The Soo Greyhounds have gotten off to a great start so far this season with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses, totalling 8 points out of a possible 12. The Hounds will be looking to add to those totals tonight vs. the North Bay Battalion.
The last time these 2 teams battled, our Hounds won 4-1 with a huge push in the 3rd period. Since that game the Battalion have looked just as good as the Greyhounds with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses. North Bay is a team that likes to run up the score when they can and the Hounds will need to be ready for them.
If the Dog Pound wants to get another big win, the team will need to focus on these key points to victory.
Start on time and don’t let up
We saw in the Hounds last victory vs the Sudbury Wolves that starting on time is very important. The Hounds were able to take a 2-0 lead early, forcing the Wolves to play catch up. Once again, playing a Northern Ontario rival, the Greyhounds will be looking to repeat the start of that game.
Something that the Hounds will want and need to change however, is not letting up on the pressure at all. The Greyhounds let Sudbury back into the game on Wednesday. Sudbury had out shot the Hounds heading into the second period even though the 1st half of the 1st period was all Hounds.
North Bay will be playing the 2nd game of a back to back series. They also had to travel about 4 hours to get to the GFL, meaning they are going to be tired. If the Hounds can apply a lot of pressure early and keep their foot pressed hard on the gas, they might be able to run away with this game. Our Greyhounds like to get lots of pucks on the net and I expect to see the same thing again tonight.
Can you please take fewer penalties?!?
At this point I may start to sound like a broken record and we are only a few weeks into the season, but can the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds stop taking so many penalties! We saw this again on Wednesday vs the Wolves. 2 out of the 3 goals Sudbury scored were by their power play units. This almost cost our Greyhounds a big win.
The Hounds have the worst PK unit in the OHL, letting the opposing team score on their power plays 65% of the time. They are also tied for 2nd in allowing the most goals while short handed. They have allowed 7 so far this season in just 6 games. The Hounds on average take 8.7 penalty minutes per game. This has been a huge issue early in this young season.
North Bay also has a good power play group. Ranked 10th in the OHL, scoring 18.2% of the time. If the Hounds want to win this game they are going to need to stay out of the sin bin or at least start killing off more of these penalties.
Now we wait for puck drop
The Hounds have been better than most people expected, at least to start the season off. I feel that if the Greyhounds focus on these two key areas they have a very good chance of taking down the North Bay Battalion once again. Puck drop is tonight at 7:07 PM at the GFL arena. This should be a close match with both teams playing hard until the very last whistle.