Story by Peter Ruicci (Sault Star) | Photo by James Egan’s Sports Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON
The pregame skate was one of the few times Nick Malik didn’t stand on his head on Wednesday.
The Soo Greyhounds rookie goalie was outstanding, and the Hounds penalty-killing was flawless, in a critical 4-1 victory over the Flint Firebirds before 3,992 at GFL Memorial Gardens.
With regular season opportunities at a premium, the Soo (29-31-3-1) moved to within a single point of the idle Erie Otters (26-26-4-7) in the race for the eighth-and-final Western Conference playoff spot. Erie does have a game in hand.
“This win was massive,” said Hounds winger Joe Carroll, whose first period goal put the Soo ahead to stay.
“It was probably my best game of the season,” added Malik, who made numerous saves in tight. “I was focused on my game. I knew we needed these points. If we keep playing like this, we’ll make the playoffs.”
The victory for the Greyhounds marked their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 26-31.
“Malik was a five out of five tonight (Wednesday). He was fantastic,” said head coach John Dean, whose club is slated to leave on Thursday for a two-game road trip beginning Friday in Kitchener (7:30 p.m.) and concluding Saturday (4 p.m.) in London. “Without Mal, it’s a different story.”
The Hounds cap the regular campaign with home games a week from Friday, against Saginaw, and a week from Sunday, against Windsor.
The Otters play three games in three days this weekend, Friday in Saginaw, Saturday in Flint and Sunday in Sarnia.
Erie wraps things up at home a week from Saturday, against Flint, and a week from Sunday, against Kitchener.
To read the full story CLICK HERE.
PERMANENT ELECTRIC THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- Nick Malik, SOO
2- Joe Carroll, SOO
3- Tyler Tucker, FLNT
To view the OHL Box Score | Game Summary CLICK HERE.
The Greyhounds now head out on their final road trip of the regular season.
Friday Night (Mar. 13) the team will be in Kitchener to meet the Rangers. Game time is 7:30 PM
Fans can hear all the action on Rock 101 (101.3 FM) starting at 7 PM or watch on Shaw Spotlight at 7:30 PM.
While on Saturday (Mar. 14), a special 4 PM start has the Hounds in London against the Knights.
Fans can hear all the action on Rock 101 (101.3 FM) starting at 3:30 PM or watch on Sportsnet at 4 PM.