The Owen Sound Attack fired away on Friday night, but only one of their 44 shots found its way past Anthony Popovich, who was a wall in the Guelph Storm goal to help lift his team to victory.
Turning aside 43 shots on the night, Popovich was the game’s 1st star as he powered the Storm to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Owen Sound side.
The Attack dominated the play early, killing off a pair of Storm powerplays and at one point were outshooting the home side 14-5.
But as has been the case in the last few contests for the Attack, early pressure didn’t necessarily translate into early goals.
With just over one second left in the opening period, and fresh off of successful McDougall Energy PK, the Attack relaxed just a little bit in their own zone and the Storm capitalized.
Scoring was James McEwan, who banged the rebound of a Dmitri Samorukov shot through the legs of Olivier Lafreniere and into the net for a 1-0 Guelph lead after 20:00 of action.
Owen Sound didn’t get disheartened by the late period goal though, and after the break the Attack returned to the ice firing on all cylinders.
Eventually the continuous pressure by the Bayshore Boys paid off, and with Barret Kirwin in the box for hooking, Daylon Groulx made the Storm pay.
Nick Suzuki began the scoring play, breaking across the Guelph blueline before dropping a pass to Aidan Dudas. Dudas quickly fired a shot off the pad of Storm netminder Anthony Popovich, who kicked the puck straight onto the stick of Daylon Groulx.
Sitting in the low slot, the Fort Erie native made no mistake, tying the game up at one on his 6th of the year at 11:03 of the 2nd.
The tie didn’t last long though, and just like in the 1st period, a successful penalty kill by Owen Sound wasn’t rewarded.
Just seconds after Marino Moro stepped back on the ice, Givani Smith tipped home a shot by Owen Lalonde to restore Guelph’s lead with 5:09 to play in the frame.
And the home side wasn’t done there either.
Immediately after the Storm made it 2-1, Ethan Szypula was assessed a cross checking minor and the Storm made good on their 4th powerplay of the night.
Scoring again was Smith, who converted a no-doubter into an empty cage after a failed clearing attempt by Owen Sound, making it 3-1; a score that would stand heading into the 3rd period.
That lead changed again less than 3:00 into the final frame when Dmitri Samorukov one-timed home a pass from James McEwan to make it 4-1 and chase Olivier Lafreniere from the net having allowed four goals on 24 shots.
Samorukov’s goal wound up being the final tally on the night, with Mack Guzda turning aside all three shots he faced in 17:12 of action as a lifeless 3rd period by both teams played out the time remaining on the clock.
Guelph’s Anthony Popovich was named the Mac Taylor Corporation 1st Star of the Game after turning aside 43 of the 44 shots he faced on the evening, while Liam Hawel and Givani Smith rounded out the post game awards as 2nd and 3rd stars respectively.
The Mark McDade Chestnut Park Shots on Goal wound up at 44-27 for the Attack on the evening.
Owen Sound is back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host the Kitchener Rangers on national television with puck drop set for 3:45pm.
Tickets for the game, which can also be watched on Sportsnet, are limited but can be purchased at the MacVicar & McComb ReMax Attack Box Office.
This season of Attack Hockey is brought to you by Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers and Bertrand & Muzzell Paralegal Services.