Bears best Bulldogs on Family Day
The Owen Sound Attack continued their torrid February, beating the Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday, Feb. 19 by a score of 4-3 to pick up their eighth win in nine games this month.
Jonah Gadjovich and Kevin Hancock combined for six points on the afternoon, each scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist to power Owen Sound to the win.
The Attack got off to a hot start, hemming Hamilton in their zone with some fantastic pressure by the line of Ethan Szypula, Aidan Dudas, and Maksim Sushko.
However, the early pressure didn’t translate onto the scoreboard, and the 1st chance that Hamilton had to get out of their end resulted in the home team opening the scoring.
With less than 2:00 gone in the game, Mackenzie Entwistle found a streaking Matthew Strome with a breakaway pass and sent the Philadelphia Flyers’ draft pick in on an uncosted breakaway.
Strome made no mistake, sneaking a backhand through Olivier Lafreniere’s fivehole to make it 1-0 for the home side.
Despite that opening goal, most of the momentum in the frame was on the Attack’s side.
And, sandwiched between too successful penalty kills, Owen Sound appeared to even things up.
Just before the midway point in the frame, Jonah Gadjovich dug a loose puck out of the corner and teed up fellow Vancouver Canucks’ prospect Brett McKenzie at the top of faceoff circle to the left o Hamilton goalkeeper Kaden Fulcher.
McKenzie unloaded a quick snapshot that found the back of the net, but was quickly brought under review – eventually being called back for an offside that occurred almost 20 seconds prior to the would-be goal going in the net.
Because of the disallowed goal, the Bulldogs would skate into the 1st intermission with a 1-0 lead, although the Attack would begin the 2nd period with a 13-11 advantage on the shot clock and nearly a full 2:00 Baywest Nissan Powerplay after Riley Stillman was called for interfering with Aidan Dudas at the 19:54 mark of the opening frame.
That powerplay would end up paying dividends for the Attack, too.
With only 1:38 having gone in the frame, Nick Suzuki sent Brett McKenzie streaking up the ice on a breakout where the overage forward deftly crossed the blueline before dropping the puck to Jonah Gadjovich.
This time, the play was onside and Gadjovich made sure to put the puck into the back of the cage, quickly snapping his 17th of the year home to tie things up at one.
The game didn’t stay tied at one for long though.
Just after Gadjovich stepped out of the box and put the Attack on a Baywest Nissan Powerplay thanks to a minor to Nick Caamano, the Bulldogs were able to break out on a shorthanded two on one.
Like the game’s opening goal, Mackenzie Entwistle was able to draw the assist, setting up Isaac Nurse on the oddman rush to make it 2-1 with 5:12 having been played in the 2nd.
Still on the powerplay though, Owen Sound struck back quite quickly.
After the puck was dumped into the Hamilton end fresh off the centre ice faceoff, netminder Kaden Fulcher went for an ill-advised stroll and accidentally played the puck right to Gadjovich.
Playing his 1st game after missing the previous three due to illness, Gadjovich showed no signs of rust and immediately backhanded the puck through his legs and onto the tape of Kevin Hancock who also put the puck between his legs before snapping it up and over Fulcher to make it 2-2 just nine seconds after the Bulldogs took the lead.
That wasn’t the last time the pair of Gadjovich and Hancock would hook up in the frame for a goal either.
On a five minute powerplay after Riley Stillman was ejected for a head check, the Attack went to work in the Bulldogs’ zone and Gadjovich returned to his office in front of the net.
Hanging out in the high slot was Nick Suzuki, who corralled a pass from Maksim Sushko before spinning around and feeding Hancock who was at the point.
Hancock delayed, dragging the puck into prime shooting position before unloading a high snapshot on net that Gadjovich easily redirected into the back of the cage.
His 2nd of the game, and 18th of the campaign came with 3:45 remaining in the 2nd period and sent Owen Sound to the 3rd period with a 3-2 lead thanks to a trio of powerplay goals.
Owen Sound’s offence wasn’t going to come strictly from the powerplay on Monday afternoon though.
With 5:07 gone in the 3rd and Maksim Sushko in the box for tripping, Kevin Hancock decided to do it himself and increase the Bears’ lead to a pair.
Stripping Marian Studenic inside the Attack blueline, Hancock turned on the afterburners and went streaking up the ice before ripping a backhander shortside over Fulcher’s glovehand for his 2nd of the afternoon, 19th of the season, and a 4-2 Attack lead.
That goal would wind up as the game winner, as the Bulldogs’ Arthur Kaliyev drew his team within one with 2:02 left in regulation, but that’s as close as Hamilton was going to get.
Despite pulling Fulcher from the cage twice in search of that game tying goal, the Attack weren’t going to concede any further markers and would hold on for the 4-3 win.
Olivier Lafreniere turned aside 23 shots on the afternoon as the Mark McDade Chestnut Park Shots on Goal finished at 36-26 for the Attack.
Gadjovich was named the Mac Taylor Corporation 1st Star of the Game while Hancock picked up 2nd star honours having matched Gadjovich’s two goal, one assist performance. Hamilton’s Mackenzie Entwistle rounded out the post game awards by being named 3rd star thanks to a pair of assists.
Owen Sound is back in action on Friday, Feb. 23 when they head down Highway 6 to take on the Guelph Storm at the Sleeman Centre.
The 7:30pm puck drop can be listened to live on Kia of Owen Sound/Terry’s Trailer Service Bear Radio on 560 CFOS or by watching on Rogers Local 53.
They will then return to the Bayshore for Saturday night’s inaugural REACh.Shoot.Score game against the Peterborough Petes in support of the REACH Centre of Grey/Bruce.
The game will see the Attack wear special jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game with all proceeds going to the REACH Centre, as well as a silent auction, a Chuck A Puck, and a bucket pass.
Tickets for the game are limited and can be purchased at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office.
This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.