Story by soogreyhounds.com | Photos courtesy of James Egan Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON-
The calendar may only read January but Sunday afternoon had the playoff-type anticipation and atmosphere surrounding the Hounds and London Knights third meeting of the year.
It was the locals who would overcome their first deficit of the game, late in the third period, to reel from ZACH SENYSHYN’s fifth hat trick of the season to down their opponent in overtime.
All three match-ups with the Knights have went past the sixty minutes of regulation time.
“It was real good hockey. I remember last year the game that they were in here we lost 2-1 it was an outstanding game. It always seems that both teams when they get together it’s a pretty good hockey game. Two real good hockey teams” began Hounds Head Coach Drew Bannister regarding the game itself.
And a pretty good hockey game it was.
Looking to rebound from a Friday Night defeat at home, the Hounds opened the contest right from the start with poise and purpose while testing London netminder Tyler Parsons.
Just twenty-seconds into the game JACK KOPACKA made his way to the slot and backhanded a shot from in close only to be turned aside by the Knights tender’s glove hand.
Then over the midway point of the period the Hounds penalty kill negated it’s first tour of duty with an exclamation point. Not only did the locals hold London shotless it created two chances of their own when Captain BLAKE SPEERS had a breakaway before setting up BORIS KATCHOUK for a low attempt that was foiled.
ZACH SENYSHYN would open the scoring with the periods only goal, on the powerplay, at the 16:37 mark.
JACK KOPACKA moved the puck off the right wing wall back to CONOR TIMMINS who’s wrister from the point made it to the net, bounced off the chest of Parsons and was shovelled home by the Ottawa, ON product for his 25th goal of the year and a 1-0 Greyhounds lead.
London would pull even in the opening seconds of the second period (0:23) when Olli Juolevi’s wrist shot from the left point went through a crowd and under the bar to JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS glove hand to make it a 1-1 game.
The remainder of the second period saw chances traded while the Hounds outshot the Knights by 17 to 9 margin.
DAVID MILLER on a partial breakaway, COLTON WHITE while playing 4-on-4 and a shot tipped wide by NOAH CARROLL highlighted the Hounds chances.
While Mitchell Vande Sompel was turned aside by RAAYMAKERS with around a minute and a half to go on a breakaway of his own.
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the third period.
“A lot of quality. I thought we had real good puck movement. I thought our D did an outstanding job defending but I thought they did a great job recognizing when they could jump in the play and be active in the offensive zone. It created a lot of confusion for London I think, defending. I thought we did a real good job that way” commented Bannister about the scoring chances his team created on the day.
JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS kept the score on even terms with a brilliant pad save around two minutes into the third period stopping newly-acquired Mitchell Stephens to the right of the goal.
And while the two teams traded and negated powerplay opportunities mid-period, London would gain their first lead of the day with two minutes remaining in regulation.
The puck was flipped from near the London line high in the air before being dropped to Robert Thomas who’s low shot gave London the 2-1 advantage.
But with their goalie pulled for the extra attacker the Hounds would even the score with 17 seconds to go. BORIS KATCHOUK came from the right of the goal and put the puck to the slot to SENYSHYN who lifted the puck under the bar and overtop Parsons to send the game to overtime.
Similarly to the previous meetings between the two clubs, the Hounds would there gain the full two points in the contest.
At 3:29 of overtime, while playing 3-on-3, BLAKE SPEERS carried the puck in the Knights zone, flipped the puck to his right where ZACH SENYSHYN cut through the slot and tucked home a low shot for the dramatic overtime victory while recording his 27th goal and third of the night in the process.
“We did a lot of good things. Our details were really good. The first two periods we didn’t turn the puck over very hardly at all which against London you want to do” began Bannister.
“In the third period we didn’t as good of a job as that, we gave them a few opportunities, but overall with the puck we did a lot of good things. Offensively we did a lot of good things. We weren’t rewarded in those chances. I thought in the game on Friday we probably got a little bit frustrated, we stuck with it today” he concluded.
The victory improved the Hounds to 31 wins, 10 losses, 2 overtime and 0 shootout losses, good for 64 points on the year and held them in the top spot in the OHL.
They are now 7-2 when a game is decided in a shootout.
ATTENDANCE – 3,992
RED STAR THREE STARS
1- Zach Senyshyn, SSM
2- Tyler Parsons, LDN
3- Noah Carroll, SSM
To view the OHL Boxscore CLICK HERE.
The Hounds complete their 3-game home stand this Wednesday Night (Jan. 18) when they host their division opponent, the Flint Firebirds.
Game time at the Essar Centre is set for 7:07 PM.
Great seats are available by stopping by the Essar Centre Box Office during regular business hours of 10 AM to 5:30 PM Monday and Tuesday, or Wednesday 10 AM through game time, or you can order online at www.essarcentre.ca or by phone at 1.866.775.9422.