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Monday, May 16, 2011

Attack and Community Celebrate

Owen Sound | by Manny Paiva  

Thousands of fans celebrate the OHL championship with the Owen Sound Attack.

The Owen Sound Attack have celebrated their OHL Championship with the City of Owen Sound and all of Grey Bruce.

The Attack won their first ever OHL title with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Mississauga on Sunday.

And the City quickly organized a parade and celebration for the team as they made their way home with the J. Ross Robertson trophy.

But before the team bus arrived in Owen Sound, they were greeted by fans with signs and attack jerseys in Dundalk, Markdale, Berkeley, Holland Centre and Chatsworth.

Thousands of fans lined 9th Avenue, 6th Street and 2nd Avenue East as the team bus made its way to the Bayshore Community Centre following a police and fire escort.

But the celebrations were just getting started -- as close to three thousand fans packed the home rink for the Attack and cheered as the team arrived between 9 PM and 10 PM.

Owen Sound Mayor Deb Haswell organized the parade with City officials as soon as she heard the Attack won the OHL title.

Haswell says this accomplishment is one of the greatest in the City's history.

Haswell says the young men have made Owen Sound and the Grey Bruce area proud by winning against all odds -- and she thanks them for putting the City on the map.

Haswell thinks back to the year 2000 when City Council voted to help keep the OHL team in the City and she says the Championship shows they made the right decision.

Attack Pak Fan Club President Helen Lewis says she was awestruck at the community spirit the fans showed as they welcomed the team home.

Attack star Joey Hishon says the fans support at the game and then after the victory is something he is never going to forget.

Lewis couldn't even sit in her seat for part of the third period and overtime -- and she admits she started crying when Jarrod Maidens scored the game winner.

One of the Attack owners -- Doctor Bob Severs -- believes the fan support is one of the reasons why Owen Sound won the OHL championship in Game 7.

Doctor Severs says when Maidens scored the winner, the Hershey Centre erupted with cheers from Owen Sound fans.

He tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the ownership group is still stunned and delighted with the victory.

Lewis has been with the Owen Sound OHL fan club since its inception in 1989 and she says the victory is something she has been waiting for 'forever'.

Lewis also calls it the greatest birthday present she could have received -- Lewis is celebrating her birthday today.

Now the Attack will rest and begin practicing before leaving for Mississauga on Wednesday to take part in the Memorial Cup as OHL Champions.


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