Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photo by Tim Cornett / WindsorSpitfires.com
A five-point lead at the top of the West Division was slightly trimmed on Thursday Night as the Windsor Spitfires picked up an overtime victory over the Hounds.
But putting together a three goal third period erased the deficit for the Hounds and helped them grab the single point in the contest.
“Let’s be honest here, this is a tough place to play and one of the best teams in the West. You come out of here with a point. Obviously for them it was imperative they had to get something out of it. We saw their best tonight and I thought we did a good job against it. We matched it” said Hounds Head Coach Drew Bannister.
The Hounds pressed in the opening minutes and held steady offensive zone time but were unrewarded.
Windsor would open the scoring seconds after their first draw in the Greyhounds zone.
Mikhail Sergachev’s left point shot created came off the pads of JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS where Luke Boka was there to put the pounce on the rebound for a 1-0 Spitfire lead.
After jumping out to a 9-1 shot advantage, Windsor would increase their lead converting on their first powerplay of the game.
At 10:26, Jeremy Bracco was part of two men deep when he moved the puck to his left to Aaron Luchuk who fired high over the right shoulder of Raaymakers for a 2-0 lead.
While the Hounds outshot the Spitfires in the final ten minutes of the period, a 12-6 shot advantage, and 2-0 lead favoured Windsor heading into the second period.
Just six shots between the two teams started the second period before the Hounds mounted three good chances in a span of three minutes.
Midway through the period JACK KOPACKA dug the puck from in a scrum and fired wide of the empty cage. He would come up big later in the game.
With under eight minutes to go BARRETT HAYTON moved between the dots and backhanded a shot that was turned aside by the glove of Michael DiPietro.
Then within a minute, BORIS KATCHOUK went around the Windsor goal and set-up KOPACKA who was turned aside for the second time in the period.
The momentum the Hounds had gained would temporarily be stalled in the final two minutes when a too many men on the ice penalty was called against the club by one of the linesmen.
Twenty-seven seconds into the powerplay Windsor would make it a 3-0 game when the puck was centred following a battle in the corner by a Hound and went off a standing RAAYMAKERS and into their own goal to increase the deficit heading into the third period.
A comeback was sparked by the Hounds midway through the third period on their second powerplay of the game.
Twenty-five seconds into the man advantage, JACK KOPACKA stepped in and fired home his 26th goal of the year cutting the deficit to a pair of goals.
Just over two minutes later TIM GETTINGER picked off a Windsor pass and stepped in over the line before firing past DiPietro for his 28th goal of the year making it a one-goal game.
Then at 13:47 JACK KOPACKA’s second goal of the game, and 27th of the season, pulled the Hounds even. The goal’s lone assist was provided by COLTON WHITE.
The Greyhounds successfully killed off a Windsor powerplay in the final 2:19 of regulation to force overtime for the 10th time this season.
And while being outshot in the first period, and in the game, the Hounds led that department 17-13 combined in the second and third periods.
Graham Knott sealed Windsor the extra point at 1:44 of overtime when he stepped around a Greyhound forward and went low on the goal for a 4-3 Windsor victory.
“I think you have to. Their backs were up against the wall, we knew it was going to be a difficult game” started Bannister when asking about the comeback of the Hounds and taking away positive from the game.
“Obviously being down 3-0, I thought the second period we did a lot of good things and didn’t get rewarded. The first we weren’t great, they scored on the powerplay, we got outmuscled on the first goal, we knew they were going to do that. Our kids didn’t compete as hard as we expected them to in the d zone. We were down 3-0 and we found a way to get ourselves back in the game and slowly chipped away” he concluded.
ATTENDANCE – 4,855
RED STARS THREE STARS
1- Gabriel Vilardi, WSR
2- Jack Kopacka, SSM
3- Graham Knott, WSR
• The Greyhounds skated with 7 defenceman on Thursday; Scratches were 15 Calvin Martin and 17 Alex Gritz
• Windsor scratches were 8 Connor Corcoran, 17 Logan Stanley (injured), 96 DiGiacinto (suspension)
• The six-game season series with Windsor concludes 3-2-1-0 in favour of the Hounds.
• Both teams now have eight games remaining in the regular season in the battle for top spot in
the West Division
To view the OHL Boxscore CLICK HERE.
The Greyhounds take a 3-0 head-to-head record into Friday Night’s game with the Guelph Storm.
Game time is 7:30 PM from the Sleeman Centre
Fans can hear all the action live with Gerry Liscumb Jr. on Rock 101 (101.3 FM) starting with the Pre-Game Show at 7:00 PM. You can also listen live HERE.
ShawTV will broadcast the game starting at 7:30 PM
Don’t forget to check out our GAME PREVIEW online at www.soogreyhounds.com early on Friday morning.