The Greyhounds have found themselves on a bit of a slide, dropping five of their last seven coming into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Flint Firebirds. It would be their last chance to impress the home crowd at the GFL Memorial Gardens before their five game road trips begins.
The Hounds early blunders led by a Bailey Brkin major penalty were almost overcome, but Flint proved too strong taking this one 7-4.
The Hounds went into the game having dropped all four of the two team’s previous matchups this season.
Brkin, who has been solid for the Greyhounds this season, was given the nod by the coach John Dean. His start did not go according to plan.
A puck from behind the net would find its way in front of the net, Brkin would swipe at it and miss allowing Jake Durham to net his 18th of the season. It took just 19 seconds for the Firebirds to take the game’s first lead.
Brkin would then concede his second goal on four shots as his team failed to be anywhere near Riley Piercey who would streak in alone and go five hole on the netminder. That would be the 17 year old’s 12th of the year.
Not even a minute later, Jaden Peca and Joe Carroll would capitalize on a two on one opportunity. Two solid passes followed by a perfectly placed puck would get the Hounds on the board and the lead cut in half. In his 150th OHL game, Joe Carroll would notch his 11th of the year.
Brkin’s terrible night ended quickly as his .500 save percentage would not cut it. A snipe from Ty Dellandrea beat him clean for his 21st on the year. That was only the start of the downfall.
As Brkin was skating off to the bench, he took a cheap shot at a Firebird. A penalty was immediately called but after the referees talked, it was decided it would be a five minute major.
Nick Malik was in tough if he wanted his first OHL win but he and his penalty killers successfully killed off the entire five minute major.
The momentum from the penalty killed carried. The Greyhounds managed to dictate the pace of play for the remainder of the opening frame. Joe Carroll capitalized on a rebound in front and managed to shovel home his second of the night to shorten the lead to just one once again. 3-2 would be the score heading into the second period.
The second period would cement Joe Carroll’s game. A shot from Ryan O’Rourke after a powerplay hit Joe Carroll in front of the net to tie the game with his hat trick goal. His first of his career would bring the Hounds even at 3-3.
While the Hounds dominated the second period, holding the Firebirds to just four shots, they would give up another. A gassed Robert Calisti slashed Jack Phibbs who was on a breakaway prompting a penalty shot. Phibbs would notch his 11th and send the Hounds down a goal heading into the final frame.
The third would see momentum continue for the Firebirds as they picked up the first goal of the frame to go up 5-3. Ty Dellandrea would score his second of the game to add the insurance marker.
Jaden Peca would get one back with 5:24 remaining in the game and just as momentum was shifting in favour of the Hounds, Riley Piercey would seal the deal putting his second of the game past Malik for a 6-4 lead.
Tucker would add an empty netter to cement the final score of 7-4
The Greyhounds now begin their five game road trip, beginning Saturday in Sudbury, and concluding in Ottawa on February 2nd. Their first game home will be against the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday February 5th.