Wednesday night was the third of three home games for the Soo Greyhounds during their latest homestand, as the boys in red and white hosted their bitter rivals, the Sudbury Wolves. Wednesday night also marked the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night, where the Greyhounds ask their fans to throw a stuffed animal for donation onto the ice after the Hounds first goal. organization donates stuffed animals.
The Wolves sit in third in the eastern conference, with an impressive 28 points (13-7-1-1) so far on their campaign. They sit just two points of the Greyhounds who have 30 points (13-6-3-1) on the season thus far.
The game marked the first of six matchups between the Wolves and Hounds on the season, and it kicked off to quick a man advantage.
Just 44 seconds in to the opening frame, Shane Balitka found himself in the box for the tripping call.
The power play wouldn’t garner the result the Hounds faithful would like, and their was just a bit of added freight. Hometown boy Cole MacKay was the recipient of a good check along the boards behind Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, and went to the bench grimacing in pain. He skated off slowly and took a second too collect. Luckily for him and the Hounds, he shook it off and didn’t miss a shift.
It didn’t take long for the ice to be completely littered by foreign objects.
Tye Kartye was the first member of the Greyhounds to hit the box, this time for boarding. Now this would normally be a problem, but if you remember correctly, the Hounds did manage to bury two short handed goals last game. Zach Trott continued that notion.
Trott netted his fourth of the year with some outstanding puck possession work from Morgan Frost who carried into the zone.
The fans covered the ice with their donations and a tip of the hat to Greyhounds play by play commentator Gerry Liscumb Jr.. He did his part as he dashed out of the commentators booth to make sure he participated as well.
Sault Ste. Marie native Drake Pilon would do his best to keep the crowd in check at the GFL Memorial Gardens as he scores on his teams first shot, after a solid cut across the net to tuck it in far side on Taylor. This would be the teams only shot for the first 15 minutes of the game.
Drake scored his third on the campaign, assists handed out to Owen Gilhula and Isaak Phillips.
With a late penalty in the first to Joe Carroll for slashing, that would mean the next period would start with 1:28 of power play time for the Wolves. Even with the 32 seconds of powerplay time from this, as well as another two from Tye Kartye’s penalty prior, the Wolves only managed to put 4 shots through to the Hounds netminder during the first period.
That power play would work for the Wolves as well. Number 44 Cole Candella scores his fourth with some insurmountable pressure from the Sudbury attack. The Wolves take their first lead of the game. Moment s after the goal, the Sudbury netminder took a look at the shot clock, where it read 6 for his Wolves. Maybe noting his team will still need to pick up the pace.
Drake Pilon’s second penalty of the game would be costly for said lead though, leading the way for another Sault native. Cole MacKay would deflect a perfectly placed Mac Hollowell blast from the point past Luukkonen to tie the game back up just a minute and thirteen seconds after the last goal.
The goal would open the floodgate as Hollowell’s nearly three line pass, tape to tape to Morgan Frost for a breakaway would find the back of the net, followed up less than a minute later by Tye Kartye’s first OHL goal. It didn’t have a lot of power behind it, but no one in the building seemed to mind, Tye included.
Before the end of the frame, Noah Hutchinson would add a tally for the visitors, but as would Ryan O’Rourke (with an assist to Kartye), meaning we were headed into the final period with a 5-3 Greyhound lead.
The third would bring much of the same as just 2 minutes into the period, Frost would quarterback a play behind the Sudbury netminder, feed it out infront to Barrett Hayton, and Hayton would hear the sound every goal scorer does.
PING! Bar and in. 6-3 hockey game.
It wouldn’t be until only 4 minutes remained in the game for Sudbury to get another back, as on the powerplay McConville snipes between the legs of Taylor, and then throws the proverbial monkey off his back in celebration, as the Wolves have some legs underneath them now with time on the board.
The Wolves would then pull their goalie with over 3 minutes remaining in hopes to come back, but with high risk and high reward plays, the risk is important to factor. Rory Kerins would grab a puck freshly rebounded out in front of Taylor, and a simple shot along the ice would be all he needed to put the icing on the cake for the Hounds 7-4 win
Takeaways from the game, an all around great game played. Definitely one or two goals Taylor and the Hounds would love back for sure, but at no point did it get into their heads. They came back from a one goal deficit easily and never took the foot off the pedal, a quality John Dean’s team will need to keep with them if they plan on making another memorable run in the OHL Playoffs. Taylor himself played well, most notably a toe save off of a rebound to keep the game going the right way. We are still yet to know who will be the backup once Matt Vilalta makes a return to the lineup, so the play from both Taylor and Peccia should vamp up in some friendly competition
The Hounds now head on the road for a five game road stand, where they start against the Guelph Storm on Friday. They play their first game home during the second game of a home and home with the Flint Firebirds on December 5th.