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Attack edge the Majors in overtime again

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
The Rogers OHL Championship Series continued this evening as the Majors traveled to Owen Sound for game four against the Attack.  While the teams combined for 11 goals in game three, tonight was a defensive battle that the Attack eventually won with a 2-1 overtime victory.  The Championship series is now tied at two games apiece.

The two teams came out with a lot of intensity in the first period, with both teams generating scoring chances.  There was some rough play as well that led to penalties and powerplay opportunities as a total of nine penalties were called in the first.

The Majors had a five on three opportunity early, and although it looked like they would capitalize and take an early lead, they were ultimately denied by Michael Zador, who was making his second start of the series in net for Owen Sound.

The best chance Owen Sound had with the man advantage came after a scrum at 11:26.  While Michael Halmo was handed a roughing penalty for his part in the scrum the Majors were assessed two penalties - one to Devante Smith-Pelly for roughing and the other to Brett Flemming for interference.  On their powerplay, the Attack were able to generate plenty of scoring chances but could not beat Anderson, who made several impressive saves during the Majors penalty kill.

The two teams traded opportunities the rest of the way and eventually settled for a scoreless tie at the end of the first.  Shots on goal after one period of play were 10-9 in favour of the Majors.

In the second period, the intensity between the two teams kept up, but it did not result in as many penalties.  The Majors were assessed the only two penalties of the period, with Rob Flick being sent off at 1:24 for hooking and Joe Cramarossa going at 1:44 for slashing - resulting in a two man advantage for the Attack.

While the Attack had their share of scoring chances the Majors were able to hold them off the board.  Both goalies made some key saves in the period to keep the game scoreless as the teams went to the dressing rooms after the second period in a 0-0 tie.  The Attack outshot the Majors 14-13 in the second period.

It was an exciting third period as both goaltenders continued to play well.  As was the case in the first two periods, both teams were generating scoring chances but nobody could convert.

Finally the Majors broke the deadlock at 15:21. The play began with an Owen Sound chance as the Attack got a shot off right in front of JP Anderson, who had to make a great save.  Justin Shugg took the rebound and started toward the offensive zone.  After dumping the puck into the Owen Sound zone, Shugg broke through the defenders, jumped on the puck in front of Zador and beat the Attack netminder to give the Majors a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after the Shugg goal, Riley Brace took tripping penalty and Owen Sound would capitalize on the man advantage.  Just 17 seconds after Brace was sent to the box, Garrett Wilson put a shot on net.  While Anderson made the initial save, Robby Mignardi jumped all over the rebound and chipped it into the Majors net to tie the game.

Neither team could score again as the period came to a close and for the second straight game in this series, the teams went back to their locker rooms to prepare for overtime.  Shots on goal in the third period were 10 apiece.

The Majors got the first great chance in overtime.  With some traffic in front of the Owen Sound net, the Majors had several good shots.  It appeared as though the Majors might have won the game when the puck trickled over the goal line however it had come loose after the whistle had blown, meaning overtime would continue.

The game did come to an end at the 16 minute mark of overtime when Joey Hishon found Cameron Brace.  Brace received the puck and was sprung on a breakway, which he buried past Anderson to give the Attack a 2-1 victory, their second consecutive overtime win in the series.  The Majors outshot the Attack 9-7 in the overtime period.

JP Anderson turned in a stellar performance this afternoon for the double blue.  He turned aside 38 of 40 shots in a losing effort.  Michael Zador was also solid in net for Owen Sound and recorded his second consecutive win, making 41 saves.  The games three stars were Zador (3rd), Anderson (2nd) and Cameron Brace (1st).

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