The Owen Sound Attack proved they’ve got the Barrie Colts number.
Now comes two tough tests from the Midwest Division.
The Attack dismantled the visiting Colts 4-1 on Wednesday to go 3-0-0-1 against the Eastern Conference team. But now the Ontario Hockey League squad must show that it’s got that same ability to beat division rivals such as Kitchener and London, who it will face on the weekend.
“We just got back to being who we are,” Attack coach Greg Ireland said Wednesday.
“We got away from being a team that had an identity. We addressed a lot of things in terms of emotions and discipline. We just need to get back to who we are and how we’ve had success.”
Owen Sound is hoping for a little more success this time after a win against Barrie.
The Attack shut out Barrie 3-0 on Jan. 23 and then dropped back-to-back decisions to Guelph on the weekend.
“We got a little bit wound up (against Guelph) and we have to learn to cool our emotions and be a little smarter,” said Ireland. “I think as coaches sometimes we read too much into different losses and different wins.
“Every day is a new game. We just have to keep our focus on what we’re doing. That’s the best thing about (our schedule). There’s always a tough game coming up.”
Owen Sound was smarting after the Guelph losses and they were looking forward to taking out their frustration on Barrie.
“We weren’t happy with our Guelph games, they weren’t good games for us,” said Zach Nastasiuk, who had two assists. “We learned from those games for sure and we’ll be never having another like (the 5-0 loss to Guelph on Saturday). This is another chance for us to show that we’re for real. Barrie’s a good test for us.”
Daniel Catenacci scored twice while Kurtis Gabriel and Gilbert Gabor added singles for the Attack (31-14-1-3, second in the Midwest).
“We played a good game from start to finish,” said Ireland. “There were a couple adjustments that we talked about on the bench but I still think we need to play with a little more grease and grit. We had a little more (on Wednesday).”
Erik Bradford replied for the Colts (32-15-0-2, first in the Central) who snapped Attack goalie Jordan Binnington’s home ice shutout streak at 1:42.18.
“Some of our smarts on our systems . . . I don’t think we followed them as well as we needed to and it cost us a couple (goals),” said Barrie coach Dale Hawerchuk. “We were shorthanded too much. Usually your best players are your best penalty killers, so they were gassed when we really needed to crank some offence.
“I thought our effort was good. We engaged better and we had our opportunities early on and then the four-minute power play (on a double minor to Bradford) burnt us in the third.”
Binnington made 37 saves en route to being named the game’s first star. Barrie’s Mathias Niederberger stopped 41 shots and was the third star.
The Attack visit Kitchener on Friday and then play host to the top-ranked London Knights on Saturday in the annual Pink in the Rink game. Game time at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre is 7:30 p.m.
SLAPSHOTS: LW Steven Janes (upper body, day-to-day), LW Artur Gavrus (upper body, day-to-day) and F Cameron Brace (second game of two-game suspension) did not dress on Wednesday. All three are expected back on Friday.