Attack star surprises himself

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Before this season, Owen Sound Attack forward Mike Angelidis had scored a grand total of 25 goals in 172 OHL games.

This year, nobody has lit the red light more than the big 20-year-old from Woodbridge, who enters tonight's visit to the John Labatt Centre with a league-leading 52 goals -- one more than London's Rob Schremp and David Bolland.

"Never once did I imagine I would be in a goal-scoring race with guys like Rob Schremp and David Bolland," Angelidis said. "If you would've said that at the start of the season, I would've laughed. But it would be great if I could win the goal-scoring title, especially against guys like that."

Unlike Schremp and Bolland, Angelidis celebrated his 50th goal on home ice as part of a four-goal outburst against Guelph last Saturday. He is the first Owen Sound player to hit the half-century mark since Jason MacDonald scored 55 for the Platers in 1993-94.

"To get No. 50 at home was nice, especially coming in a game where I got four goals," he said. "This year has built a lot of confidence. I went home at Christmas with 31 goals and now, I expect something to happen every game.

"People are expecting me to score, too. We went through a five-game stretch where we were losing and I wasn't scoring, so you feel the pressure to get it turned around."

Angelidis came into the OHL as a feisty customer who worked hard. This season, he has been buzzing around the net with gifted scorers like Bobby Ryan and Bob Sanguinetti feeding him the puck.

"(In minor hockey) I was always one of the top five scorers on my team, but the first few years here, the team needed me to drop my gloves, so that's what I did," the six-foot-one, 215-pounder said. "The new rules have been a big help because I can go in front of the net and no one can cross-check me anymore. Being on the power play is obviously a factor -- I have 30 power-play goals."

Owen Sound is often the forgotten team in the OHL's powerful Mid-west Division. The Attack is the only one of the five teams that hasn't won a league championship during the last five years.

"It's not really something you can put your finger on, but we have a different feeling this year," Angelidis said. "We feel we can compete with anybody in the playoffs. We just really want to finish strong and hold onto fifth place (in the Western Conference)."


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