The Owen Sound Attack wrapped up their three game West Division road trip with a win on Sunday afternoon, beating the Flint Firebirds 6-4 to pick up four of a possible six points on the trip.
Nick Suzuki paced Owen Sound’s offence on Sunday by picking up a hat-trick in the win, while Aidan Dudas set up three of Owen Sound’s goals. Maksim Sushko also recorded a multi-point effort in the win, scoring once while adding a helper to even the season series between the teams at one game apiece.
Mack Guzda picked up the win for Owen Sound, stopping 33 of the 37 shots that were directed his way.
Looking to bounce back from the loss in Saginaw on Saturday night, the Attack went to work early and took advantage of their first Baywest Nissan Powerplay of the game.
With Nikita Alexandrov in the box for hauling down Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound needed just seven seconds to find paydirt.
After cleanly winning the puck back to Brady Lyle, Nick Suzuki skated to the half wall where he waited for the aforementioned Hancock to receive a pass from Lyle before quickly rifling it cross-ice to Suzuki.
With Jonah Gadjovich providing the screen, the Vegas Golden Knights’ prospect wasted no time in snapping the puck on and into the Firebirds’ goal for a 1-0 lead just 5:28 into the period.
Flint responded quickly though, scoring two goals in under two minutes with Kyle Harris getting the homeside on the board exactly 2:00 after the Attack opened the scoring.
Shortly after the game-tying goal, Ryan Moore gave the Firebirds their first lead of the game by capitalizing on a breakaway.
That’s how things would stand after one period of play, thanks to a pair of successful penalty kills by Owen Sound that prevented Flint from doing any more damage.
Owen Sound went to work at evening things up again early in the middle stanza, and another Nick Suzuki powerplay marker brought the teams level again just 1:47 into the 2nd.
Suzuki would again walk off the half wall before snapping a shot past Garrett Forrest, but this time the only assist on the play went to Aidan Dudas whose dogged determination to corral a loose puck allowed Owen Sound to maintain possession on the man advantage before Suzuki tallied his 13th of the year.
And that game tying goal seemed to signal a shift in momentum.
A dominant stretch of play by the Attack culminated in a perfect breakout by the line of Chase Campbell, Aidan Dudas, and Maksim Sushko that saw each player touch the puck before Sushko feathered a perfect cross ice pass to Campbell who got the monkey off of his back by scoring his 1st of the year at 10:33 of the 2nd.
That 3-2 lead looked like it would carry over into the 3rd period, but after the Attack were unable to clear the zone with under 10 seconds to play in the stanza, Ryan Moore jumped on the loose puck in the Attack slot and fired it past Guzda to even things up at three apiece with 20 minutes remaining in the contest.
Both teams came out in the 3rd period with some jump looking to get the potential game winner, but only one team was going to strike first.
Luckily for the Bayshore Boys, it wound up being them when Maksim Sushko found the back of the net for his 11th of the year just 1:02 into the period.
A bouncing puck just inside the Attack line was picked up by Aidan Dudas who immediately darted for Flint territory before dropping it to a trailing Sushko, who rifled the puck past Forrest’s glove to make it 4-3.
That sparked an offensive explosion for the Attack, with Nick Suzuki tallying his 3rd of the game on a slick little backhand move at the 7:55 mark off of a long feed from Jonah Gadjovich.
And then, just 41 seconds after Suzuki made it 5-3, Daylon Groulx ripped a slapshot past Garrett Forrest to make it 6-3 and end the Flint starter’s night.
The goaltender switch seemed to ignite a fire under the birds and after Brday Lyle was whistled for tripping at 9:08 of the 3rd, Ethan Keppen brought Flint back within a pair on a redirection of a Hakon Nilsen shot.
That was as close as Flint was able to get though, as the Attack were able to shut the Firebirds down even with the extra Flint skater on the ice and the net empty.
Nick Suzuki was named the Mac Taylor Corporation 1st Star of the Game while his teammate Aidan Dudas earned 3rd star honours. Flint’s Ryan Moore rounded out the post game awards by picking up recognition as the 2nd star.
The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Shots on Goal finished at 46-37 for the Attack.
Owen Sound’s next game is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 22 when the Niagara IceDogs come to town for a 7:00pm puck drop.
Tickets for that game and all other 2017-18 Attack home games are available at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office.
This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerner’s Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.