Game Stories: Smith hat-trick not enough to beat streaking Attack
On Saturday night, the Guelph Storm traveled up highway six for the final time this season to take on the Owen Sound Attack. Both teams were looking to rebound from losses as Guelph dropped a 6-0 decision to the Greyhounds Friday night and Owen Sound fell 5-4 in overtime to the Petes on Thursday.
A couple of Guelph veterans came together for a tremendous outing, pushing the Attack into overtime, but ultimately it would be the Attack who would prevail, 6-5 in overtime.
With their second game in as many nights, the Storm turned to rookie Anthony Popovich for the start, while the Attack looked to their backup Emanuel Vella to guide the team back into the win column.
Looking to turn the tide after three lopsided defeats to Owen Sound, the Storm wasted no time in jumping to an early lead, scoring just 38 seconds into the opening frame.
Givani Smith got the Storm on the board after walking into the slot beating Vella’s glove. Liam Hawel and James McEwan picked up the assist on Smith’s 23rd goal of the year, tying his career high set last year.
Not fazed, the Attack came right back and tied the game less than two minutes later. Nick Suzuki fired a shot from an awkward angle bouncing off of Popovich’s pad and into the net.
The Storm retook the lead at the 11:16 mark, on Nate Schnarr’s 16th of the year off a rebound from an Isaac Ratcliffe shot. Albert Michnac picked up the other assist on the goal.
However, the Storm’s lead was short-lived lasting less than three minutes, as Zachary Roberts took advantage of a miscue made by Popovich.
Following a back-and-forth period, it was tied 2-2 with the Attack leading in shots 16-12.
Storm coach Jarrod Skalde decided to change goalies during the intermission bringing in Liam Herbst to start the middle frame.
Owen Sound flipped the script from the first period, this time it would be the Attack to get the quick strike to open the period. Suzuki potted his second goal of the game just 23 seconds into the period, giving the Attack their first lead of the game.
The two teams continued to trade chances until Attack forward Petrus Palmu would get called for high-sticking, sending the Storm to the first power play of the game.
Guelph would not let this opportunity go by, as Smith took the pass from Hawel and buried the one-time pass. Smith’s 24th goal of the year, marks his 100th career OHL point as well as setting a new career high in goals. Garrett McFadden picked up the other assist on the goal.
Owen Sound would control the play for the majority of the period, which paid dividends, taking the lead with less than eight minutes on the clock, as Kevin Hancock banged home the loose puck on a net-front scramble.
Refusing to let their Highway Six rivals walk away with a 4-3 win, Barrett Kirwin rifled a shot over the glove of Vella to even things up yet again. Michnac picked up the assist for his second point of the night.
But like they had done all night, the Attack quickly responded scoring with just 30 seconds left in regulation, on Cordell James’ 29th of the season.
After pulling Herbst from the net with 10 seconds left in the game, the Strom broke into the Attack’s zone, and Smith would bang home his third goal of the night, with just three seconds left in the period, forcing overtime. McFadden and McEwan were credited with the assists on the play.
Given the thrilling nature of the first three periods, the overtime continued to do the same featuring back-and-forth action, and a penalty shot for Suzuki which was turned away by Herbst.
However, the storybook comeback attempt would fall short, on Suzuki’s hat-trick goal lifting the Attack to another overtime victory.
Final Shots were 41-26 in favour of the home side.
While picking up a point, the Storm fall to 20-35-4-2, while the Attack improve to 42-15-2-2, as they keep pace with the top of the Western Conference.
Guelph returns to action Thursday night when they travel to London to take on the Knights before making their final home stand of the season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
- This was the seventh of eight meetings between the Highway Six rivals.
- The Attack lead the season series 5-2
- Givani Smith’s Hat-trick was his second of the season
- Garrett McFadden’s two-points moves him into sole possession of sixth in All-Time Defence Points in franchise history, passing Andrey Pedan.
Guelph Storm 5 at Owen Sound Attack 6 (OT)– Status: Final
Saturday, March 4th, 2017 – Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre
Guelph 2 1 2 0 – 5
Owen Sound 2 1 2 1 – 6
1st Period-1, Guelph, Smith 23 (Hawel , McEwan), 0:38. 2, Owen Sound, Suzuki 37 (Palmu, Durzi), 2:31. 3, Guelph, Schnarr 16 (Michnac, Ratcliffe), 11:16. 4, Owen Sound, Roberts 6 (Pryce, Dudas), 14:05. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-5, Owen Sound, Suzuki 38 (Hancock, Palmu), 0:23. 6, Guelph, Smith 24 (Hawel , McFadden), 12:46 (PP). Penalties-Palmu Os (high sticking), 11:11; Michnac Gue (check from behind), 17:37.
3rd Period-7, Owen Sound, Hancock 28 (Centorame, Suzuki), 12:52. 8, Guelph, Kirwin 5 (Michnac, Ratcliffe), 17:56. 9, Owen Sound, James 29 (Phillips), 19:30. 10, Guelph, Smith 25 (McFadden, McEwan), 19:56. Penalties-Schnarr Gue (high sticking), 14:22.
OT Period-11, Owen Sound, Suzuki 39 (Campbell), 3:14. Penalties-Smith Gue (tripping), 0:43.
Shots on Goal-Guelph 12-6-7-1-26. Owen Sound 16-12-10-3-41.
Power Play Opportunities-Guelph 1 / 1; Owen Sound 0 / 2.
Goalies-Guelph, Popovich 7-15-0-1 (16 shots-14 saves); Herbst 13-20-4-1 (25 shots-21 saves). Owen Sound, Vella 8-3-0-1 (26 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Jesse Wilmot (17), Brent Coulombe (22).
Linesmen-Kevin McArthur (47), Adam Harris (49).
- OS Nick Suzuki
2. GUE Givani Smith
3. OS Petrus Palmu
The 2016-17 Season is proudly presented by RBC