Photo courtesy of James Egan Photography
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON –
As the game progressed it had the feeling it may be one of the final shots on goal that would be the difference-maker. And it turned out that it very well would be.
Opening a three-game homestead the Soo Greyhounds entered OHL action for the first time this season Wednesday against a non-conference opponent. The meeting with the Sudbury Wolves also kicked off the Bell Challenge Cup between the Northern Ontario rivals.
The visitors were assessed the only penalties of the first period, and as a result the Hounds found themselves with four Lock City Dairies powerplays.
DARNELL NURSE made the long pass to BRANDON ALDERSON who used his speed and size to break through a pair of Wolves defenders but saw his shot goal off the stick of Joel Vienneau.
Later DAVID BROLL’s initial shot was stopped and then a tight-angle shot from the left of the goal by ALDERSON was turned aside by Vienneau’s pad.
The result was a scoreless opening period that saw the Wolves outshoot the Hounds 10-7.
After Josh Leivo took a late penalty in the first, the Hounds began the second period on the man-advantage. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER would notch the powerplay goal, after stopping a pass with his skate the Hound roofed a shot for his 5th goal of the season. ANDREW FRITSCH and DARNELL NURSE had the assists.
A post-goal celebration saw NICK COUSINS assessed an unsportsmanlike misconduct minor and the Wolves would go on the first powerplay of the game.
Just twenty-eight seconds in Dominik Kahun potted a goal from the left face-off circle to tie the game up.
JARED MCCANN had a chance to pull the Hounds ahead once again later on the powerplay, as he broke in on a 2-on-0 but would be stopped by the Wolves netminder.
MATT MURRAY would help his side while they had the man advantage as well, as after a turnover at their own line Brody Silk broke in shorthanded but to no avail.
A MITCHELL DEMPSEY shot was stopped by the pad of Vienneau, and SERGEY TOLCHINSKY fired a shot high as the Hounds continued to pressure for their second goal of the game but found themselves tied 1-1 through two periods of play.
After forty minutes the Hounds discipline was superior in this contest allowing Sudbury only one man advantage.
Less than three minutes into the third period, the goaltenders continued to shine. On their final powerplay of the night, ANDREW FRITSCH found COUSINS at the backdoor but was not rewarded.
The first even strength goal, and eventual game winner, came with 3:03 remaining. DARNELL NURSE sent a wrist shot from the left point over top of Vienneau for his 2nd goal of the season. TYLER GANLY and JARED MCCANN picked up the helpers.
And then after the Wolves pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, the Hounds chipped the puck out of their own zone later seeing MICHAEL SCHUMACHER sending the puck further up the ice and past COUSINS. The Hounds leading scorer would beat his man to the puck and fire a shot from a tight angle into the empty net for the late insurance marker with 1:13 left on the clock.
Wolves 1, Hounds 3 would be your final.
Goaltender MATT MURRAY made 37 saves on 38 shots in the victory, while Vienneau made 35 saves on 37 shots in the loss.
With the victory the Hounds improved their record to 7 wins and 4 losses, good for 14 points on the season.
The locals return to action tomorrow night – Thursday, October 18th when the Belleville Bulls make their only regular season visit to the Essar Centre. Opening face-off is set for 7:07 p.m.
Tickets are still available at the Essar Centre Box Office (starting at 10 a.m. Thursday), online at www.essarcentre.ca or by phone at 1-866-775.9422.
DICKIE’S HARDEST WORKING HOUND
#28 Sergey Tolchinsky
RED STAR THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- MATT MURRAY, SSM
2 – Joel Vienneau, SBY
3 – DARNELL NURSE, SSM