Owen Sound dominated the shots on goal tonight against the Guelph Storm but were unable to crack Team Canada goaltender Nico Daws as he made forty saves for the shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Attack.
The Owen Sound Attack went down Highway 6 on Friday night to meet the Guelph Storm in a battle for 6th place in the Western Conference. The Valentine’s Day showdown was the 7th of the season between the two teams, with the Attack holding a slight 3-2-1 edge in the season series over the Storm. Owen Sound came into the night on a four game winning streak, and won the previous two games over Guelph by scores of 4-1 and 7-5. The two teams had identical records of 26-19-6 at puck drop. Kaleb Lawrence and Sam Sedley were scratched due to sickness, while Matt Philip and Griffin Wilson continued to miss time with upper body injuries. Mack Guzda received the start for the visiting Attack and Team Canada goaltender Nico Daws was in net for Guelph.
It was Nico Daws show early on for the Storm, as the Attack recorded the first five shots until Guelph put one on Guzda. Owen Sound continued to put the pressure on Daws, including a great backhand attempt from Josh Samanski that was snared down with a glove. Matthew Struthers had the most shots in the period, firing six pucks at Daws including a few quick releases that were stopped. Guelph took advantage of their chances, scoring on their second shot of the game after a rush from Fedor Gordeev. who then passed to a wide-open Cam Hillis for his 19th of the year. Owen Sound continued with the shots on goal, totalling 18 in the period to only 3 for the Storm.
Owen Sound continued to put the pressure on the Guelph defense, outshooting the Storm 6-1 in the early going of the second. But once again, Guelph was making the most of their chances. The one Storm shot was a breakaway chance by the previous goalscorer, Andrei Bakanov. Guzda stood tall and turned him away to keep the deficit at 1-0. With 12 minutes remaining in the period, Fedor Gordeev slewfoot Kaleb Pearson, receiving a five minute major and a match penalty. Adam McMaster had the best opportunity of the power play, making a move through the Guelph defensemen and beating Daws blocker side but he couldn’t put it into the net, hitting the post. An Owen Sound penalty ended the five minute major early without any goals on the board for the visitors. The Attack were able to kill off their first penalty of the night, holding the Storm to just one shot on the man advantage. Late in the frame, Pavel Gogolev was taken down on a breakaway, earning a penalty shot for the forward. Gogolev converted on the backhand, making it 2-0 Guelph despite them being outshot 30-8 after two periods of play.
The Attack killed off two early penalties in the third, giving themselves an opportunity to get back into the game. Guelph began getting more shots on Guzda as he turned away the first four of the period to take the game to the final TV timeout. Owen Sound had a flurry of chances at the ten minute mark but Daws stood tall once again. Daws theatrics would be the story of the game, as he made save after save to deny Owen Sound any opportunity to gain footing at the Sleeman Centre. Alan Letang pulled Guzda with over two minutes to play, but despite the extra attacker, Owen Sound was unable to find the back of the net and would fall to the Storm 2-0 after outshooting them 40-14 on the night.
Adam McMaster was voted by fans as the Hatten Home Building Centre Hardest Working Player of the Game. The Owen Sound Bug Juice North Stars Three Stars were Nico Daws, Barret Kirwin and Pavel Gogolev.
The Owen Sound Attack return to action tomorrow night for Pucks and Paddles against the Peterborough Petes. The Attack will be wearing special tie dyed jerseys that will be auctioned off in support of Camp Presqu’ile after the game. There will also be a puck toss, silent auction, bucket pass and more throughout the evening. Tickets are available at the MacVicar & McComb Sutton Realty Attack Box Office.