Attack defeat storm to keep shot at home ice

Holden Cook’s goal over the glove hand of Justin Nichols at 14:29 of the third period was the difference maker Friday night at the Sleeman Centre in front of 4,952 as the Owen Sound Attack skated to a 4-3 victory over the Guelph Storm. The loss denied the Storm a chance to lock up fourth place in the western conference and the home ice advantage that comes with it.

The Attack were quick to jump on the board as Daniel Milne collected his 20th goal of the season just 17 seconds into the contest after a very quick defensive breakdown by the Storm. The only member of the Storm who has been scoring with any regularity in recent weeks, Pius Suter would tie the game at 4:39 with his 41st of the season from the slot after receiving a pass from the faceoff circle off the stick of Robby Fabbri. Moments after the Guelph tally, Garrett McFadden was sent to the penalty box for holding and it would only take the Attack 13 seconds before Erik Bradford put away his 28th on the power play for a 2-1 Owen Sound lead at 5:18. In a period where the shots were tied 12-12 the Storm controled the puck possession game but seemed to lack any intensity to drive to the net or take shots at Attack starter Jack Flinn. It would be a trend that would continue for most of the night.

Guelph produced a better effort in the middle stanza as Jason Dickinson was able to deposit a no look pass from Givani Smith into the goal at 9:45 to tie the game at two. This was followed up moments later at 11:20 when Smith took a Bertuzzi pass across the crease and tuck the puck through Flinn’s five hole to give Guelph their first lead of the evening. Right after the goal the Attack barraged Justin Nichols in the Storm net but couldn’t muster any goals. That is until the 18:25 mark as Owen Sound’s leading scorer Kyle Platzer danced around a Storm defenceman before undressing Nichols with a back hander to tie the game 3-3 heading into the third period.

Guelph’s game grew soft once again in the final frame. Despite lots of puck possession in the Owen Sound zone the Storm top six forward group seemed to be much more interested in no look passes and hoping that somebody else would lead the charge towards the goal. Lots of circling and cycling with the puck down low but only six actual shots on the Attack goal in the final 20 minutes. Owen Sound meanwhile once again had a barrage of rubber headed Nichols way through out the period. Things finally fell apart for the Storm as after several failed clearing attempts Holden Cook found the puck and snapped it high over Nichols glove to regain the lead for Owen Sound, a lead they would never relinquish.

Guelph’s chances of a comeback where hindered by a Levi Tetrault holding minor with just 3:11 remaining. Once the penalty was killed off the Storm had just over a minute to try and tie the game. The best chance came with Flinn scrambling and the puck heading towards Chris Marchese at the open side of the net, however the puck slid just inches past the blade of Marchese’s stick in what would have been a wide open shot at the Attack goal.

In the end while Guelph edged Owen Sound on the shot clock 36-35 the Attack would take the win where it counted most with a 4-3 final score. Not only was the win important for the Attack in their quest to hunt down Guelph for fourth place but getting it done in regulation was just as important. A single point by the Storm would have clinched home ice advantage for the first round.

Guelph can still clinch home ice with a single point when they host the Sarnia Sting Sunday afternoon in their final game of the 2014-15 regular season. The Attack are set to face the same Sting at the Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound on Saturday evening. An Attack loss of any kind would clinch home ice advantage for the Storm. An Owen Sound victory would also ensure that the Storm would face the Attack in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs which are set to get under way next weekend. With Kitchener beating Plymouth in overtime on Friday night a Guelph vs Kitchener match up is still possible, though Owen Sound would have to lose to Sarnia Saturday while Kitchener would have to win both of their remaining games on the road in Saginaw on Saturday and Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday.


  • Guelph’s overall record falls to 37-26-2-2 for 78 points, 4th in the western conference

  • Guelph’s home record falls to 21-9-2-1

  • The loss is Guelph’s first on home ice since a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Sudbury Wolves on February 6th, a stretch of 6 games

  • Pius Suter is on a 3 game goal streak in which he has scored 1 in each contest

  • Of the 41 goals Suter has collected this season, 19 have come since the start of February

  • Tyler Bertuzzi is on a 4 game points streak where he has collected 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points.

  • Bertuzzi leads the Storm and sits 10th in league scoring with 43 goals and 53 assist for 96 points

  • Givani Smith’s 1 goal and 1 assist night snapped an 11 game pointless and goalless streak which dated back to February 16th against Windsor where he also collected 1 goal and 1 assist

  • Justin Nichols has started 16 straight games for the Storm, collecting a record of 9-7-0-0 in that span

  • Guelph finishes their season series with Owen Sound with a record of 5-2-0-1, including 3-1-0-0 at home and 2-1-0-1 on the road.

  • Of the 5 Storm victories over the Attack this season, 2 were via the shootout

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