Earlier in the week Hounds fans all around were wondering if this team was the real deal? Or, were they only winning because they were facing teams that were lower in the standings. Last night the Greyhounds put out a fantastic effort, taking down the Kitchener Rangers 3-1.
1st period: Hounds get an early jump taking 1-0 lead.
During this young season, we have talked about how the Greyhounds need to start on time and they most certainly did. The Hounds started this game by outshooting Kitchener 5-1 within the first 6 minutes.
Both teams in this matchup wanted to set the tone physically early on and they did by throwing big hit after big hit. However, both teams started to cross the line.
Over 2,600 fans started to get nervous as the Hounds took an early penalty for checking to the head. The Greyhounds have started the year with the worst PK in the league but they got a huge kill by not even letting the Rangers get a shot on Hounds goaltender Samuel Ivanov.
As the Hounds continued to control the play the Rangers ended up taking a penalty. This sent the most deadly power play in the O onto the ice and they wasted no time getting the job done. #24 Cole MacKay got his 6th of the season on a perfect tip. #21 Ryan O’Rourke and#71 Tanner Dickinson tallied the 2 assists.
Kitchener seemed to gain some traction as the period went on. However, Samuel Ivanov stood tall making some key saves and keeping the Hounds 1-0 lead going into the 2nd period. The Hounds finished the 1st with 11 shots while the Rangers only had 4.
2nd period: Rangers start to claw back
Going into the 2nd period you could tell the Rangers were not happy at all with how they started the game and wanted to fix it. Kitchener tied this game before 3 minutes passed on the clock. #16 Carson Rehkopf netted his first goal of the season with a perfect back hand. #91 Matthew Sop and #74 Ty Hollett got the two helpers. Ivanov didn’t really have much of a chance on this goal as the play was just perfection.
Our Greyhounds wanted to get their lead back ASAP, not letting the Rangers back in this game at all. Earlier in the week, we talked about how the Hounds needed to get more scoring from the bottom 9 forwards. #13 Marc Boudreau must have got the message as he scored just his second goal of the season giving the Hounds the lead once again. #27 Tyler Savard got the lone assist on the goal.
Once the Greyhounds got the lead back, they really started to slow the game down. They played the dump and chase game, throwing some big hits and using their speed to limit the Rangers chances. When the Rangers got their chances, Ivanov was able to make some huge saves keeping the Hounds lead intact.
Towards the end of the 2nd period the Hounds once again got their deadly power-play back on the ice. However, it was time for Kitchener’s goalie to come up big. Pavel Cajan made a few saves he had no business making, keeping his Rangers in this game.
The Hounds once again were leading in the shot total after the 2nd, outshooting the Rangers in that period. The Hounds knew however that the Rangers would come out hungry, trying to make a comeback in the third.
Samuel Ivanov shuts the door
Going into last nights game fans felt goaltending needed to be better. Well, I think Samuel Ivanov heard everyone. He stood on his head in this third period. The Rangers really got some top notch scoring chances early and were trying to make a comeback. But, they just could not figure out how to score on Ivanov.
The Hounds really wanted to play more of a trap game in the 3rd. Although Ivanov looked great the team’s overall play was really solid and smart in the 3rd. The Hounds wanted to give Ivanov a little more run support and they did. #71 Tanner Dickinson scored his 2nd goal of the season, giving our hometown heroes a 3-1 lead. #29 Kirill Kudryavtsev and #9 Robert Calisti got the two helpers.
Kitchener never gave up towards the end of this game however, pulling the goalie. The Hounds stood strong playing some great hockey in their own end and held on to the 3-1 victory. The Hounds now move to sole possession of 2nd in the West.
I felt this game was more important than just getting the two points. Going into last night’s game, people around the OHL felt the Hounds were only good because, “they are playing lower teams in the standings.” Or ” they will struggle once they play teams like Kitchener and London.”
Well, they battled the Kitchener Rangers and they won. They did this by being better in these key areas.
- Outshot the Rangers 35-22
- Won over 60% of the faceoffs
- Hounds PK looked the best it’s looked all season
- Samuel Ivanov played his best game of the season
- Strong play at both ends of the ice
The Hounds will be packing their bags and heading on a two game mini road trip with their first stop being in Kitchener where they will battle the Rangers once again.