Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photo by James Egan Photography
The last thing the Soo Greyhounds wanted to do was breathe any life into their opponent and be forced to hop on the bus Saturday to head to Michigan.
Sitting with a 3-1 series lead against the Flint Firebirds, the Greyhounds overwhelmed their opponent on Friday Night, securing the victory and series win in five games.
“You don’t go into a series thinking your’e going to sweep a team, you get yourself ready for the long run. Certainly the first two games were tight, the third one too, but I thought in the 4th game on Wednesday we started to separate whether they were running out of gas a little bit. Tonight I thought we had our best game of the series” started Hounds Head Coach Drew Bannister on the feeling of the victory.
For the third time in the series, the Greyhounds would open up the scoring.
Under ten minutes into the first period, BORIS KATCHOUK brought the puck in the Firebirds zone and with a nice delay, later fed the puck to a streaking GUSTAV BOURAMMAN who notched his 1st goal/point of the series to give the Hounds the 1-0 lead.
The third year defenceman would end the night with a pair of points, +3 rating and third star honours.
Kole Sherwood would score the visitors one and only goal of the game with under four minutes to go when a turnover resulted in a Flint 3-on-1 and their playoff scoring leader one-time the puck past JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS to have the teams sitting even.
But in the dying seconds of the period, TIM GETTINGER shot the puck from the corner to Connor Hicks left, and deflected the puck off the Flint netminder with exactly 0.1 seconds on the clock to boost the Hounds to a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes.
“Certainly that goal right at the end was big for us. Even to then, they got the goal they got just a little bit of mismanagement inside the blueline. We were guilty of little bit of that in the first period. In the second, we were outstanding” said Bannister when asked of the effect of the game winning goal
Facing an early penalty kill early for the second straight period, just fifteen seconds this time, the Hounds negated that situation and would go 4-for-4 on the night.
Quickly thereafter, Flint was assessed back-to-back penalties half a minute apart, giving the Hounds a 5-on3 for 1:26.
They would convert on both sides of the powerplay.
CONOR TIMMINS point shot came off the end boards and BORIS KATCHOUK was there to the left of Hicks to put home his team-leading 5th of the playoffs to extend the Greyhounds lead to 3-1 at 3:48.
Just over a minute later TIM GETTINGER touched the puck last and put home a rebound (4:51) for his 2nd goal of the game and now a 4-1 lead.
The Hounds would carry the momentum and extended their lead by scoring twice more, resulting in four goals in a span of three minutes and eighteen seconds.
ZACH SENYSHYN buried a rebound off the pads of Connor Hicks for his third of the playoffs making it a 5-1 game at 6:27 and then a pass by GUSTAV BOURAMMAN went off a Flint defender sending DAVID MILLER alone to the goal where he deked home his 2nd of the playoffs and a commanding 6-1 Greyhounds lead after forty minutes.
The third period would go scoreless, and the Hounds held Flint shotless for twelve minutes in the third period before skating onto the Game 5 victory.
The Greyhounds outshot Flint 38-22 in the contest while winning the specialty team game by going 2-for-8 on the powerplay and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
“Ya, I mean I know with last year and going seven games and the travel we had from here to Sarnia, finishing that game, coming back here and then having to head on the road the same day was difficult for us and to have to head down to Erie. It will be nice to have a few days of rest, and then we will have a few days of practice to get ready for the series” concluded Bannister in response to the meaning of the time off the Hounds will now have before starting Round 2 of the playoffs.
ATTENDANCE – 3,992
RED STAR THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- Tim Gettinger, SSM
2- Jack Kopacka, SSM
3- Gustav Bouramman, SSM
To view the online box score CLICK HERE.
For the 4th consecutive season, the Soo Greyhounds will advance to the second round of the OHL Playoffs.
Their opponent will be the Owen Sound Attack.
Tickets for Games 1 & 2 of the series (Dates TBA) go on-sale TOMORROW – Saturday, April 1st – at the Essar Centre Box Office, online at www.essarcentre.ca or by phone at 1.866.775.9422.
The Box Office is closed on Sunday but regular business hours resume on Monday of 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Season ticket holders who purchase on a game-by-game basis must purchase at the Box Office.