SAULT STE. MARIE, ON –
Photos courtesy of James Egan Photography
Saturday Night was a night to remember for the Soo Greyhounds and their fans.
With the team entering their 67th game of the season (vs Windsor Spitfires), the spotlight was shining bright on ADAM FOOTE.
The former Greyhound who represented the Ontario Hockey League Club for three seasons (1988-91) was on-hand, along with family and special guests, as the organization raised his jersey to the rafters of the Essar Centre.
Foote becomes just the 5th retired jersey in team history alongside John Vanbiesbrouck, Ron Francis, Craig Hartsburg and Wayne Gretzky.
The night started off as the Hounds entered their pre-game skate wearing special Adam Foote warmup jerseys. A select number of autographed jerseys were auctioned off locally while others will appear on the CHL Auction site in coming days.
When the evening’s official ceremony began, Adam’s wife Jennifer and son’s Callan and Nolan joined team ownership at centre ice. With all three presented token gifts from the Hounds it set the stage for the guest of honour for the night.
Adam was introduced to centre ice to a standing ovation from the 4,300 Soo faithful at the Essar Centre.
The former NHL Stanley Cup champion addressed the audience before Hounds defenseman RYAN SPROUL took a #5 jersey off his back and presented it to Foote. It was a fitting tribute to see a present day OHL elite defenseman hand-off to one of the OHL’s premiere and Greyhound alumni.
Foote later went on to addressed the crowd and organization before the official banner unveiling.
From there #5 was placed into it’s longtime home in Sault Ste. Marie and Greyhounds history.
On behalf of the entire organization we would like to thank Adam for his contributions to our club and we are extremely greatful he was able to be present for the very special night.
“Once a Greyhound, Always a Greyhound!”
When the puck dropped on the Ontario Hockey League contest, the Hounds were stepping onto the ice for their second-last game of their 40th Anniversary season.
Entering the night with a record of 27-33-2-4, the Hounds were meeting Windsor (29-31-5-2) for the 6th and final game marked their 6th and final meeting against their division-rivals.
And no one in their wildest dreams would have expected the flood gates they were about to see.
JACK CAMPBELL (DAL) got the start for the Hounds while Windsor countered with their 2nd Round pick from the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, Jordan DeKort.
Hounds leading scorer NICK COUSINS opened the scoring 7:11 into the first period shorthanded in what would be the start of a three straight by the Hounds.
BRANDON ALDERSON (16) and MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (26) responded before Ben Johnson tallied Windsor lone goal of the first period and the Hounds led 3-1 after twenty minutes.
The team’s combined for 7 more goals in the second with COLIN MILLER (8), ALDERSON (17 and second of the night) and CARSON DUBCHAK (15) scoring for the locals as the lead was trimmed to 6-5 after forty minutes.
Three specialty-team goals were traded between the Hounds and Spits in the third period.
DUBCHAK (2nd of the night), DAVID BROLL (7), RYAN SPROUL (21) and BRETT FINDLAY (19) scored for the home side as the Hounds went on to the 10-9 regulation victory.
Overage defenseman MICHAEL SCHWINDT blocked numerous last minute Windsor shots as the Spitfires ended the game on the powerplay and had pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.
Windsor-winger Kerby Rychel had the hat trick meanwhile Ty Bilcke grabbed his 1st goal of the year for the visitors.
Along with the season-high 10 goals for, the Hounds additionally outshot Windsor by a 47-32 margin.
WSR – 2-for-6
SSM – 3-for-5
1 – Carson Dubchak, SSM
2 – Kerby Rychel, WSR
3 – Michael Schwindt, SSM
2011-12 will come to a close for the Soo Greyhounds on Sunday evening (March 18) when they play host to the Kitchener Rangers in a 7:05 p.m. start.
Prior to the game the Hounds will recognize their three overage players – DUBCHAK, SCHWINDT and JOE ROGALSKI along with having their parents and billet parents at centre ice.
Tickets are available at the Essar Centre Box Office starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
We hope to see you rinkside as the curtain comes down on another OHL season here in the Lock City.