By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Owen Sound Attack play their first two away games of the Ontario Hockey League season; tonight at Barrie and then tomorrow night at Guelph.
After losing their opener in a shootout to Ottawa at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound gets their first test of life on the road, and the road, certainly in the early going, will likely give an indication of where the Attack are going this season.
First of all, looking at the schedule, every Attack road game between now and Black Friday in November is a divisional contest, more or less.
I know Barrie isn't in Owen Sound's division, but they may as well be, since there are 6 meetings on annual basis between the two squads at opposite ends of Highway 26.
Interestingly, the 3 Attack games at Barrie this year are among those first 8 essentially divisional games.
Owen Sound will also have two sequences similar to this week where they visit Barrie on a Thursday and then face the Storm in Guelph the following night.
Throw in 2 at Kitchener and a Thanksgiving Weekend game at London, and Owen Sound is faced with key divisional matchups every night on the road to start this season.
Looking back to last season, the Attack must also find a higher level of success on the road.
After the January 10th Trade Deadline last year, and we don't want to re-visit that here & now, Owen Sound went 3 & 14 away from home.
Along with that discouraging record is the fact that in 4 of the 14 losses Owen Sound was outscored by 5 goals, or more in the case of a 9-1 shellacking at Sudbury.
I don't think you can magically turn a hockey trend around in one night, but you have to start somewhere and for the Owen Sound Attack the reversal of road fortunes may as well begin tonight at Barrie against the 2 & 0 Colts.
I'm Fred Wallace