Game 5 lesson wasn't lost on teams

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

There will definitely be some sympathy for the Owen Sound Attack the next time the team takes a penalty for shooting the puck or hitting an opponent after a whistle.

None of the players on the London Knights' Western Conference semifinal rivals will stop playing anytime soon after losing Friday night's Game 5 in overtime because defencemen Andrej Sekera and goalie Michael Ouzas thought the whistle had blown on a delayed penalty call.

It didn't -- and Knights captain Dylan Hunter buried the winning goal to stun the Attack and take the 3-2 series lead.

Owen Sound forward Derek Brochu didn't want to say that's why the Attack lost but said there was plenty of disbelief in the dressing room about it after the game.

"It's over and done with and we had to get past it," the 18-year-old Welland native said. "On the bus afterwards, the guys were pretty upset because we weren't really sure what happened.

"We were still in shock about it all. But once it's over, the spirits picked up and we knew we had another game at home to play so you start thinking about that instead."

There's a good teaching tool in that final sequence for every hockey player -- don't let up until you see the puck go over the glass or the officials take it out of the goaltender's glove.

"I think both teams learned a lesson there," London goalie Adam Dennis said. "You don't stop playing even if you think you hear a whistle. It was a weird play -- I didn't hear a whistle or anything myself -- but it worked to our advantage and we'll take it."

Brochu, who in Game 5 was one of only a select group this season to beat Dennis on a penalty shot, wisely sought advice from a puck-stopping teammate before burying a nifty backhand up high.

"I was looking for (Attack backup) Neil Conway on the bench to ask him what he thought about it but (Owen Sound forward) Jeff Kyrzakos told me to go talk to Ouzas," Brochu said. "I did and he told me to cut in, go high and try the backhand if it was there.

"I was pretty excited because we were down 1-0 at that point in the first period and I thought we needed a goal there."

Dennis, who has a high percentage of shutting the door in those one-on-one situations this year, said he thought his approach to the penalty shot was solid but the backhand can be a tricky tool. Plus, Ouzas trained with Dennis a little bit for a few summers and had to know what kind of advice he was giving to Brochu.

"He just got the better of me there," Dennis said. "He went in on an angle and then went to the backhand and I couldn't get there."

It was a growing trend later in the series that Owen Sound tried to shoot high on Dennis and stay away from his leg pads.

The Attack were encouraged by scoring five times in Game 5 with that game plan, although Bob Sanguinetti's tying goal tipped off defenceman Trevor Kell with 35 seconds left in the third period and zipped past Dennis.

"The good thing about high shots is that it's easier for rebound control because you're using your glove and your blocker," Dennis said.

"I don't mind them shooting high. I like to think it energizes the team and gets them going when I make a big glove save."


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