Sunday afternoon at the GFL Memorial Gardens was another large test for the Hounds, who have not enjoyed much success to date.
With a record of 10-15-1-0, the Soo Greyhounds find themselves in the basement of the Western Conference. Their opponent, the London Knights, would be in the penthouse suite for comparison sake. Sitting first in the West with a record of 16-5-1-1, the Knights are once again a powerhouse of the OHL. The game would mark the first on the season between the two clubs.
If the Hounds want to please their fans for the Teddy Bear Toss, outworking the dominant Knights would be their only shot at claiming two points.
The Hounds would drop this contest 6-5 in overtime.
The start of the game would seemingly erase all of the storylines coming into it, as the Hounds were outplaying the opposition out of the gate. Earning the majority of the scoring chances, the Hounds would not open the scoring. A bad give away would leave Knights alternate captain right in front of Bailey Brkin’s crease with a beautiful shot glove side. Just the second shot for the visitors.
The Hounds would follow it up with the same determined play they started with, but would take a penalty in the offensive end. Normally this would take the wind out of the players and fans sail’s, Cole MacKay would be rewarded for keeping quick feet. Winning the draw and being sprung on a break, MacKay would beat both defenders and blast a shot that found the twine, prompting the Teddy Bear Toss to commence. Three full trucks of toys off to Christmas Cheer, and a penalty killed off.
Momentum would continue in the way of the red and white, as Rob Calisti would make an excellent decision to take the puck end-to-end, wrap around the net, and throw an excellent pass onto the tape of Zack Trott who picked a corner on a very sharp angle to capture the Hounds first lead of the game.
The second period started much the same as the first. A costly penalty to the Hounds would out the GFL Memorial Gardens into a lull, and this time they would give up a goal. With Brkin screened by his own man, Knights defenceman Stranges would pick the top left corner with Hounds goaltender not even moving. A brand new game, knotted up two in the second.
The Hounds would continue down the same path, continuous penalties (including three straight by LeGuerrier) would eventually catch up to them. Just as the penalty expired, the Knights Luke Evangelista would send a whiff of a shot towards the net that would redirect twice and squeak through Brkin’s legs.
The goals would continue to pour in, as Robert Calisti would continue his stellar play, tying the game up at three’s after a great passing play between him and fellow defender Billy Constantinou.
Only a minute and a half later, Connor McMichael would wire a laser beam past the blocker side of Brkin who had no chance at stopping it. The Knights would restore their one goal lead.
Both teams would finally get a chance to breathe at the end of the period that saw Brkin making numerous quality stops to make sure the game remained with only one goal lead.
The third period would open with the power play advantage going to the home squad after a tripping penalty. The start of the powerplay was slow, but Jaromir Pytlik managed to create a break for himself and beat Myskiw with a clean shot.
Jaden Peca would only need another minute of action take the lead back, finding a puck that missed the net and bounced off the boards to tuck it in far side. The fifth goal had London switch goalies with 15:33 left in the game.
The Hounds would only be able to hang on to the lead for so long, as a rush that seemed dead saw a puck shot on net that Brkin was not expecting and beat him five-hole. The game would be tied up at five off of the Josh Nelson tally.
OT would be needed, starting off with LeGuerrier’s fourth penalty of the game. It would only take 15 seconds after that for the puck to trickle in through Brkin’s legs for the Knights to complete the comeback. Foudy would earn the tally.
The Hounds now travel to Niagara to take on the Ice dogs on December 5th.