Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photos by James Egan Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON-
It’s happened just twice in the past forty-four years (1984/85 and 2014/15).
But thanks to four unanswered goals, the Greyhounds overcame an early second period deficit to hit the 100-point with their win over London on Sunday afternoon.
The Hounds finish the regular season with an overall record of 48 wins, 16 losses, 3 overtime and 1 shootout loss.
“I thought we were real good. We did a great job. There wasn’t really any weak points in our game” began Head Coach Drew Bannister when asked about his clubs overall performance on Sunday.
“A real good performance going into playoffs. Let’s be honest, it’s been a great season. 48 wins and 100 points for this club but now the real fun begins for them when we play Flint. Now we prepare ourselves for a real tough series against them” he added.
The two teams would trade off a pair of goals each in the first period.
After London had connected on their first powerplay of the game (Olli Juolevi), the Greyhounds responded a few minutes later.
After ZACH SENYSHYN took the initial shot off the right wing, the rebound off the the pads of Tyler Johnson was t’ed up with a one-time slapshot by BORIS KATCHOUK for his 34th goal of the year.
DAVID MILLER gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the day with under five minutes to play in the period (15:57) skating out of the corner and and shooting five-hole to put the Hounds ahead 2 to 1.
London would pull back onto even terms with just four seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 powerplay late in the period when JJ Piiccinich’s shot appeared to hit something and slowly drop behind JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS for the 2-2 tie through one period of play.
“Obviously our discipline was not very good in the first period. All three penalties were lazy penalties and that was one of the things we talked about. They’re a team that wants to play on the powerplay, they’re extremely dangerous on the powerplay, they showed that tonight” said Bannister when asked if aside from the penalties, he was pleased on the night.
“We felt if we could play 5-on-5 hockey we had a chance to beat them” he added.
The Knights would start the second period by striking twice in the opening minute, two goals just twenty-nine seconds apart.
Evan Bouchard’s point shot (0:19) appeared to hop to give the Knights the one goal lead, while at 0:48 Max Jones touched the puck last and put home the 4-2 lead off a 3-on-1 rush to give London the two goal cushion.
ZACH SENYSHYN pulled the Greyhounds within a goal (3-4) before the period was five minutes old redirecting a MORGAN FROST shot past Johnson at 4:21 for his 42nd goal of the season.
A five-minute powerplay (match penalty for slew footing by Sam Miletic) generating the game tying goal.
BLAKE SPEERS fired the initial shot where BORIS KATCHOUK got the puck off the London netminder’s pads and recorded his second goal of the day to set the stage for a 4-4 tie through forty minutes.
The Hounds re-took the lead (5-4) at 4:09 of the third period pouncing on a rebound to the side of the London goal for his 15th goal of the year.
Then with time winding down a highlight reel goal by MORGAN FROST provided the Hounds the insurance marker.
The Aurora, ON product deked his way through two London defenders and then fired over the glove hand of Johnson to round out the scoring.
ZACH SENYSHYN and COLTON WHITE picked up the assists.
A 15-0 shot advance in the third period saw the Hounds outshoot London 43-22 overall on the afternoon.
“I wasn’t really watching the shots on goal. I knew there wasn’t a lot of time dzone for us, mainly because we spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. I thought we did a real good job once we scored that one goal to protect the lead, make it difficult on them, make them come basically two hundred feet. We always had guys back, our forwards were tracking pucks down tonight, I thought they did a great job. Our d’s gap were real good, there wasn’t a lot of space out there today for those guys to play” began Bannister about his team’s third period.
“Offensively I thought we did a great job creating a lot of confusion in the offensive zone and getting movement whether it was up top or down low and then bringing pucks to the net when we beat guys. Our guys did a real good job making it difficult in the dzone for them” he concluded.
The victory also helped the Hounds sweep the season series with the Knights (4-0), while this was the first game to end between the two teams in regulation.
ATTENDANCE – 3,957
RED STAR THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- Boris Katchouk (SSM)
2- Blake Speers (SSM)
3- Evan Bouchard (LDN)
To view the OHL Boxscore CLICK HERE.
The 2017 OHL Playoffs begin this coming week as the Hounds will host Games #1 and #2 at the Essar Centre.
Action with the Flint Firebirds kicks off on Thursday Night (March 23). The two teams will then take a day off before returning to action Saturday Night (March 25)
Both games are set for 7:07 PM starts.
Fans can be a part of the action by getting their tickets at the Essar Centre Box Office (10 AM to 5:30 PM), online at www.essarcentre.ca or by phone at 1.866.775.9422.