Powerplay provides difference for Hounds over top-ranked Otters
Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photo by James Egan Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON-
One night after a disappointing home ice loss, the Soo Greyhounds grabbed an opportunity late in the third period Saturday and took advantage in a big way.
Sitting tied 3-3 with the Erie Otters, the Hounds scored three powerplay goals in a span of four minutes and twenty-two seconds to secure the victory (6-3) over the top team in the Ontario Hockey League.
“We talked about it yesterday. Our powerplay didn’t give us a chance to win the game yesterday, it really could have given us a chance to win the game early. And I thought late in the game (tonight) with the opportunity we had guys cashed in and to score those three goals and separate as quickly as they can, they certainly won us the game” stated Hounds Head Coach Drew Bannister.
With both teams playing their second game in as many days, it was the visiting Otters who came out flying and setting the tone including a scoring chance just thirty seconds into the opening period that forced JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS to make a left toe save on Allan McShane.
The tide of the period significantly changed around the seven minute mark when the Hounds trio of HAYDEN VERBEEK, TIM GETTINGER and BORIS KATCHOUK along with defenceman COLTON WHITE and MAC HOLLOWELL spent the entire duration of their shift in the Otters zone buzzing with pressure.
Seconds after ZACH SENYSHYN broke around the Erie defence and tested Troy Timpano, the Hounds would solve the Otter netminder who entered the contest with a sparkling 13-0-0-0 record this year between the pipes.
CONOR TIMMINS made the stretch pass to DAVID MILLER who fired a shot off the right wing and scored it off the post and in for his 8th goal of the season, and first in eleven games, to give the Hounds a 1-0 lead.
With the lead, team-leading scorer BOBBY MACINTYRE sped through the middle of the ice splitting the Erie defenceman and used slick hands before being stopped by the glove of Timpano.
But with 1:22 remaining in the period the Hounds would build their lead to a pair of goals.
MACINTYRE skated in over the wing before feeding MORGAN FROST a pass that he put up and over Timpano for the 2-0 lead, and his 9th goal of the season.
Hounds led 2-0 after twenty minutes.
And like they did in the first period, the visiting Otters came out strong in the second period including a goal just thirty-three seconds in when Kyle Pettit skated to the net and put it up and overtop RAAYMAKERS to cut the Hounds deficit in half.
After Jordan Sambrook wheeled in and scored his third goal of the year to tie the game at 3:27, Pettit would respond with his second goal of the period to provide the Otters their first lead of the night.
The overage centreman cashed in after the puck hit off a Greyhound in front and poked it home at 7:57 to give Erie the 3-2 advantage.
“We weren’t ready to start in the second and it cost us a lead, but I liked our guys in the past at home when we have given up a lead or strayed away from what we did well, tonight we stayed with it and they trusted each other and they trusted the process we put in front of them” stated Bannister.
That process saw the Hounds pull back on even terms with under four minutes to play in the second period.
JACK KOPACKA sped up the right wing side and carried the puck deep in the zone before sending it back to the point. From there, MAC HOLLOWELL’s shot from the left point went low and past Timpano for his 1st goal of the season, and a tied 3-3 game through forty minutes.
The third period was a tight-checking affair from the onset.
And while for over half the period, neither team had a distinct advantage, a turning point would occur with 5:40 remaining.
Erie defenceman Erik Cernak was assessed a five-minute match penalty for slew-footing after dumping the Hounds BORIS KATCHOUK in neutral ice, sending the Hounds to their third powerplay advantage of the game.
On the five minute powerplay the Hounds would cash in quickly and often.
Eight seconds into the powerplay MORGAN FROST moved the puck to ZACH SENYSHYN who sent it across in front of the goal to BOBBY MACINTYRE who deposited his 11th goal of the year and gave the Hounds a 4-3 lead.
Just twenty-one seconds later SENYSHYN picked up his second assist on the powerplay skating the puck up the wing before finding OTTO MAKINEN going to the net for his 3rd goal of the year.
And then with 1:08 to play in the period and time still remaining on the powerplay, DAVID MILLER recorded his 2nd goal of the game, 9th of the season to seal the 6-3 victory for the Hounds.
Hounds netminder JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS made 32 saves on 35 shots he faced to record the win.
“I thought Raay had a great bounce back game. I thought he was really good. None of the goals you can fault him on. The powerplay goal we tipped it in ourselves overtop of him” began Bannister.
“He kept us in the game early on in the first period, first ten minutes and kept us in it. Glad to see him win” he concluded.
The victory improved the Hounds record to 12-7-1-0, good for 25 points, just one shy of the division lead held by the Sarnia Sting while it snapped Erie’s fifteen game unbeaten streak.
ATTENDANCE – 3,835
RED STAR THREE STARS
1- Conor Timmins, SSM
2- Zach Senyshyn, SSM
3- Kyle Pettit, ER
To view the online boxscore CLICK HERE.
The Hounds take a trip down the I-75 this Wednesday, November 16th in a rematch with the Saginaw Spirit.
**NOTE** – GAME TIME FOR THIS CONTEST IS SET FOR 10:45 A.M.
Fans can hear all the action beginning with the Pre-Game Show on Rock 101 (101.3 FM) starting at 10:15 a.m with Gerry Liscumb Jr.