GAME PREVIEW; Mar. 12/17 – SSM @ SBY

With just over a week remaining in the OHL regular season, THIS AFTERNOON (2 PM) puts the Hounds up against the Sudbury Wolves in Game 6 of the Bell Challenge Cup.

Sudbury holds a 7 to 5 points lead in the Northern Ontario rivalry, meanwhile the Hounds have won two of the last three games between the two clubs.

The Greyhounds enter today fresh off a Friday Night victory (6-1) over the Kitchener Rangers that not only extended the team’s winning/regulation unbeaten streak, but it also clinched the club the 2017 West Division title.

Sudbury snapped a five-game losing streak back on Friday with a 4-2 victory over Barrie and remained in a heated battle for their bid for an Eastern Conference playoff position.

Today the Northern Ontario rivalry rekindles for the final time of the regular season.

Sault Ste. Marie (45-15-3-1, 94 points)
@ Sudbury Wolves (24-32-7-0, 55 points)

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The Bell Challenge Cup, six-game season series with the Sudbury Wolves comes to a close here this afternoon.

After the most lopsided contest in the series mid-February, let’s take a look at how the two Northern clubs have faired against each other;

W 7-2, Feb. 15 @ SSM
After a scoreless first period, the Hounds exploded for four second period goals (Senyshyn x2, Makinen, MacIntyre) to hold the commanding lead along with outshooting the Wolves 25-5 in the period;  The Hounds then outscored Sudbury 3-2 in the final period of regulation in the largest margin of victory in the season series thus far;  The Hounds outshot Sudbury 54-25 and went 3-for-5 on the powerplay

L 2-5, Feb. 4 @ SBY
After scoring the first periods only two goals, Sudbury extended their lead to 3-0 just 1:49 into the second period (goals by Pilon, Carson, Dunda);  Blake Speers (7) and Jack Kopacka (18) pulled the Greyhounds within a goal by replying in the second half of the second period;  Dmitry Sokolov put Sudbury ahead by two before Dunda’s empty netter with 2:10 to play in a 5-2 final;  Both teams were 0-for-5 on the powerplay

OTW 5-4, Jan 11 @ SBY
Sudbury erased a scoreless first period with a goal with 12 seconds left by Dmitry Sokolov;  Hounds then took a 3-1 lead after two periods by goals by Gettinger, Speers, Katchouk;  After Jack Kopacka’s third period shorthanded goal (4-1), Sudbury scored three goals in a span of four minutes and 31 seconds to send the game to overtime;  David Miller scored the game winner for the Hounds

OTL 3-4, Dec. 14 @ SSM
Tim Gettinger opened the scoring midway through the first period before Sudbury scored three unanswered to end the first period;  Gettinger and MacIntyre tied it in the second before a scoreless third period;  Just 19 seconds into OT Dmitry Sokolov ended the game;  Hounds held SBY to 23 shots

L 2-6, Oct 19 @ SSM
Sudbury scored first goal of the game and would outscore the Hounds 3-1 in first and 3-0 in second to lead 6-1 through forty minutes;  Dmitry Sokolov recorded the hat trickHounds had outshot SBY 42-28 while both teams scored once on PP

For the third time in the last four years, the Greyhounds clinched the Angelo Bumbacco Trophy (West Division title) with their win on Friday Night, combined with Windsor’s loss at Sarnia.

It’s the sixth time overall the Hounds have won such honours;  2015, 2014, 2008, 2005, 1997

Boris Katchouk’s goal at 14:57 of the first period on Friday helped the Hounds set a new franchise record.
That shorthanded goal set a new record for shorthanded goals in a season by the club eclipsing the old mark of 20, set back in 1991-92.

Meanwhile personally, the Kitchener ON native tied Wayne Gretzky’s single-season mark of 7 shorthanded goals in a season.

They play aggressive and they play physical.  But all season long the Sudbury Wolves have led the OHL in penalty minutes.  An area one can assume the club is working on with the playoffs on the horizon.

Heading into today, Sudbury’s 927 penalty minutes tops the twenty-team league.  That’s an average of 14.71 penalty minutes per game.

By comparison, the Hounds have 625 minutes in penalties in 64 games or an average of 9.76 per game.

With five games (including today) remaining in the regular season, Sudbury is in the midst of a heated battle with both North Bay and Niagara for the 7th and 8th playoff positions in the Eastern Conference.

Over the next nine days Sudbury will play four games to cap off 2016-17 and will ultimately determine their own fate.
Sudbury plays North Bay twice in a home-and-home series along with travelling to Niagara and Mississauga.

To view the full conference standings CLICK HERE.

• Bobby MacIntyre (26-50-76);  7GWG;  22 PP Pts
• Zach Senyshyn (41-21-62);  248 SOG;  10 GWG
• Boris Katchouk (32-27-59);  7 SHG

• Dmitry Sokolov (44-22-66);  29 PP Pts;  7 GWG
• David Levin (18-32-50);  16 PP Pts
• Ryan Valentini (17-30-47);  16 PP Pts

For all the stats throughout the game check out the OHL boxscore HERE.

The Rock 101 pre-game show with Gerry Liscumb Jr. begins starting at 1:30 PM.  You can hear the action by tuning your FM dial to 101.3 or listen online HERE.

ShawTV will have the coverage beginning at 2 PM.

Don’t forget to take part in tonight’s “Muio’s Predictor Challenge”.

Tweet us who you predict to score the Hounds first goal for a chance to win a $10 Muio’s Restaurant gift card.  #muios

mar12_previewPhoto by James Egan Photography

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