Advertisement

Attack extend win streak with sloppy effort in Barrie

Article content

The offensive side of Sean Durzi's game has always been easy to find.
The 18-year-old Mississauga native had 10 goals as an Owen Sound Attack rookie, showing such offensive punch that he was often inserted as a forward just to get him and his stick into the lineup.
But as an Ontario Hockey League defenseman, Durzi wanted to show this season that he can also play in his own end.
"It's definitely something I wanted to come into the year and work on," Durzi said in an interview prior to the Attack's 3-2 overtime win in Barrie on Thursday which extended the club's franchise-setting win streak to 15 games.
"I've got two great coaches who played defense in their careers and that's helped a lot. They told me that once I took care of my own end, the offense would come at the other end and that's what's going on now."
Unfortunately Durzi wasn't able to work on his defensive play to start the year as he was sidelined for several weeks after ankle surgery.
"That was definitely a setback but you're going to have them," said Durzi who had a goal and 21 assists in 37 games entering Thursday's contest.
"It did take a little time to get back and now I feel like I'm back in the swing of things and back in full stride."
And that's good news for the Attack who are heading into this weekend missing two of its top three defensemen.
L.A. Kings draft pick Jacob Friend is out with an upper-body injury while Markus Phillips leaves for Quebec City on today for the Canadian Hockey League's Top Prospect Game.
"It's an opportunity for a lot of guys to step up with a couple key guys out of the lineup," Durzi said. "I'm looking forward to it."
The Attack are looking at calling up Luke Beamish from junior-A Georgetown but his availability is unknown.
"That's a real big blow to have Jacob and Markus out on Saturday and Sunday but hopefully we have players on the back end who understand the importance of that," Attack coach Ryan McGill said.
"(Durzi) has been very consistent of late and he's earned every bit of ice time and responsibility that he's been given. Obviously we look for him to be a big part of this weekend. We need other guys who've been inconsistent to step up as well."
Durzi's goal totals are down from last season but he had points in nine of his last 10 games heading into Thursday's contest. He was held off the scoresheet against Barrie.
"I don't worry about his offense," McGill said.
"I just want to make sure he's efficient and responsible because with the amount of ice time he'll get this weekend, that's the only way he has to play - efficient and responsible."
Durzi's strong play hasn't gone un-noticed as he jumped from being unranked at the beginning of the season to 139th in the Central Scouting Bureau's mid-term report.
"It's to good to see some hard work pay off but it's only the start," Durzi said.
"I know I have to work even harder now to get higher up the list. And I know those aren't the guys drafting but it's obviously nice."
What's helped Durzi get noticed is the Attack's win streak which looked in peril on Thursday thanks to a lacklustre effort by Owen Sound.
Durzi said the win streak has infused the club with a lot of self-confidence.
"Winning is definitely a mentality," Durzi said.
"It's not just a one-time thing. It's an every-day thing. We have to be able to come to the rink and expect to win. We can't expect anything less and be OK with it."
Aidan Dudas and Cordell James scored in regulation while Petrus Palmu had the overtime winner for the Attack (31-13-1-0, third in the Midwest Division) who appeared to be looking past the Colts - who they were 5-0 against this season - and to a pair of big Midwest Division games on the weekend.
"Hopefully lesson learned because every team is highly competitive in this league," McGill said.
"We didn't show great leadership and I don't think we were mentally into this game. It's nice to see (Attack goalie Emanuel) Vella get a win."
Jason Smith and Zach Magwood replied for the Colts (13-26-5-1, fifth in the Central)
Vella made 16 saves while Barrie's David Ovsjannikov stopped 37 shots.
Owen Sound is back in action on the weekend with a pair of games as London and Kitchener visit on Saturday and Sunday.
Game time at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre is 3:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.
SLAPSHOTS: C Matthew Struthers was hit in the head by a shot in the first period and left the game. He did not return. His status is unknown for the

weekend.


bwalker@postmedia.com
Follow Bill Walker on Twitter at BillWalkerST

Advertisement

Advertisement

Article content

Latest National Stories

Advertisement

Story continues below

News Near Owen Sound

This Week in Flyers