2 wins in 3 road games and you can chalk this up as a successful road trip for the hounds. More importantly the Power play and Penalty kill took a step in the right direction. As for my Bold Prediction of the week, well I know you were all keeping track at home and yes the Hounds did score a PP goal in every game.
Thursday November 25th
Soo Greyhounds 1 @ Niagara Ice Dogs 5
Justin Nichols got the start in front of friends and family for this one and captain Colin Miller returned from the walking wounded for his first game in 4 weeks.
Niagara struck early in the first converting on a 2-1 shorthanded with a beauty saucer pass over a diving Colin Miller. Jared McCann would strike moments later on the PP depositing a nice cross ice feed from Tolchinsky off the bar and in. The Icedogs would finish of the 1st with 2 goals that Nichols would love to have back. The first was scored by Aaron Hayden, the first of his OHL career on a breakaway out of the penalty box. A minute and a half later Ryan Strome would sneak one by and the score was 3-1. Late in the first Kenzie Lemmon would take a cross checking penalty and had some words with some Hounds players. Im not sure what he said but Broll went off on him and in the process was given a 10 minute misconduct. Where things get interesting was at the end of the period Broll skates over to Coach Stapleton and has a word with him and then skates off. At this point Stapleton be lines it on the ice towards the referees and has a heated conversation with him for a few minutes. This is the most animated I have ever seen Mike Stapleton as the Hounds coach. At the start of the 2nd period it looked as though a ref and linesman had some words for Kenzie Lemmon.
Nichols seemed to get over some jitters in the 1st and was much stronger in periods 2 and 3 making 23 saves off of the 25 shots he faced, unfortunately the greyhounds never really got back into it. Landon Schiller caught Kenzie Lemmon with his head down in the 3rd after he laid a dirty hit on Buonomo. Landon would receive 5 and a game for a head check and what seems to be the obligatory 10 game suspension handed out these days for head checking with the OHL’s ubiquitous copy and paste explanations. Icedogs owner Bill Burke showed his lack of class by standing up and waving good-bye to Landon as he skated to the dressing room.
In the end it was a 5-1 loss for the Hounds as they were never really in it after Niagara scored those 2 quick ones near the end of the first. The Icedogs just seemed to fast on their smaller ice surface. The Jack just seems to be one of those arenas where the Hounds have lots of trouble.
Friday October 5th
Soo Greyhounds 6 @ Erie Otters 5 (SO)
The one Hounds game I was unable to attend this week because 1) I didn’t feel like bailing from work 4 hours early to make it to Erie and 2) The Guelph v Windsor game was looking rather enticing.
Once again the Hounds dug themselves an early hole as the Connor Brown show shot Erie out to a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period. The Hounds would climb a little closer then Erie would pull away a little and the Hounds would pull them back in. Miller and Halgian would tally their 1st of the season, Darnell Nurse picked up his first career 2 goal game and David Broll would add his 3rd of the season and his first at even strength.
The game would go to extra time where the Hounds have been rock solid this season with 3 overtime winners already to their name. This game however would need a shootout with Sergey Tolchinsky scoring to get the Hounds started and Andrew Fritsch scoring a highlight real goal to win it snapping the Hounds losing streak at 3 games.
Saturday October 6th
Soo Greyhounds 6 @ Guelph Storm 2
Wow what a game! By far the most complete hounds game this season and it started right off the opening puck drop. Hard hitting action as the hounds took it to the Guelph Storm. Enduring a few dirty hits themselves (mostly it was McCann taking the brunt of it) but not retaliating and putting themselves in a hole.
The Hounds struck early in the second and soon after the rough stuff started. Tyler Ganly dropped them with Tyler Bertuzzi and caught him with a hard right that forced Bertuzzi to the dressing room to repair a busted up nose. A little over a minute later Tanner Richard would take an instigator against after a hard hit by Nurse along the boards. It would be Darnells second fight of the game. With Richard out for 17 minutes I feel this was the tourning point as the bounces started going the hounds ways and they started to dictact the play more. Tolchinsky would make it 2-0 with a beauty knocked out of mid-air. Colin Miller would make it 3-0 shortly after with his 2nd of the week while Fritsch would round out the 2nd period scoring with a goal on the power play. At the end of the period Colin Miller was on the reciving end of his 3rd slash on his wrist, frustrated that none drew a penalty he turned to the ref and dropped an “F” bomb that could be heard through the whole arena.
On a power play to start the 3rd due to the Colin Miller “F” bomb the Storm finally got on the board. This goal was quickly answered by 2 more from the Hounds. Captain Miller exacted some revenge with his 2nd of the game. Then Brandon Alderson scored off the rush when his shot to a funny deflection off of a Guelph defender. A shot that no goalie in the league would have stopped yet the Guelph Storm fans rained their displeasure with Garret Sparks by cheering wildly when he got pulled. The Storm would add another to get it to 6-2 and that’s as close as they would get. Im not sure if the Refs wanted to get the game tied to make some overtime pay or to help the Strom score 5 goals so they could get a coupon for 5 free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings but there were some weird penalties late in the 3rd. A constant march to the box for the Hounds included 2 5 on 3s and a bizarre 5 minute major for Colin Miller after he gave a Guelph play a love tap on the shins. 4 straight minor penalties all killed off with the utmost ease by the Greyhound PK unit.
By The Numbers
3 – The number of 5 on 3’s the hounds killed off against the Strom on Sunday. One for a full 2 minutes and the other two bookending Colin Millers 5 minute Major
3 – The number of suspensions incurred by the Hounds this week 10 games for Landon Schiller, 3 games for Colin Miller and 3 games for Matt Petaccio
4 for 15 - Greyhounds PP was clicking this week with Colin Miller factoring in on 3 of the goals
15 for 20 - Horrible in Erie, grey in Guelph. You can see improvments are being made
5 – The number of 1st period goals given up by the Greyhounds this past week
7 – Consecutive games in which Nick Cousins has gotten a point
3 – Number of assists former Greyhound captain Brock Buekaboom picked up Thursday on way to being the games 1st star.
4 – The number of wins picked up by the Hounds this season in extra time. 3 in overtime and 1 via the shootout after Fridays win against Erie
24 - Points for Nick Cousins so far this season. Good for 1st in the OHL.
3 Stars of the Week
1st Colin Miller: 3 goals and an assist and a revitalized power play. Unfortunatly he is now suspened for 3 games due to a slashing penalty on Sunday
2nd Darnell Nurse: 2 goals in Erie and 2 fights in Guelph. Continues to be an anchor on the blue line for the hounds
3rd Sergey Tolchinsky: Scored a beauty on Sunday to put the hounds up 2-0 against the Storm and added 3 assists the rest of the week for 4 points. More importantly you can see that Sergey is getting more comfortable playing in the OHL and has improved his back checking greatly.