Attack Take on Colts Again
The Highway 26 rivalry is seeing lots of action as of late, and the Owen Sound Attack and Barrie Colts are primed for their 3rd meeting in the month of February. When the puck drops on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the Bayshore, it will be the 5th game of the season between the inter-conference rivals, and will mark the 3rd time since Feb. 11 that they have played.
The season series currently sits at an even two wins for each team, but the Attack are riding momentum off of a victory last Thursday at the Barrie Molson Centre, a win that has helped propel them to a current four game winning streak. Barrie rebounded from the loss to Owen Sound to win their next two games, including a 7-4 victory over Mississauga in their last outing.
The Colts will be led into Wednesday's game by a trio of 90 point scorers, including the OHL's top goal scorer, Joseph Blandisi. Blandisi currently sits at 46 goals on the year to lead the Colts, who are 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
Kyle Platzer leads the Attack in points with 70 on the year, but it is captain Zach Nastasiuk's 31 goals that pace the Owen Sound offence.
Wednesday night's game will be preceded by a special ceremony to honour Attack defenceman Chris Bigras who set the franchise record for points by a defenseman.
In the last meeting between the Attack and the Colts, Bigras scored points 142 and 143 of his OHL career to tie and then pass former Owen Sound defender Bobby Sanguinetti as the all-time leading defenceman in franchise history.
Bigras has since added two more points and is at 145 and counting for his career.
Wednesday's game is also the season's last rain check game of the year
KEYS TO VICTORY
The Owen Sound Attack were successful against the Barrie Colts in their last match up thanks to a disciplined penalty kill. The Colts and Attack often get involved in emotional, physical games, and in order for Owen Sound to extend their winning streak to five games they will need to stay out of the box, but when they are down a man, prevent Barrie's offence from rolling. The Attack will also need to capitalize on what is currently the 3rd best power play in the league and punish the Colts for their undisciplined play.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jack Flinn, G, Owen Sound Attack
13-12-1-6, 3.20 GAA, .902 SV%
Flinn is coming off of his best stretch of games of the year, having won three straight and six of his last eight outings. The 6'8 netminder posted a 1.60 GAA and .953 SV% in earning Becker Shoes Player of the Week from Feb. 15 to 21 and is certainly riding a hot streak. If Flinn is able to keep the Colts' shooters from generating rebounds, the big man will certainly give his forwards a chance to win.
Mackenzie Blackwood, G, Barrie Colts
29-10-1-0, 3.00 GAA, .909 SV%
The number one ranked goaltender ahead of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft will be looking to rebound after getting pulled in the last game between the Attack and the Colts. Despite being chased after four goals in just 28 minutes of action last Thursday, Blackwood has been a big part of the Colts' rise to the top of the Eastern Conference this year. Expect him to come out focused on Wednesday.