The Owen Sound Attack routed the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday, Mar. 16, and set a franchise record in doing so.
The team’s 6-1 win over the 2017 Memorial Cup hosts was Owen Sound’s 47th of the year, establishing a new organizational best for wins in a single season, one more than the 2010-11 edition of the team had en route to winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
Nick Suzuki, Cordell James, Jonah Gadjovich, Nick Pryce, Santino Centorame, and Petrus Palmu all found the back of the net for Owen Sound, as the Attack swept the season series with Windsor four games to none.
A tentative start for the Attack allowed the Spitfires to score just 2:30 into the game after Windsor jumped on a failed clearing Attempt by the Owen Sound defence.
Rookie forward Tyler Angle jumped all over the puck and fired it off of the crossbar and into the net for a 1-0 lead for the home side.
Owen Sound was quick to respond though, making good on their first Baywest Nissan Powerplay opportunity of the game.
With Austin McEneny in the box for interference, a perfectly placed snapshot by Nick Suzuki for his 44th of the season tied things up at one apiece with 6:15 gone in the opening period. Petrus Palmu and Santino Centorame grabbed the helpers on the play, which quickly quieted the raucous WFCU Centre.
Owen Sound then took an even stronger hold on the momentum of the game by easily dispatching of a Windsor power play, before grabbing a one goal lead of their own with 5:06 left in the period.
After cycling the puck through the neutral zone to set up a clean offensive zone entry, Cordell James would park himself in front of the net and make good on strong efforts by Ethan Szypula and Sean Durzi to cause chaos just outside of Michael DiPietro’s crease. James, who easily rifled the puck into the yawning cage, scored his 33rd goal of the season on the play, and his 20th goal in just 25 games since being acquired by Owen Sound at the trade deadline.
James’ goal wound up as the final tally of the opening frame, and the Attack skated to the intermission with the 2-1 lead.
But that lead would go to a pair of goals not even four minutes into the 2nd period.
After starting the middle stanza with plenty of pressure in the Spitfires zone, Owen Sound’s top line and defensive pairing would whip the puck around as if they were on a power play before a Markus Phillips shot was tipped into the back of the net by Jonah Gadjovich to make it a 3-1 lead for the visitors. Centorame grabbed his 2nd assist of the game on the play as well.
The Attack continued to press the pace after Gadjovich’s goal, and the fourth line of Matt Schmalz, Aidan Dudas, and Nick Pryce were also able to get in on the scoring.
After holding off a Windsor defender on the half wall, Schmalz would dump the puck off to Sean Durzi who floated a soft pass towards the goal where Nick Pryce was able to redirect the puck between DiPietro’s legs to make it 4-1 for Owen Sound.
And they weren’t done there either.
Attack captain Santino Centorame made it 5-1 just past the midway point of the game by hammering a slapshot into the top corner of the net for his 6th goal of the year. Markus Phillips joined Sean Durzi and Centorame as Attack skaters with multiple point games with an assist on the play, his 2nd helper of the night.
Following Centorame’s goal, Michael DiPietro was pulled from the Windsor net in favour of Mario Culina, but Culina wouldn’t fare much better himself.
With Owen Sound killing off a penalty to Jacob Friend, who returned to the lineup after more than two months missed due to injury, the Spitfires got complacent and Petrus Palmu made them pay.
Jumping on Sean Day at the centre-ice dot, Petrus Palmu forced a turnover before streaking into the Spitfires and going post-and-in on a backhand move to make things 6-1.
Palmu’s 39th of the year, which came with 5:43 to play in the 2nd, was the final goal of the frame and allowed the Attack to take a five goal advantage into the 3rd period.
And while Owen Sound was unable to continue to make the scoreboard climb in the 3rd period, they didn’t need to, as one goal is all Windsor was able to score on the evening, and Owen Sound would skate away to the 6-1 win and a new franchise record.
The lopsided win allowed the Attack to sweep the Mac Taylor Corporation 3 Stars of the Game, with Santino Centorame, Petrus Palmu, and Michael McNiven being named 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stars respectively.
McNiven, who was named the game’s 3rd star, turned aside 19 shots to pick up his 39th win of the year. The Mark McDade ReMax Shots on Goal finished at 29-20 for Owen Sound on the evening.
The Attack will play their last home game of the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season against the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday, Mar. 18 in a 7:30pm game.
Tickets for that game are available at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office or by calling 519-371-7452.
Fans can also purchase tickets for the 2017 OHL Playoffs at the Box Office, by calling 519-371-7452, or by clicking HERE.
The Attack Playoffs are powered by the all new 2017 Nissan Qashqai; a real game changer coming soon to Baywest Nissan.