Struthers' OT winner snaps Attack skid in Sarnia

Article content

The Owen Sound Attack didn’t shy away from a barnburner with one of the league’s top offensive teams Friday night, and thanks to back-to-back goals scored by Matthew Struthers, the Owen Sound Attack came out on top 5-4 in Sarnia.


Story continues below

Article content

The road win snapped a three-game losing skid while extending the Sting’s slide to six games.

Owen Sound trailed the Sting most of the game but managed to score three unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes of the third period and overtime for the victory.

Struthers overtime winner followed a four-on-three penalty kill after the over-age centre was dinged for tripping earlier in extra time. The Milton native stepped out of the box and took a pass from Andrew Perrott while standing all alone in front of Sting goaltender Ethan Langevin. He pushed the puck through Langevin’s legs and into the net for the win.

The first half of the season has been a tale of two teams in Owen Sound.

The Attack started the season 8-3-1-1 and with a spot on the CHL’s Top-10 list. They outscored teams 55-38 during that stretch. Since Nov. 1, the Attack’s record is 7-12-2-1 and they’ve been outscored 82-70.

There was no easing into the game Friday night. Kelton Hatcher caught Josh Samanski in the middle of the ice with a bone-crushing bodycheck moments before Mark Woolley stood up Jacob Perrault at the offensive blue line.

The officials in Sarnia reviewed the hit and handed Woolley a five-minute major for a check-to-the-head and a game misconduct. Andrew Perrott and Hatcher were handed five-minute fighting majors each for the ensuing fight.

Sting captain Ryan McGregor opened the scoring on the power play. The over-age centre notched his 200th career point with the tally.


Story continues below

Article content

It’s the only marker the Sting’s dynamic power play (38 goals) would muster with the five-minute man advantage.

Owen Sound answered at the 14:04 mark of the first period when Langevin carelessly left the puck behind the net for Attack forechecker Matthew Philip. Philip tucked the disk into the net on the near-side while Langevin scrambled the other way trying in vain to get back into the crease.

The Attack’s 20-year-old winger had tied the game up with what has to be the easiest goal of his OHL career.

Second periods have been rough for Owen Sound. The Attack have been outscored 51-33 in the middle frame this season, and the trend continued Friday.

Sean Josling gave the Sting a 2-1 lead by converting a shorthanded breakaway. Sarnia’s leading scorer notched his seventh shorthanded point of the season on the goal.

Nolan Burke’s second of the season made it 3-1 minutes later after an effective forecheck by Owen Saye caused a Brady Lyle turnover.

Owen Sound’s youth helped the team claw back a goal as Deni Goure set up Ethan Burroughs at the 16:42 mark of the second period.

McGregor scored his second of the contest in the third period as Perrault turned Igor Chibrikov inside-out with some nifty stickhandling before dishing off to the captain for the empty-net tap-in.

The game looked like it would fade away from Owen Sound, but a bounce off the skate of Carter Robertson hit the mesh behind Ethan Langevin and they were once again within striking distance.


Story continues below

Article content

Mack Guzda vacated the net in the dying minutes for the extra attacker, and with 44 seconds remaining Struthers tipped in a Brady Lyle shot-pass to tie the game at 4-4.

For a staggering 11th time already this season, the Owen Sound Attack were headed to extra hockey where they would complete the comeback.

Guzda stopped 20 of 24 shots in the game while Langevin got in the way of 36 of the Attack’s 41 chances at the net.

Owen Sound will now try to snap their five-game skid at the Bayshore when they host the Guelph Storm Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


Aidan Dudas and the Canadian world junior team will play against Finland in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship semifinal Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

More on Dudas, the Parry Sound native inked a three-year entry-level contract with the L.A. Kings. The deal was announced on Dec. 27. Dudas was a fourth-round selection of the Kings (113th-overall) in 2018.

According to a tweet by CHL stats-hound Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) the Owen Sound Attack finished the decade fifth in the OHL in regular-season wins with 363. The rest of the Top-5 were London (449), Sault Ste. Marie (401), Oshawa Generals (378), and the Kitchener Rangers (368).

A trio of 2019 Attack draftees – Tyler Hotson, Brayden Hislop and Christian Catalano – recently played in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Top Prospects Game.

Latest National Stories


Story continues below

News Near Owen Sound

This Week in Flyers