attack vs guelph

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attack vs guelph

Postby Digger on Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:18 pm

Attack find their "swagger" in 2-1 win
Greg Cowan, Pincher Creek Echo
By Greg Cowan, Owen Sound Sun Times

Saturday, January 27, 2018 11:22:20 EST PM

Blocked shots, scrums seemingly after every whistle, red-faced coaches, players getting sent off, and officials hearing it from the over 3,000 strong at the Bayshore - the postseason was creeping in during a 2-1 Attack win over the Guelph Storm on Saturday night.

“We’re in playoff mode right now,” coach Todd Gill confirmed following the game. “I’m an optimist. I think we can catch right up to fourth place.”

Owen Sound helped themselves toward that goal with their first win over the Storm this season.

Rookie goaltender Nico Daws turned in another strong performance at the Bayshore, turning away 45 shots in the loss. The 17-year-old made 43 saves back on November 25 in Owen Sound and was named the first star of that game.

Not to be outdone, Olivier Lafreniere stopped all but one of the Storm’s 24 shots in his first start since exiting a 7-0 blowout of the Kitchener Rangers with a groin injury back on January 6.

“Olie is our No. 1,” said Gill. “We needed him back and he showed us what we’re going to get. He gives us a chance every night.”

Lafreniere made a game-saving glove save in the third period on Storm forward, and CHL Top Prospect, Cam Hillis. The goalie lost his stick to the side of the net and pushed across the crease, Hillis had a lot of the top of the net open but Lafreniere’s mitt was quick to the puck.

“To come back to the Bayshore arena and start a game, it just felt so good,” he said. “It’s like that blue crease is my happy place.”

Jacob Friend and Markus Phillips seemed to be in their happy place as well during the physical game, though a lot of anger and yelling is often involved when the two bruising defenders are zoned in.

Hillis opened the scoring for the Storm on the power play in the second period following a controversial Maksim Sushko checking to the head call.

The rookie fooled Lafreniere with a fake shot before sliding what looked to be an attempted pass down low into the side of the goal.

The Attack’s Cade Robinson answered back just over a minute later on a crafty feed from Alan Lyszczarcyzk. The Polish national curled behind the net but sent a no-look pass behind him in front of the goal to a waiting Robinson who roofed it for his seventh goal of the season - first as a member of the Attack.

The boo-birds were out in full-force Saturday night as the officials made some close offsides calls, early whistles, and had a few penalties the hometown crowd thought to be on the wrong side of suspect.

Gill though, says he isn’t one to join in on the noise.

“It is what it is, I can’t change that,” the bench boss said. “I’m not much of a screamer.”

Ethan Szypula gave the fans something to scream about when his bullet of a slap shot got a piece of Daws before bullying its way into the net.

The power play marker would prove to be the game winner as the Attack closed out play in the third period.

Although the Attack only scored two, coach Gill was encouraged by the 47 shots on net and the chances in the game for his team.

“We run into a hot goaltender, but still win the game, that’s confidence,” he said. “One of these games it’s going to get blown wide open.”

Despite currently sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference, Gill thinks his team - when healthy - can compete with the best.

“How many times have we played such a good game and lost? What I think is missing a little bit is a bit of a swagger,” he said.

“We have to believe in ourselves. We’re as good as a lot of these teams that added all these players at the deadline. I truly believe that and I think tonight they started to believe that too.”

The Owen Sound Attack will next host the Barrie Colts at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre on Wednesday, puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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