This was a very forgettable game for the visiting Icedog squad. They were very lackluster to start the game and had a very difficult time moving the puck most of the night to the areas where they could operate offensively. The Attack did not have to play their best game tonight they only had to be adequate - and thus were able to stretch out the Icedog defense to produce many choices of offensive attacking angles and offensive plays.
There were a few flashes of offensive punch early in the game from Niagara’s Perlini. He used his speed a to get around the defensive or to dash up the middle. Goalie Brandon Hope was up to the early challenges and didn’t see much more action the rest of the first period. At the end of the first period, shots on goal were in favour of the home side 14-2 and they would lead 2-0.
Niagara finally was able to get one past Hope in the second period off a set play where the puck was shot wide off the end boards to Fitzmorris who shoveled it over to Verhaeghe in the slot. He would rocket a wrist shot into the top corner for a 2-1 margin. After that the Attack would rattle off 4 straight goals to finish the second frame and to continue to push hard into the third period. The Dogs would notch the game’s final goal on a powerplay where some responsible D to D work would produce a shot on net by Hayden which would rebound right onto the stick of Protapovich for the his fourth goal of the season.
The Icedogs were 1 / 2 on the powerplay and the Attack were 1 / 5. Gemel Smith had 4 points in the game - four other Attack players had multipoint games.
Niagara’s rugged first year defenceman Mikulovich was interfered with at centre ice on an offensive rush by the Attack as the game was winding down in the third period – he quickly return to his defensive position and took out an open Attack player in the front of the net with the hit of the game. The referee would assess a minor penalty for elbowing much to the chagrin of the Icedog bench. Aleksandar would not go to the penalty box as he was complaining about a strained knee as a result of the play and received attention at the Icedog bench. The game became more chippy as time winded down – complete with a melee to finish the game resulting in 2 minor penalties handed out at the 20:00 mark.
Next up for the Dogs is their annual home ice New Years Eve game – this season vs. the Belleville Bulls. The Attack’s next action is at Sarnia December 29 just ahead of their New Years Day contest vs. the Guelph Storm.