Peca deflects it past Guzda, assisted by Christopher Cameron and Justin Murray.
One minute later at 19:02 Riley Piercey slips it past Guzda, making the final score 9-2 Barrie.
Barrie’s Matej Pekar earned first star honours, with Ryan Suzuki and Tyler Tucker earning 2nd and 3rd stars. Mack Guzda stopped 31 shots in the game.
The Hatten Home Hardware Building Centre Hardest Working Player of the Game was Cade Robinson, voted by the fans.
The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Shots on Goal finished at 37-40 in favour of Barrie on the evening.
The Attack are back in action on Saturday night for their Home Opener when they host the Sudbury Wolves in a 7:30pm puck drop at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
Tickets are limited and can be purchased at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office, which will open at 10:00am on Saturday morning.
The Attack are also hosting a Fan Fest outside of the Bayshore Arena from 4:30 – 6:30PM ahead of the home opener. There will be inflatables, a beer garden, live music and more. Free admission for all.
This season of Attack Hockey is presented to you by Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers.