FRIDAY JANUARY 6TH: NIAGARA 4 OWEN SOUND 3 (SO)
Hard to believe that these two teams are out of conference opponents who meet only twice a year. With the spirited, fight filled game that was played you would think that they are bitter rivals. The Ice Dogs broke open a 3rd round 1-1 tie with goals by Steven Shipley and Andrew Aggozino to take a 3-1 lead only to see the Attack respond with goals by Matt Petgrave and Mike Halmo, when the net was empty. Overtime settled nothing, and Andrew Aggozino was the only scorer during the shootout, netting the Ice Dogs the extra point. Goaltenders Jordan Binnington and Chris Festarini excelled in their respective nets, with Binnington facing over 50 shots while Festarini faced over 40.
All four Ice Dogs who were with Canada's world junior team made a much decorated return as the Ice Dogs won an intriguing match up between two teams who are seemingly all-in for the OHL championship this year. Sarnia, boasting newcomers Ryan Spooner, Tyler Brown, JP Anderson and Adrian Robertson, certainly mortgaged some of their future in the hopes of a lengthy post-season run. The Sting learned earlier though that they would be without the dynamic Nail Yakupov, who will miss upwards of a month with a knee problem. Ryan Strome had a goal and two assists to pace the Ice Dogs while Mark Visentin was solid in net. The Ice Dogs face a three in three weekend, hosting Barrie on Thursday night, travelling to Sudbury on Friday night and returning to face Barrie in Barrie on Saturday night. The Ice Dogs have won 6 out of 7.
Highlights are here:
-- Ice Dogs added a top 6 power forward in Brett Ritchie who had played his whole OHL career with Sarnia. Ritchie is a Dallas 2nd round pick.
--Ice Dogs also welcomed back Tom Kuhnhackl from his 20 game suspension. Kuhnhackl scored power play goals in both Friday and Saturday's games.
--OHL Trade Deadline is Tuesday January 10th. The likes of Ryan Spooner, Gregg McKegg, JP Anderson, John MacFarlane, Matt Petgrave and Geoffrey Schmetisch among others have already been flipped. The Ice Dogs may still make a move or two still
--With all the fights and the shootout, the Ice Dogs/Attack game on Friday took almost three hours to play.
--Andrew Aggozino had a Gordie Howe hat trick in the third period of Friday's game with a goal, an assist and a scrap vs Daniel Catenacci
--Both Dougie and Freddie Hamilton dropped the gloves on Saturday night. Some members of the crowd reported that their mom was very happy with the tilt. Did you know BOTH Hamilton parents are former Olympic athletes? We sure did a lot during the World Jr's
-- Host Al Galloway marked birthday #56 on Saturday and we had a little fun toying with his age on the scoreboard during Saturday's game.