Friday night marked the first night of the 2019 OHL Playoffs for the Hounds, who are looking for retribution after last years loss in the OHL finals at the hands of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
While the Hounds had went a perfect 2-0 against their first round opponents the Owen Sound Attack, it would be foolish for John Dean and company to take their counterparts lightly. The Attack had traded away big name players in the likes of Sean Durzi and Nick Suzuki earlier in the season to prepare for an imminent rebuild, but the young team managed to battle their way into the seventh seed.
With the Hounds icing a roster that missed some notable players down the stretch, all hands were on deck with the return of Villalta from a slight tweak on a save against the Spitfire, as well as Frost, Howdeshell and Hollowell were all ready for game 1.
The first period would keep the building relatively quiet. The Attack would get on the board first and would see the rally towels come to a halt for the time being. Howedshell would answer back on the powerplay, but just as the powerplay can give, it can also taketh away.
The Hounds took 3 minor penalties and the Attack capitalized on two with goals from Porier and Sushko, grabbing hold of a 2-1 lead after twenty.
Momentum would swing in the right direction for the fans at the GFL Memorial Gardens, as although the Hounds would concede in the first minute off of a goal from Kaleb Pearson, both Hollowell and Pytlik would find the back of the net to tie things up at 3 a piece.
Hollowell had a beautiful goal, batting the puck out of mid air and over the shoulder of Attack goalie Guzda. Pytlik, while not as pretty with a shot that he whiffed on fooled Guzda, counts all the same and the rookie from the Czech Republic notched his first OHL Playoff goal.
The third was all Greyhounds, with high pressure scoring opportunities coming one after another. Most shifts were spent in their entirety in the Attack end, but finding the back of the net didn’t come easy. Frost had numerous looks in front and was looking skyward after a number of them. OT was needed.
Penalty troubles caught up to the Hounds, as there inability to stay out of the box cost them a fourth and decisive goal with 6:07 left in the frame. A Holden Wale delay of game penalty would lead to Sushko burying his second and send the crowd home disgruntled.
The Hounds will be back at it again Saturday at 7:07 for Game 2