by Peter Ruicci (Independent Media) | Photo by Bob Davies
Athletes are taught to have very short memories. What’s happened in the past must be moved on from.
However, it’s apparent early-season setbacks against geographical rivals aren’t easily forgotten.
“One-hundred per cent we want to get back at them,” Soo Greyhounds winger Marc Boudreau said of the Sudbury Wolves, the Hounds opponent on Wednesday (7:07 p.m.) at GFL Memorial Gardens. “We’re way more motivated.”
That’s as a result of the Wolves 6-3 victory over the Soo on Oct. 9 here.
Sudbury never trailed in that game, taking a 4-3 lead into the final period before capping things off with a pair of unanswered goals.
Afterwards, Hounds head coach John Dean lamented how “unfortunately, our D-zone coverage struggled. There were three shots from the point where we didn’t pick up anyone in front of the net and they got sticks on it.”
By not tying opponents up, the Soo coach felt his club “left Sammy (netminder Samuel Ivanov) out to dry.”
“We want our revenge,” said Boudreau, in his second season as an active player with the Hounds after the 2020-2021 campaign was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We want to beat them. We want to get back at them.”
“As an athlete, you have a competitive mindset,” added fellow winger Kalvyn Watson, who, like Boudreau, broke in during the ’19-’20 campaign. “We want that game back.”
Having scored once and set up another so far this season, the five-foot-10, 170-pound Watson spoke of how the Hounds “had some mental errors” in the first Sudbury matchup. “But we’ll be good to go on Wednesday.”
The Greyhounds take a 3-2-0-0 mark, tops in the Ontario Hockey League’s West Division, into the contest. The Wolves are 2-4-0-0, good for a third-place tie in the Central Division.
Following a successful road trip which saw the Soo take two wins in three games, Boudreau also spoke of how he believes the Hounds are a better team in their end the ice.
“We really tightened up our D-zone and made lots of improvements,” said Boudreau, whose club defeated Barrie 6-3 last Thursday, before stopping Guelph 4-2 on Friday.
On Saturday, fatigue played a role as turnovers contributed to a 5-3 loss in Owen Sound.
However, “we took strides and everyone did their jobs better,” added Boudreau, a six-foot-two, 183-pounder who has a goal and two assists in five games to date. “On Wednesday, I think you’ll see a different team in the defensive zone, 100 per cent, than the last time we played Sudbury.”
Following Wednesday’s clash, the Greyhounds are slated to entertain the North Bay Battalion both Friday and Saturday. Start time both nights is 7:07 p.m.
The back-to-back games are the result of the OHL attempting to limit travel for its teams this season.
Sault native Cole MacKay enters the week as the Hounds leading scorer with three goals and five assists in five games.
Fellow overage Tye Kartye follows with four goals – all on the power play – and an assist for five points. Kartye is tied in team scoring with first-year centre Bryce McConnell-Barker (3-2-5) and veteran Tanner Dickinson (1-4-5). Veteran Rory Kerins has four points, having scored once and helped set up three others.