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Owen Sound’s second-half surge key to opening night win

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For 20 minutes on Friday, the Owen Sound attack exceeded the wildest, even the most optimistic fever dream expectations among their fans.

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For 20 minutes they were near perfect and rode the wave to win.

The Attack scored three unanswered goals in the second period while limiting the London Knights to just one shot on goal en route to a 5-3 victory inside Budweiser Gardens.

The club’s attacking group attacked in waves and put the Knights back on their heels before taking control of the game.

The strong second period erased a one-goal deficit that London had won in the first period.

Two defensemen combined to open the scoring for the Knights. The fourth overall pick, Sam Dickinson, who was traded to the Knights for a draft pick bonus after leaving the Niagara IceDogs, suffered a turnover and walked the ice as the teams played four-on-four. Dickinson passed the puck through the ice to Oliver Bonk who had joined in the run and Bonk beat Nick Chenard to make it 1-0 at 11:05.

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Colby Barlow had the best chance for Owen Sound in the first period when he was shorthanded, but OHL Goaltender of the Year Brett Brochu slammed the five hole on Barlow’s breakaway .

Ingersoll native Gavin Bryant started the shellacking in the second with a great individual run. Bryant angled the puck on the boards to beat the defender, then clipped Brochu before beating him to the far post.

Moments later, Kaleb Lawrence scored his first Ontario Hockey League goal in more than two years. The big center has only played two games since the 2019-20 season as pandemic cancellations and a pair of shoulder injuries sidelined him.

The shoulder looked good as his quick lunge fired in a cross-country pass from Cedrick Guindon beat Brochu to make it 2-1.

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Then Thomas Chafe had a rebound to his body in front and into the net to make it 3-1.

Rookie Tomislav Brennan impressed the Attack brass enough in training camp to earn a spot on the team. He had two secondary assists during the period.

Mark McKelvie provided color commentary for the visiting show on Friday and noted that only one team all last season recorded a single shot in a period.

Bryant scored his second goal of the game at 3:02 of the third period when Cal Uens and Ethan Burroughs passed the puck effectively down the ice and found Bryant spinning for the net.

Bryce Montgomery scored for London on the power play with a point ball before Colby Barlow’s cross from his own side with the London net empty made it 5-2.

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Easton Cowan scored with 30 seconds left in the contest, but by then Forest City fans were heading to King Street.

The Knights offense warmed up in the third and Chenard ended up making 17 saves on 20 shots in the game while Brochu edged 23 of the Attack’s 27 shots on goal.

Burroughs picked up a pair of assists in the contest with Brennan. Nolan Seed, Madden Steen, Guindon and Uens were also credited with assists.

Lorenzo Bonaiuto, Antonio Tersigni and Braedyn Rogers were canceled from Owen Sound on Friday.

Owen Sound opens its home schedule Saturday by inviting Midwest Division rival Kitchener to the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Center. The puck drop for the Attack and Rangers is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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