Attack Ready Themselves For West Final Showdown With ErieApril 20, 2017 3:03pm
The Owen Sound Attack are gearing up for a heavy weight tilt against the Western Conference’s number 1 seed Erie Otters.
On a conference call Wednesday, Attack coach Ryan McGill reflected on the 4-2 series win over the Soo Greyhounds after beating Kitchener 4-1.
“I think out of the Kitchener series, moving into the series with the Soo, it was fast-paced, quick transition games, both goalies were excellent in that series. A lot of close games, even though there were some 4-1 scores there were some empy net goals, and a lot of tense moments.”
The Attack only finished 1 point back of the Otters, playing them 6 times, in the regular season, which should mean a tight series for the right to go to the OHL Final. Attack captain Santino Centorame says he expects a tight, fast series.
“Obviously we’re both very good teams, high skill, they have really quick forwards. It’s going to be a really hard series and I expect the pace to ramp up a lot more.”
Coach McGill commented on how huge goaltending is, and what the Attack see from goalie Michael McNiven.
“Your goaltender is important in the playoffs obviously to make the timely save, and I think Michael has done that consistently all year. I think that gives our group the confidence to move ahead and go forward and play a bit on the edge as far as taking some chances and risks here and there.”
The Attack have been scoring in bunches this post-season, and are led by dynamic 2017 NHL Draft hopeful Nick Suzuki, who is tied with speedy forward Petrus Palmu with 16 points each. Palmu also sits in a 3 way tie for the lead in playoff goals with 10, and is tied for game winners with 4. McNiven has been huge in the crease, posting a .931 save percentage, with Dylan Wells of the Petes the only remaining goalie ahead of him at .944. McNiven is tied with Wells for wins, and leads the post-season in shut outs with 2.
For Erie, they continue to be led by Alex DeBrincat, a Chicago 2nd round pick from last year as he leads all playoff scorers with 22 points and leads with 16 assists. Dylan Strome, Canada’s World Junior captain this year, has been very productive as well with 17 points, and Taylor Raddysh is having a great run with 18. Anthony Cirelli leads the playoffs in power play goals with 4, and the Otters will be a consistent threat if given too many man advantage opportunities.