It was a barnburner at the Bayshore on Saturday night, with the Attack coming up on the short end of the stick for the 5th straight game.
After battling back from 2-0 down to take a 5-4 lead in the 3rd period, Owen Sound was felled by the Guelph Storm in the shootout by a final score of 6-5.
A scoreless opening frame was dominated by the Attack, who held a 16-6 advantage on the shot clock after 20 minutes of play, but it was the visiting Storm who got on the board first, finding the back of the net only 3:34 into the 2nd period.
Killing off a tripping minor to Ethan Szypula – the game’s 1st penalty – the Attack were unable to prevent Isaac Ratcliffe from banging home the rebound off of a Garrett McFadden point shot.
Guelph then made it 2-0 on another special teams goal, this time scoring with the teams at 4-on-4 and 6:58 having been played in the stanza.
Barrett Kirwin was the goal scorer on the Storm’s 2nd tally, putting another rebound in the back of the net to double the visitor’s lead.
Owen Sound wasn’t going to let Guelph run away with the contest though, and just past the game’s midway point Jonah Gadjovich announced his presence.
Matthew Struthers took a chip pass up the ice and turned on the afterburners to push the Storm defenders back into their zone before dropping it to the Vancouver Canucks’ prospect, who leaned into a slapshot that beat Anthony Popovich cleanly over the glove hand.
Struthers’ pass was the only assist on Gadjovich’s 13th goal of the season, a marker that seemed to breathe some life into the Bayshore.
Not only did it breathe life into the building, but it kicked off an avalanche of goals.
A vicious check to the head by Zach Porier on Markus Phillips sent Owen Sound to a 5:00 Baywest Nissan Powerplay with 13:25 gone in the frame, but Owen Sound wouldn’t score on the man advantage.
That’s because a tripping penalty to Maksim Sushko put the teams back at 4-on-4, where most of the goal scoring would be done.
Playing four-aside, Sean Durzi drew the Attack level by ripping home a pass from Ethan Szypula with 5:44 to play before the break, giving fans hope that the home team was about to take things over.
But just 33 seconds later, Dmitri Samorukov restored Guelph’s lead on a bit of a floater that beat a screened Riley Daniels.
Owen Sound responded shortly thereafter with another of their own, this time it was Matthew Struthers scoring on a rebound after an Aidan Dudas shot hit iron and plopped right down in the crease.
Struthers’ 7th of the year made it 3-3 with 15:36 having elapsed in the 2nd, but that score wouldn’t last.
Just 15 seconds later, and after Sushko returned to the ice, Guelph’s Barrett Kirwin scored a shorthanded goal by sneaking behind the Attack defence and putting a shot up and over Daniels’ glove hand to make it 4-3.
The Storm’s 4th goal of the game spelled the end of Daniels’ night, with Mack Guzda coming on in relief, and it would also be the last marker in a seven goal 2nd period that was a significant change in pace from scoreless 1st.
Looking to avoid losing their 5th consecutive game to divisional opponents, Owen Sound came out flying in the 3rd period and their efforts paid off.
With 13:20 to play in the game and Owen Lalonde in the box for interference, Daylon Groulx scored his 4th of the year by tipping home a Luke Beamish point shot to tie things up at four. Brady Lyle also assisted on the play, which set up Owen Sound taking the lead not long after.
With the momentum clearly in their favour and the crowd on its’ feet, Jonah Gadjovich planted himself squarely in front of Popovich before getting his stick on a shot from the point by Lyle, giving Owen Sound their first lead of the game. Ethan Szypula also assisted on the play, which came at the 11:02 mark of the period.
That lead wasn’t meant to last though, and with the Guelph net empty and only 15 seconds left in regulation, Barret Kirwin completed his hattrick by whistling a backhander up and over Mack Guzda to even things up at five.
That goal was enough to force overtime, and eventually a shootout that saw only Isaac Ratcliffe score, giving the Storm a wild come from behind 6-5 victory.
Kirwin was named the Mac Taylor Corporation 1st Star of the Game for his hat-trick while Jonah Gadjovich and Brady Lyle picked up 2nd and 3rd star honours, respectively.
Sean Durzi was named the Hatten Home Building Centre Hardest Working Player of the Game.
The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Real Estate Shots on Goal finished at 53-36 in favour of the Attack on the night.
Owen Sound’s next game is on Friday night when they travel to the Royal City to take on these same Storm. Puck drop is 7:30pm and can be listened to live on 560 CFOS or watched on Rogers Local 53.
The Attack are home again on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they play host to the Flint Firebirds, also at 7:30pm.
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.
This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerner’s Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.