Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photo by OHLImages
They hadn’t met in nearly three months time. And last time they did, it was last second heroics by KEEGHAN HOWDESHELL who netted the game’s winning goal and lifted the Soo Greyhounds over the Kitchener Rangers.
This time around it was a quick start by the Hounds that set the tone before they had to battle adversity late before sweeping the season series with Kitchener.
The victory improved the club to 53-7-2-2 on the season, good for 110 points matching a franchise best set by the 2014-15 edition of the Hounds.
Kitchener, ON product BORIS KATCHOUK opened the scoring less than five minutes (4:46) into the game by sticking with the play in tight on Mario Culina and evening his goal and assist totals at 40 apeice.
MORGAN FROST took the initial shot, while MAC HOLLOWELL had the other assist.
Less than sixty seconds (5:44) later the lead doubled for the visitors when KEEGHAN HOWDESHELL carried the puck up the right wing as part of an odd-man rush and his shot lit the lamp for his 15th goal of the season.
The Hounds then would make it a three straight when HOWDESHELL brought the puck around the goal and centered it for HAYDEN VERBEEK who was driving to the net, and the overage forward would make no mistake in potting his 28th of the season.
Kitchener cut into the lead three minutes later when ADAM MASCHERIN’s shot off a cross ice feed by Joseph Garreffa caught a piece of MATTHEW VILLALTA, but not enough to make it a 3-1 game.
Hounds outshot Kitchener 18-12 in the period and carried 1:37 of a powerplay over to the second period of play.
That man advantage quickly became a 5-on-3 for forty-four seconds when Logan Stanley’s minor penalty provided the extra advantage but the Hounds couldn’t capitalize.
Defensively the Hounds continued to limit Kitchener, allowing just four shots against in the first half of the period and ten overall in the frame.
But penalties became an issue for the Greyhounds and put them in a precarious position to star the third period.|
First RASMUS SANDIN took a minor at the 19:11 mark before BORIS KATCHOUK took a third swipe at the puck and got a piece of Culina as well thus a slashing penalty.
While at the buzzer NOAH CARROLL got his hands up in the corner and was tagged a high sticking infraction.
Kitchener would hold two separate 5-on-3 to start the third period and would capitalize on both.
Just 24 seconds into the period, Joseph Garreffa was to the left of the Greyhounds goal and despite MATTHEW VILLALTA’s getting a stick on the puck at first, the Ranger forward pulled the Rangers within a goal.
Just over a minute later (1:25) Adam Mascherin sent a cross ice feed to Kole Sherwood who let a quick release go into an empty part of the net for a tied game.
But as has been the case many times this season, the Greyhounds would regain composure score the most important goal of the game exactly ten minutes later.
Even though BORIS KATCHOUK seemed to be off stride he found a way past the Rangers defence before backhanding the puck past Culina for his second goal of the night and 41st of the season.
The teams would skate 5-on-5 the rest of the way and despite Kitchener pulling Culina to the bench for the extra attacker, the Greyhounds would withstand any pressure along with great positioning and physical play by KEEGHAN HOWDESHELL at both ends of the night.
Hounds outshot the Rangers 43-34 in the game en-route to the sweep of their Western Conference foe.
RED STAR THREE STARS
1- Boris Katchouk, SSM
2- Adam Mascherin, KIT
3- Keeghan Howdeshell, SSM
To view the OHL Box Score CLICK HERE.
* With two goals on the night BORIS KATCHOUK snapped a five-game scoreless drought.
* Both the Greyhounds (1) and Rangers (5) were ranked in the latest edition of the CHL Top 10 for Week 24. The Hounds have been among the rankings all season long while Kitchener has garnered positioning for 9 weeks.
* Kitchener scratches included Logan Brown (upper body) and Givani Smith (ill)
The Greyhounds will take an off / travel day on Saturday as they head into Owen Sound.
Action against the Attack is set for Sunday Afternoon – March 11 @ 2:00 PM.
Fans can hear all the action starting with the Soo Video TV Pre-Game Show on Rock 101 (101.3 FM) starting at 1:30 PM or watch on ShawTV at 2 PM.
This concludes the Greyhounds road portion of the 2017-18 regular season schedule before shifting back to Sault Ste. Marie for a trio of games next week.