At­tack lose 6-3 in Guelph

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - SPORTS - GREG COWAN SUN TIMES STAFF

Owen Sound trav­elled to Guelph on Fri­day night for their first of two games this week­end against teams ranked in the Cana­dian Hockey League’s Top-10.

The Storm’s potent early-sea­son of­fence proved too much for Mack Guzda at the At­tack as Guelph won 6-3 at the Slee­man Cen­tre.

Guelph has now won both games be­tween the two Mid­west Divi­sion teams this sea­son.

Head­ing into the con­test Owen Sound’s Ai­dan Du­das knew the Storm had a num­ber of mar­quee play­ers that would be tough to hold in check.

“Ev­ery team has a cou­ple of su­per­stars who are re­ally good . . . I’m not go­ing to say their names, but you just have to be aware when they’re one the ice,” he said.

The At­tack opened the scor­ing in the first pe­riod on Jack­son Do­herty’s first of the year. The sopho­more from An­caster picked up the puck in his own zone and rushed it the length of the ice be­fore fir­ing it past An­thony Popovich. The lead didn’t last long. Un­der five min­utes later Mark Woo­ley got the puck while mov­ing back­wards at the blue line. He shot the puck through a mass of bodies in front and past Mack Guzda in the At­tack net.

The 16-year-old’s sec­ond goal of the sea­son tied the game.

Guelph’s top-rated power play con­verted on an op­por­tu­nity early in the sec­ond pe­riod. Liam Hawel fin­ished off a tic-tac-toe pass­ing play with team­mates Tag Ber­tuzzi and Owen Lalonde.

The goal was Hawel’s fifth al­ready this sea­son.

Day­lon Groulx evened the score once more, this time while Owen Sound was play­ing with the man­ad­van­tage. Markus Phillips blasted a shot which popped up-and-over Popovich and onto the stick of Groulx who was wreak­ing havoc in front of the net.

Du­das cen­tered a line be­tween first-year On­tario Hockey League play­ers Kaleb Pear­son and Grif­fin Wil­son on Fri­day night. In a re­cent in­ter­view, Du­das said the ad­vice he would give the in­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers on the At­tack would be to stay steady.

“Don’t change what we’ve been do­ing all along. You got here for a rea­son. Do what you do best,” he said.

Ber­tuzzi gave Guelph the 3-2 lead mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod. He fin­ished off a nice setup from re­cently ac­quired over­age cen­tre Domenico Com­misso.

Com­misso setup the Storm’s fourth goal in the third pe­riod as well. This time Alexey Toropchenko was the bene­fac­tor.

“Fast and skilled . . . they’ll put the puck in the net if you give them the op­por­tu­nity,” said Du­das when asked for his Storm scout­ing re­port.

Groulx’s sec­ond of the game, a sharp shot from the slot, brought Owen Sound back within one goal.

Owen Sound then got a golden op­por­tu­nity to tie up the game on the power play, and came close when Mak­sim Sushko de­flected a puck just over top of the goal.

The Storm killed the in­frac­tion and padded their lead soon af­ter on a goal from San Jose Sharks first-round pick and Storm su­per­star Ryan Merkley.

The At­tack are the fifth-straight team to al­low at least five Storm goals.

Alan Lyszczarczyk (fourth over­age player) and Zachary Roberts (in­jury) were the At­tack’s scratches on Fri­day night.

Guzda stopped 22 of 27 shots while Popovich got in front of 33 of Owen Sound’s 36 shots.

Owen Sound re­turns to the Bayshore on Satur­day to take on the Lon­don Knights. Puck drop is sched­uled for 7:30 p.m.

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