705 Sports: Greyhounds rookies lead Hounds to 8-4 Victory over the Saginaw Spirit

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The Greyhounds rookies got the job done in last night’s victory over the Saginaw Spirit. Over 2,700 fans packed the GFL Memorial Gardens to watch their hometown heroes battle a team from the USA, for the first time since 2019. This was another measuring stick game for the Hounds to prove once again that they are a legit good team.  So let’s break down our Greyhounds victory.

1st Period: Hounds jump to early lead

When the puck dropped to start the game, both teams took some time before they tried to open the game up. The Hounds however, seemed to find the open ice first. Everyone expected the Hounds top line to get the scoring going but that was not tonight’s headline, it was the rookies who started to get the job done.

#27 Tyler Savard got on the board first with a great effort breaking past a few defenders and giving the Hounds a 1-0 lead. This was his first goal in the OHL and what a goal it was. #29 Kirill Kudryavtsev and #22 Luc Brzustowski got the two assists.

Hounds fans started to get worried as Saginaw got their power-play on the ice looking to tie the game. The Spirit ended up going on a 5 on 3 and they still couldn’t score! The Hounds killed off the 5-3 and sprang #9 Robert Calisti on a breakaway and yet again, he made Saginaw pay. #22 Luc Brzustowski got the lone assist.

The Hounds kept on Saginaw and really applied the pressure until the last few minutes. The Spirit were able to find some open ice towards the end of the 1st. #53 Roberto Mancini got a goal that the visiting team really needed. #12 Dean Loukus and #7 Calem Mangone got the two helpers.

The period ended with the Greyhounds up 2-1. The Hounds out played Saginaw for most of this period. However, they let the Spirit back in this game by falling asleep at the wheel. A trend we saw throughout this game.

2nd period:  Hounds missed their coffee break during intermission

The Hounds looked slow straight out of the gate in the 2nd. Saginaw scored 2 minutes in, tying this game at 2. #67 Nick Wong scored the goal getting the Spirit back in the game. #27 Pj Forgione and #73 Ian Phillips set up the tying goal.

The Greyhounds alarm clock must have gone off after this goal as they seemed to control the game once again. #9 Robert Calisti got his 5th of the season getting the Hounds back in front.

Another rookie from the Hounds got on the scoreboard! #20 Connor Toms scored his first goal in his OHL career, giving the Hounds a 4-2 lead. After this goal Saginaw seemed to be on their heels. Then they made a big mistake by letting the Hounds power-play back on the ice.

Once the Hounds star studded power-play got back on the ice it took them no time at all to get on the board and let’s be honest, we knew the Hounds star players were going to get in on the scoring.  #12 Tye Kartye gets his 11th of the year giving the Hounds a 5-2 lead. #23 Rory Kerins and #71 Tanner Dickinson got the two helpers.

Once the Hounds got a 3 goal lead both teams seemed to up the physical play. The Spirit started to take some runs at the Hounds netminder Samuel Ivanov, and honestly I feel the Hounds did not respond well to this. Normally they fight back and stand up for their teammates however, tonight they dropped the ball a little bit. And that gave Saginaw some momentum.

Towards the end of the 2nd period the Hounds seemed to repeat their mistakes from the 1st and went back to the way they played in the pre-season. #22 Luc Brzustowski got a 2 minute penalty for interference. They managed to get out of that one without allowing a goal. But of course, they took another one. #71 Tanner Dickinson found himself in the box for tripping.

Saginaw scored quickly however, the goal was waved off for goalie interference. Saginaw kept the pressure up and kept pounding the net forcing Samuel Ivanov to make some big saves, but he couldn’t stop them all. #19 Dalton Duhart jammed in a goal with just 2 seconds left in the 2nd, keeping his team alive. The score to end the 2nd was 5-3 for the Hounds.

3rd Period: Hounds close the deal as the bottom 9 takes charge

The Hounds came out flying to start the 3rd, out shooting the Spirit 7-3 within the first 9.5 minutes. On the 7th shot for the Hounds another rookie got on the scoring sheet. #14 Owen Allard netted his first goal in the OHL giving the Hounds a 6-3 lead.

13 seconds later, that’s right you read that correctly,  # 27 Tyler Savard got his second goal of his OHL life span and his 2nd of the game. Kirill Kudryavtsev added another assist to his impressive night.

The Spirit did make this game interesting by adding another goal.  #23 Pacey Schlueting got his 1st of the year making this game 7-4. However, they could not complete the comeback. #71 Tanner Dickinson scored the empty netter ending this game with an 8-4 Hounds win!

Final thoughts
The main thing many fans will say is the Hounds got the win and the 2 points, but I’ve got to be honest, I was not happy with how the Hounds got this win at all. There were times the team looked really sloppy, losing too many puck battles and they kept letting Saginaw stay in this game. If the Hounds played a full 60 minutes, this game could have been over before it even started.

If the Hounds are going to beat a team like the London Knights later on in the season, this effort won’t cut it. However, they did do some things I really liked. The Hounds power-play looked fantastic once again and they did a great job at controlling the puck and keeping the Spirit in their own end. And last but not least, they found a way to shut the door at the end of the third and got the big victory.

1 COMMENT

  1. When a team wins by that score and the young players are doing that scoring it is hard to knock them. This team will be a powerhouse all season long. Way to go hounds!!!!!

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