Owen Sound traveled to the Colts Centre in Barrie for the final time this year to meet the Colts in game three of the season series. The games have been split so far, with Owen Sound taking the first 10-0 and Barrie sneaking by the Attack 3-2 in the second meeting. In an odd schedule quirk, the Colts hosted the first three games between the teams this year, while the Attack will host Barrie three times after the Christmas break. Mack Guzda received the nod for Al Letang’s club and Arturs Silovs earned the start for Warren Rychel. The Colts came into tonight’s game as the most penalized team in the league, and the Attack would look to get the powerplay clicking after some struggles in recent games. Brother of former Owen Sound Attack forward Nick Suzuki, Ryan Suzuki, would miss the game due to an eye injury.
The first period did not start the way the Attack drew it up, with Jacob Frasca getting Barrie on the board less than two minutes into the game. However, after Adam McMaster drew a penalty on a play in front of Silovs, Aidan Dudas would capitalize on the power play to tie things up at one a minute later. Frasca wasn’t done yet, and just past the five minute mark of the period he would score his second of the night after another scramble in front of the Owen Sound net. Matej Pekar and Luke Bignell would record assists on both Colts goals. Kaleb Lawrence made his return to the Attack lineup after missing the past two weeks at the World U17 Hockey Challenge in Alberta, but he came back ready to use his size. After Colts defenseman Tyler Tucker was taken down by Lawrence in the Barrie end, he would commit a roughing penalty that sent the Attack back to the man advantage. This time it was Adam McMaster capitalizing for his 5th of the season and a 2-2 tie. The Bears would end the period on a penalty kill, but led the Colts in shots 14-11 after the first twenty minutes.
The Colts got off to a similar start in the second period as they did in the first. Just over three minutes into the frame, Nathan Allensen beat a screened Guzda with a shot from the point to take back the lead. The Attack had their chances in the period, but Silovs was solid on multiple occasions. In one stretch, he denied Josh Samanski and Lawrence their first career OHL goals with acrobatic stretches in the crease. Ryan Del Monte would score his first career OHL goal for Barrie with three minutes remaining in the period and the Attack found themselves facing a two goal deficit heading into the final period. Shots on goal after two were 26-25 for the Owen Sound Attack.
Owen Sound opened the third period looking to put a dent in the Barrie lead, and Kaleb Pearson almost did it early. He rang a shot off the post that would have cut the deficit to one. The Attack would find themselves a man short on the penalty kill and Barrie would extend the lead. Jason Willms scored after a pass from Pekar to put the Colts up 5-2. Willms scored another on the power play later in the period to put the Colts up a scary 6-2 with less than ten minutes to play in the game. After the 6th goal, Nick Chenard replaced Guzda in the Attack net for the final 9 minutes of play. The replacement put a spark in the team, and the Attack scored two goals in just over a minute of game time. Barret Kirwin added his 8th of the season to cut the lead to 6-3, and Daylon Groulx followed up with his 7th of the year to make it a two goal game all of a sudden. The Colts would put a dash in the Attack comeback hopes when Del Monte scored his second of the game to restore the three goal lead, but the team wouldn’t give up. Matt Philip scored his 9th of the season to cut the deficit to 2 once again, and the team kept searching for the comeback. Pekar would score on the empty net to end the game 8-5, but the team never gave up in trying to get back into the game. The final shots on goal were 35-34 for the Attack.
Josh Samanski was the Hatten Home Building Centre Hardest Working Player of the Game. The Owen Sound Bug Juice North Stars Three Stars were Ryan Del Monte (2 goals), Jacob Frasca (2 goals), and Matej Pekar (1 goal, 3 assists).
The Attack have a chance to get back to winning ways tomorrow night as they head to Guelph to take on the Storm. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre. You can watch the game on Rogers Grey County 53, listen on 560 CFOS Bear Radio or stream online with OHLLive.com. The Attack return to the Bayshore on Saturday night for Special Olympics Night against the Kingston Frontenacs. Tickets are available at the MacVicar & McComb Sutton Realty Attack Box Office and online.