Story by Peter Ruicci (Sault Star) | Photo by OHLImages.ca
Sometimes your finish matters a lot more than your start.
Soo Greyhounds shook off a shaky opening period on Wednesday, scoring five unanswered goals to defeat the Saginaw Spirit 6-3 before 3,496 at Essar Centre.
Defenceman Mac Hollowell recorded the first two-goal game of his Ontario Hockey League career, while also adding two assists in the Hounds fifth straight victory.
“I think we took them lightly. We weren’t executing early,” Hounds winger Boris Katchouk said of his team’s start.
“We can’t give up 21 shots in the first period,” added centre Morgan Frost, whose team was outshot 21-10 and trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes. “It’s unacceptable.”
But the game turned when Katchouk scored on a 5-on-3 power play with just 3:21 to go in the second period.
Katchouk’s ninth of the season – and fourth game-winner – put the home team up for good, 4-3.
The win improved the Soo’s record to 6-1-1-0.
With the score tied 3-3, Sault native Nicholas Porco was assessed a five-minute match penalty for slew-footing at 13:32 of the middle frame.
Less than two minutes later, D.J. Busdeker took a high-sticking minor and the Hounds were in business.
From the left side of the ice, Hollowell spotted Katchouk and hit the veteran winger with a back-door feed. Katchouk chipped the puck over Spirit netminder Evan Cormier and the Soo had its first lead.
“That changed the momentum greatly,” Saginaw head coach Troy Smith said of the two penalties and the Soo’s power-play goal. “Before that, we were working hard and creating opportunities.”
Asked if he believed the slew-footing call was justified, Smith said he’d “have to look back at it. I’ll let the league decide.”
Frost gave the Hounds an insurance marker with a power-play goal at 15:07 of the third. Jack Kopacka capped the scoring 42 seconds later.
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