A terrific effort, a great debut, but the Greyhounds fell short 5-2 Friday night to the Saginaw Spirit.
The Greyhounds welcomed back captain Ryan O’Rourke and star Jaromir Pytlik after a trip out to Hamilton.
Both O’Rourke and Pytlik were selected as participants for the 2020 CHL Top Prospects game that took place Thursday night. The Hounds representatives played for Team White who took home a 5-3 win over Team Red, with Ryan O’Rourke managing to pick up an assist on a Tyson Foerster second period goal.
The Hounds also saw the debut of goalie Nick Malik who was originally selected in the first round, 50th overall of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Malik has spent most of this season with HC Frydek-Mistek of the Czech2 league. Through 18 games played he has compiled an 11-7-1 record to go along with an impressive 2.46 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
His .927 save percentage was good for third best in the league, but the Hounds would start the game with tons of support for their new goalie.
Joe Carroll managed to shove in a rebound for a 1-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the first period. The Hounds got on the board before Saginaw even recorded a shot on goal.
The recurring theme for the Hounds as of late has been their untimely penalties and the sheer amount of them, and it once again plays a factor. Two back to back penalties for too many men and high sticking allows the Spirit to get to work on a long 5 on 3 powerplay, where Ryan Suzuki managed to pot his sixth of the year to send the game tied into the second.
The second period would see no goals scored, but the Hounds would dictate the majority of play outshooting their opponent 22-14. Hard back checking was a major part of the Hounds game.
Cole Perfetti would be the one to break the deadlock, as with 14 minutes in regulation he would follow up on his own rebound to net the Spirit’s second goal of the game, good for their first lead.
Suzuki would score his second of the night to take the energy out of the building with just 5 minutes remaining.
While all hope was seemingly lost, Zack Trott managed to bring the game back within one with 2 minutes left, but Ryan Suzuki would score on the empty net to complete the hat trick. Jake Goldowski would add another on the empty net as well.
Now the Hounds take a trip to Saginaw to complete the two day home and home tomorrow night in Saginaw.