By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire "
The Owen Sound Attack have a pair of Ontario Hockey League road games this week; tonight at St Catharines against the Niagara IceDogs and then Saturday night at Erie when they face the Otters.
On the surface, the immediate impression is that the game Saturday at Erie is the more vital of the two matches this week since the Otters and the Attack are involved in a 5 team scramble with Flint, Guelph & Sault Ste Marie for the final 4 playoff positions in the Western Conference.
I'm not disputing that, but I'm quite certain the Attack brass will be firmly enforcing that tonight's game against the IceDogs is just as significant.
Niagara who hold the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference with a 3 point cushion on Kingston, have lost 6 in a row and thus may appear to be easy pickings.
Curiously in the last week on home ice, the IceDogs lost a 1 goal lead to front running Ottawa and then just 2 nights ago, they stayed with the Western Conference leading London Knights for an extended period before falling 5-2.
In between, Niagara got whacked by both Barrie & Hamilton, so....they're hard to figure, or put another way, Owen Sound needs to be prepared.
Furthermore, I'd think motivation wouldn't be an issue for the Attack after last year's head-to-heads with Niagara which were swept by the IceDogs.
In those 2 games last season, Niagara outscored Owen Sound....15-1, which included an embarrassing 9-0 shellacking at the Bayshore last February 24th.
By my count 13 current members of the Attack were subjected to the Niagara blowout, so I'd assume that group especially would have a great deal of incentive heading to the game tonight at St Catharines, and then, and only then, should the focus shift to the Erie Otters.
I'm Fred Wallace