By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
At the conclusion of every Ontario Hockey League season I update my file folders for the 19 clubs the Owen Sound Attack meet on a yearly basis.
Wins, Losses, Overtime Games, Shutouts and goal scorers are all documented from the head-to-head meetings with Owen Sound in these folders.
For the goal scorers, I scratch off all the graduating overage players and put an asterisk beside the goal scorers who may ( or may not ) return as overage players the next season.
This year when I was tabulating the goals scored by Owen Sound against the opposition, I noticed a trend I hadn't seen as evidently before.
In almost every case, against every team, the top goal scorers for Owen Sound were the 3 Attack overagers; Brady Lyle, Matt Philip & Matt Struthers, or one of a half dozen players who would be overagers at the start of next season.
While that's not extremely out of the ordinary, I did a secondary check of the year end stats.
Owen Sound's top 9 goal scorers were the 3 overagers and the six 19 year olds.
Why is this, or should this be, concerning to the average Attack fan or supporter ?
Well, in my mind, it leaves a large question mark as to where the goals are going to come from going forward.
Over 62 games last year Owen Sound scored 235 times.
( Keep in mind the Attack put up 21 of those goals in 2 road games at Barrie & St Catharines ).
The 9 senior players accounted for 175 Owen Sound markers which leaves just 60 goals for those still with eligibility.
But from that total of 60, you also have to subtract the totals of the departed Daylon Groulx & Kirill Nizhnikov which leaves 47 goals in 62 games for the eligible-to-return group, which represented a percentage of just over 7/10ths of a goal per outing.
Yes, I understand that 3 of the 2000 birthdates could remain with the club as overagers.
Yes, I understand Owen Sound could add an offensively gifted import player.
Yes, I understand increased ice time for the younger players will equal, or should equal, increase goal totals.
And yes, I've seen previously how a player can step up as he ages; Mike Angelidis may be the greatest example of that.
But with the OHL Priority Selection now behind the Attack, one of the primary areas for the club to address going forward is which forward will score whenever next season begins.
I'm Fred Wallace