The third game played in six nights was the latest challenge for the Soo Greyhounds and they ended their home stand Sunday afternoon against the Erie Otters.
This would mark the hounds last home game before they hit the road for a pair of games, first against the Flint Firebirds on November 9th, and the second a day later against the Saginaw Spirit.
The game started with a familiar tune, as after a some quick feet earned the hounds a solid scoring opportunity, an early penalty would derail momentum almost immediately. Anthony Demeo sat for two minutes for tripping, just two minutes and a second into the game. Luckily for him and the team, they managed to bail themselves out of the game’s first penalty.
The Greyhounds followed up an excellent penalty kill with an entire 90 second shift in the offensive zone, but every attempt was turned away calmly by the Erie netminder Daniel Murphy.
Though the Otters would have their chances in the first, they failed to find the net but their high energy in the second half of the first period would force Demeo’s second penalty of the game, this time for holding. Once again, the third best penalty killing team in the league would shine through, with their penalty killing percentage up over 88% on the season.
It wouldn’t end up being special teams that would break the scoreless bout, as with 3:14 in the first period, high pressure in the offensive zone for the Otters would prove beneficial, as a shot in front that led to bodies crashing the net was enough for Erie to hit the twine. Peter Cjak’s shot would generate a rebound right out infront of Greyhounds netminder Ethan Taylor, and would be buried by Emmett Sproule. That’s good for his fourth in 17 games played this season.
The period would end with the lone Otters goal having them up 1-0, after twenty minutes of play.
The second frame would once again start with a trip to the sin bin, but this time the Hounds would find themselves on the man advantage. Marcus Gillard would head to the box for a hook.
Once again, Mac Hollowell couldn’t let the opportunity pass him by. Much like Friday’s game against the Guelph Storm, Hollowell walked into the offensive end with two defenders in front of him, but with some swift stick handling and a rocket of a shot, blasted past Murphy. Hollowell’s seventh on the season would tie this game back up again, at 1-1.
Following a short minute and a half later was another Otter powerplay, which would put the surprisingly low ranked Hounds power play unit (11th league wide, 17.4% power play conversion) back on the ice. This time Joseph Mack would tuck his tail between his legs and head over to the box. No goal for the hounds this time around on the man advantage.
The best chance for the hounds for the remainder of the second was Keeghan Howdeshell breakaway with 10:40 left. A great shot turned aside with confidence from Murphy.
Frost came barreling into the offensive zone, but ended up getting knocked off the puck by a hard check. Frost wasn’t a fan and took a shot back at the 2001 born defender Brendan Kischnick but ended up taking the lone penalty. The Greyhounds may have been able to battle a few prior penalty kills off, but not this one. Kyle Maksimovich would put the Otters back up by a goal, as his powerplay marker would help improve the powerplay record of the 10th best team at it.
Although he had a missed breakaway chance from earlier, Keeghan Howdeshell was smelling something more. As the Hounds hop on a powerplay of their own, a low shot that rebounds comes right on onto the tape of Howdeshell, who fills the net.
The game is brand new again, as a 2-2 score was brought into the third period.
The third was more on the calm side as compared to the first forty minutes. Both goalies stood strong and prevented their team from going down by a goal. The Hounds had a good handle on the puck, with the majority of the possession being owned by the them. It took up until there remained only 6 minutes on the clock for the Greyhounds to have their first lead in shots, 25-24, a lead they’d never return.
With only seconds remaining in the game, the puck comes trickling right out in front of the net from behind, Cajka is right on it, but the buzzer sounds for the end of regulation, so his ensuing shot is no good! Another night of extra hockey at the GFL Memorial Gardens as the Hounds earned themselves at least one point.
OT was as exciting as 3 on 3 action can get. Plenty of odd man rushes both ways, but still the Greyhounds are able to keep the majority of the possession. Taylor made all the saves he needed to make in a battle of responsible goalkeeping duties with Murphy.
But now it’s time to see who will win the duel in the Shootout.
First shot honours would go to the Greyhound’s Keeghan Howdeshell. He goes back hand, tries to open up the Murphy’s fivehole, but fails to covert.
Erie is no better, as their shooter would fail to score, and keeps this shootout even.
Barrett Hayton tries to take the lead, as he uses mutliple , in tight moves to squeak it through the pads. Greyhounds take the lead 1-0.
Kyle Maksimovich would then come down for the Otters hoping to tie it, and his hopes came true, as his shot finds the back of the net. 1-1 in the shootout.
Frost’s turn to put the pressure on. He breaks down the ice as though he’s done it a million times, forehand, backhand, tucked under the bar. To the Otters to keep the game alive.
Maxim Golod needs to the score to keep Erie in the game… and he does. The Greyhounds and Otters are going to single shooters.
Mac Hollowell gets the shot for the hounds. He comes streaking down and lets a shot go, but it ends up wide.
Brendan Sellan was then called upon. Taylor stays with him the whole way through, with a low stick save.
Kerins is the hounds fifth shooter, but his shot is turned aside by the blocker of Murphy.
The fifth shot for the otters would prove to be enough, as number 90 Gera Poddubnyi would go post and in past Ethan Taylor. That would finalze the score of a 3-2 Shoot out win for the Erie Otters over the Soo Greyhounds. As mentioned earlier, the next game for the Hounds will see them take on the Firebirds in Flint, on November 9th.