Story by Peter Ruicci (Sault Star) | Photo courtesy of James Egan’s Sports Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON-
With the season winding down and points at a premium, this one hurt.
The Soo Greyhounds blew leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 on Wednesday, eventually dropping a 5-4 decision to the Kitchener Rangers before 3,848 at GFL Memorial Gardens.
Defensive miscues cost the home side dearly, as rookie netminder Nick Malik was too often left to fend for himself.
“Four big mistakes, four goals. They were catastrophic mistakes,” said Hounds head coach John Dean, whose club permitted three goals on redirections from right on the doorstep.
Aside from the Rangers first goal, a power-play marker by Declan McDonnell late in the opening period, the Hounds coach thought the other four Kitchener goals were the result of “four different missed assignments that ended up in the back of the net. That’s inexcusable.”
“Defensive mistakes, collectively, killed us,” admitted veteran Cole MacKay, who scored once on the power play and once shorthanded. “We have to find a way to bear down. We have to be better.”
With the game tied 4-4, Mike Petizian and Reid Valade worked a give-and-go which left Valade alone in front of Malik. He slipped it past the Soo goalie for the eventual winner at 12:07 of the third period.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Dean, whose club scored twice on the power play along with the short-handed marker, while outshooting the visitors 43-31. “You can’t do that at this time of the year.”
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ATTENDANCE – 3,848
PERMANENT ELECTRIC THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- Zack Trott, SOO
2- Reid Valade, KIT
3- Mike Petizian, KIT
To view the OHL Box Score | Game Summary CLICK HERE.
The Greyhounds continue their home stand this coming Friday, February 7th when they host the Guelph Storm.
Game time at the GFL Memorial Gardens is set for 7:07 PM.
Tickets are available now at the GFL Memorial Gardens Box Office, online at www.gflgardens.ca or by phone at 1.866.775.9422.