Friday September 20th
Soo Greyhounds @ Sudbury Wolves POSTPONED
The Hounds were supposed to open their season on Friday in Sudbury but the powers at be had other ideas. The game was delayed only 1:21 into the first period due to a fog issue in the old Sudbury Arena. It wasn’t a preticularly hot or humid day in the nickel city on Friday yet the old barn built in 1951 struggled with it none the less.
One theory that I find rather fascinating is that this was unavoidable. The real root of the fog was the hockey gods getting in the way of the season starting on Friday. Why is that you ask? Well they wanted to ensure that Blake Speers made his OHL debut on home ice the following night.
Saturday September 21st
Sudbury Wolves 3 @ Soo Greyhounds 10
After going 0-4 in the preseason including 2 losses to the Sudbury Wolves the Greyhounds showed that they can bring their “A” game when it matters most.
The Hounds jumped out to the lead twice in the first period off of goals from Jared McCann and the first OHL goal of Jorgen Karterud’s career. Unfortunately both were short lived as Sudbury would tie the game on both occasions in under 2 minutes. That being said from my vantage point it was a period were the Hounds looked to be in control for most of it save for a few untimely turnovers. It wasn’t until the 55 second mark of the 1st period that the Wolves actually had possession of the puck. Finally with just under 3 to play Tyler Gaudet gave the Hounds a lead they would take into the dressing room at 3-2
Sudbury would tie the game again in the second period on a breakaway by Dominik Kubalik only this time it was the Hounds who struck back quickly as Jared McCann put away his second of the game only 22 seconds after the Wolves tied it. This is when the flood gates opened as Staples scored followed by Tolchinsky on the power play, then Michael Bunting picked up his 1st career OHL goal before Jared McCann finished off the hat trick with 31 seconds left in the middle of the frame. 8-3 Hounds through 2 periods and the route was on.
For the most part it was a quiet 3rd period. Troy Timpano came in for the Sudbury Wolves in relief of Franky Palazzese and allowed 2 goals on 4 shots. The goal scorers were Jared McCann with his 4th of the night and Brandon Hughes with his 1st career OHL goal.
Couple of thoughts from the game on things I feel that stood out. Mitchell Dempsey played what was one in my opinion anyways was his best game as a Hound. Mitchell was constantly going to the net and creating chances and got rewarded with an assist. While the finishing touch may not be there yet he will be in for a big season if he keeps up this play.
Jared McCann has always had a fantastic shot but it was something else on Saturday. One play that stood out to me was on the PP in the first period with him on the point with Kyle Jenkins. Jared had the pick and skated around the top to the side board where he found a shot and unleashed a wicked wrister that would have gone top corner had Palazzese’s shoulder not gotten in the way. I don’t want to read to much into one game but Jared looked fantastic out there.
Sergey Tolchinsky somehow has become an even better stick handler than last year. There were plays where I swear he had the puck on his stick for more than 30 seconds with Sudbury players unable to strip him or knock him off the puck. While he was on the ice for all 3 of Sudbury’s goal that is something I am not too worried about.
The defense is young and relatively inexperienced at the OHL level. There were some turnovers that clearly left Murray out to dry in the 1st game. That being said it is a group that will only get better especially if Darnell Nurse is returned to the team. I really liked what I saw out of Kyle Jenkins on the point on the PP but that does not surprise me as I saw him do wonders on the Oakville power play last year in the OJHL.
By The Numbers
10 – The last time the Hounds scored 10 goals in a game was just last season. February 16th against the Kingston Frontnacs. It was the largest season opening goal output since a 10-4 victory over the Peterborough Petes on September 24th 1993
7 – The 7 goal margin of victory was the largest the Hounds have had since November 18th of last season when they beat the Sarnia Sting 9-2 on home ice. It was also the largest season opening margin of victory in Hounds history.
2/3 – by going 2 for 3 on the man power advantage on Saturday the Hounds end the 1st week of the season with the top power play in the OHL at 66%
100% - The Hounds are also tied for the best penalty kill after killing off all 3 power plays it faced.
0 – The number of wins other teams in the OHL west division combined for in 6 games
3 – The number of Greyhounds who scored their 1st career OHL goals this weekend. Congratulations to Jorgen Karterud, Brandon Hughes and Michael Bunting.
48 – The win gave Matt Murray 48 on his Career and moved him into a tie for 7th on the Hounds all-time list with Marc D’Amour
3 Stars of the Week
1st Jared McCann – Hard to argue with this one as McCann picked up his first career hat trick and his 4th career multi goal game. Jared was also considered for OHL player of the week this week.
2nd Sergey Tolchinsky – WOW! Is all I can say about Sergey. This is a young man who continues to bring more electricity to the Essar Centre than the PUC. 1 goal and 3 assists in the win on Saturday.
3rd Matt Murray – You may find it odd that I chose Matt as my 3rd star considering it was a 10-3 victory but Matt came up big when it mattered most. Early in the 2nd with the Hounds up 3-2 he mad 2 absolutely fantastic saves while the hounds were on the penalty kill. If one of those went in who knows what would have happened.