No need to worry if you missed Saturday night’s game between the Owen Sound Attack and Flint Firebirds.
Most of it will be available on the OHL’s highlight reel and pre-game hype videos for years to come.
The Attack’s offence exploded in a 7-3 win over the surging Firebirds inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
A few of the goals would make the cinematographers of the Mighty Ducks movies blush.
In a game as open and free as Saturday’s, it’s hard to tell if the coaches were thrilled with the skill or tortured by the defensive lapses.
“When you move pucks well and make passes on the tape and crisp it’s easy to create time and space for yourself,” said Owen Sound assistant coach Joey Hishon after the game.
Matthew Philip opened the scoring just over a minute into the game. Brady Lyle found the over-age winger streaking full-speed to the net for a tap-in.
Minutes later Lyle walked the blue line under pressure and sifted a shot through a mass of bodies, off the stick of Kaleb Pearson, and into the net behind Luke Cavallin.
Flint connected for their first tally of the game on one of their six first period power-play opportunities. The Attack were dinged for several offences Saturday including a pair of too many men on the ice calls and a rare “closing hand on puck” call.
Riley McCourt sniped a Cody Morgan pass off the bar and into the net behind Mack Guzda.
The Firebirds were back on the power play early in the second period. Immediately following an overturned Flint goal, the result of a phantom hand pass, the Attack scored shorthanded.
The dynamic duo of Adam McMaster and Aidan Dudas broke free into the neutral zone with speed. McMaster and Dudas crossed paths across the blue line with McMaster leaving the puck for the Parry Sound native. Dudas dropped his defender with a fake shot and slid the disk back over to a waiting McMaster who had a wide-open net. Crisscross apple sauce, it was 3-1 Owen Sound.
“They both have so much speed and so much skill . . . I think every time they’re on the ice together the other team has to be aware of them,” Hishon said of the twin terrors.
Ty Dellandrea got a goal back for Flint before Kirill Nizhnikov scored back-to-back markers to give the Attack a 5-2 lead headed into the third period.
The Attack went two-for-three with the man advantage and improved their league-leading clip to 48 per cent on the year.
They’ve scored 12 power-play goals in six games.
“It’s pretty lethal right now . . . it’s really fun to watch. Every time we get a power play I’m pretty excited to see what they do when they get out there,” said Hishon.
Lyle has seen power plays in Owen Sound featuring names like Nick Suzuki, Kevin Hancock, Sean Durzi, Jonah Gadjovich and on and on.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever scored as much in this big of a bunch as we have here,” he said. “I don’t think it’s luck. I think it’s something we’re going to try and maintain the whole year . . . we have a good idea of where everybody is going to be on the ice and what they’re going to do before they get it.”
The Attack had success on the other side of the special teams battle as well. Flint finished one-for-ten with the man advantage.
Braeden Kressler opened the scoring in the third period with his first career OHL goal.
Then the Dudas show opened its second act. The Attack captain one-touched a pass between his legs to his backhand before sliding the disk onto the waiting stick of Sergey Popov who slammed it into the back of the net.
The Attack scored their second power-play goal of the game minutes later as they snapped the puck around the formation. Popov found McMaster who threaded a pass over to Dudas who rocketed a one-timed shot into the net for the club’s seventh marker.
“We’re scoring a lot more than a lot of the teams, and probably more than what people expected around the league,” said Lyle.
Dudas and McMaster both finished with a goal and a pair of assists. Carter Robertson, Lyle and Barret Kirwin each had a pair of helpers on the night.
The Attack have yet to lose two games in a row early in the season. Hishon gave credit to head coach Al Letang when asked about the club’s bounce-back ability.
“He finds ways to get to guys and let them know what their mistakes were, but at the same time keeping things positive so they still want to go to war for him,” he said. “For me as an assistant coach early in my coaching career, it’s pretty cool and pretty fun to learn from.”
The victory snapped a Firebirds’ four-game win streak.
Guzda stopped 29 of 32 shots while Cavalin got in front of 27 of the Attack’s 34 shots on net.
Owen Sound’s next game is a mid-week contest Wednesday night against the Kitchener Rangers inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.