(Photo Via: GoErie.com / Jack Hanrahan)
ERIE – The Owen Sound Attack rolled into Erie on Thursday night, and they will roll out with two more points than they had before the game. The Attack dropped the Otters 4-0 on a 21 save effort by Olivier Lafreniere.
There was no scoring until the 2nd period, as Brady Lyle scored his 10th goal of the season on the power play while Troy Lajeunesse was serving a slashing minor. Kyle Maksimovich was given a 5:00 Match Penalty, on the same stoppage as the Lajeunesse penalty, for a slew foot on Emmett Sproule. Lyle, originally from North Bay, Ont., ended a four-game goalless drought with the goal. Lyle, who was taken 18th overall by his hometown Battalion back in 2015, was traded to Owen Sound from North Bay in exchange for goaltender Christian Propp on October 22nd, scored his 8th goal since joining the Attack this season.
The game would remain a one goal deficit for the Otters until Jonah Gadjovich scored his 21st goal of the season with 4:23 remaining in the game. Gadjovich, from Whitby, Ont., who suited up with Canada in their gold medal triumph at the 2018 World Junior tournament, was held goalless in his last two games. With his 21 goals and 17 assists in just 34 games this season, Gadjovich is averaging more than a point per game. He is a very big offensive contributor when he is in the lineup. Gadjovich was a pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL Draft, going 55th overall (2nd Round).
Erie, now trailing 2-0, would pull goaltender Daniel Murphy for an extra attacker, but Owen Sound was able to score again. Ethan Szypula of London, Ont., scored his 14th goal of the season and his first in his last six games. Szypula, who is an over ager, was selected 1st round, 17th overall in the 2013 OHL Draft by the Owen Sound Attack. Last season, in 64 games played, Szypula had 11 goals and 36 assists for 47 points, 5 more points than he has this year. The Attack still have eight games to play.
Just 0:18 after the Szypula goal, Mitchell Russell would cap of the scoring with his 2nd goal of the season. That would give the Attack a 4-0 lead. Russell, originally from Barrie, Ont., was selected in the 1st round (20th overall) by Owen Sound in 2017. The first goal of Russell’s career came on December 1st in a 5-4 loss for Owen Sound when they were on the road against the Kitchener Rangers. Russell had gone 19 games without a point, his last assist came back on January 6th. He has played in 51 games this season for the Attack.
Owen Sound would win the game, 4-0 the final.
Daniel Murphy was credited with the loss for Erie tonight. Murphy, a native of Guelph, Ont., made 37 saves on 40 shots by the Attack, but it wasn’t enough as his team were not able to score. That marks Murphy’s 2nd consecutive loss, and drops his season record to 5-14-2 with a 3.48 GAA and a 0.891 SV% on the year.
As mentioned earlier, Olivier Lafreniere made all 21 saves tonight, and came away with his first career shutout. Lafreniere was acquired in a trade from Ottawa earlier this season, and improved his record as a member of the Attack to 12-7-2 with a 3.05 GAA and a 0.888 SV%.
Owen Sound will next suit up on Saturday when they host the Guelph Storm. Puck drop will be at 2:00pm from the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
Erie will also play host on Saturday, but they will matchup against the Peterborough Petes. Puck drop will be a 7:00pm from the Erie Insurance Arena.
First Star: #33 Brady Lyle – 1 Goal, 4 Shots on Goal
Second Star: #34 Olivier Lafreniere – 21 Saves, 21 Shots on Goal, 1 Win, 1 Shutout
Third Star: #21 Jonah Gadjovich – 1 Goal, +1, 7 Shots on Goal