By Fred Wallace
Hi. this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The annual Owen Sound Attack Spring Festival including Softball & Barbecue functions were staged yesterday in the city, climaxing at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre with the awards ceremony.
In hockey, and in team sports of any description, next year always holds a great deal of promise.
From an Attack standpoint, there is optimism for a better next year as illustrated by the major award winners.
The Jerry Reid Memorial Trophy as Attack MVP went to forward Aidan Dudas who scored 26 goals and led the team in scoring as an 18 year old.
The Butch Keeling Memorial Award for being the Attack Playoff MVP was shared by netminder Mack Guzda & forward Barret Kirwin.
The key aspect of the three MVP winners is that they are all eligible to play next year for the Attack, and conceivably could be in the Attack lineup for a couple of years ahead.
And that's good.
Dudas, Guzda and Kirwin were all key players for Owen Sound before their senior years in the Ontario Hockey League and the expectation or projection is that all 3, along with their returning teammates, will be better going forward.
That's certainly what I hope, that's what every Attack fan hopes, but ( and there's always a " but " ) the simple truth is the players and the team have to be better going forward on the ice and as an organization overall.
It's probably unfair to judge the team that hit the finish line last year too harshly, especially in light of the massive departures of key players around the January Trade Deadline. Owen Sound lost a lot of good players and good leaders in those transactions.
Still, there are aspects of being a quasi professional player on the ice and around the team that weren't always exhibited and certainly need to be addressed in the immediate short term before we look ahead to next season and the promise it may hold.
I'm Fred Wallace