Swamped at work this week so I am combining my week 4 review with my week 5 preview.
Thursday October 11th
Soo Greyhounds 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 7
Thursday was the first game without Ryan Sproul as he is out 8-12 weeks with a broken wrist and the same old problems keeping haunting the Hounds. Two penalties in the first period and two power play goals by the Spits. The hounds never lead in this game but got as close as 4-3 and 5-4 in the 3rd before two late goals sealed it for the Spitfires. Once again the Hounds were outshot in the 1st period but they were able to hold them to under 40 shots.
Saturday October 13th
Soo Greyhounds 3 @ Plymouth Whalers 2 (OT)
The one game this week that wasn’t on Shaw TV and it is the one game the hounds win. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t even able to listen to this one on the Radio as I was in Belleville on Saturday catching the Gens and Bulls game. Andrew Fritsch picked up 2 goals in this one including the winner in extra time and can you believe it? The greyhounds for the first time this season outshoot an opponent in the 1st period. One thing I have noticed from this Greyhound’s team compared to others is their ability to win games when trailing after 2 periods. They may have their problems but if those get corrected I can definitely see this team fighting for 4th place in the West.
Sunday October 14th
Soo Greyhounds 1 @ Sarnia Sting 3
WOW!!!! What a game by Justin Nichols. This one should have been a blow out by the Sting but Nichols absolutely stole the show. The diving save off of the Galchenyuk one timer. Unfortunatly the rest of the game was pretty ugly. After finally outshooting an opponent in the first period the Hounds get outshot 18-2 in the first in this one. Andrew Fritsch was able to pot his 3rd of the season but that was it for the offence.
By The Numbers
1-4: The hounds record against the Windsor Spitfires and the Sarnia Sting this season
4-0: The hounds record against Plymouth Whalers and the Saginaw Spirit
3: Number of wins the hounds have picked up in overtime this year. First in the OHL
9: Number of points Darnell Nurse has picked up this season. Good enough for 1st with Jordan Subban among first time draft eligible defenseman. Nine is also the number of consecutive games in which Nick Cousins was able to pick up a point till getting held off the scoresheet for the Sunday in Sarnia.
7: Number of consecutive penalties the Greyhounds have killed off since allowing the Spits to score on their first two attempts on Thursday.
Three Stars of the Week
1st Star – Andrew Fritsch: Picked up 3 goals on the week including a big OT winner against the whalers
2nd Star – Darnell Nurse: Really stepped up for the hounds in the absence of Ryan Sproul and Colin Miller. Finished the week with 1G and 3A. More importantly he was a +2 in the win against the Whalers.
3rd Star – Josh Nichols: Played stellar in his first career start on Sunday in Sarnia. Faced 40 shots and made 39 saves including many highlight real saves. This game could have been over after the 1st, a period in which the Hounds were outshot 18-2 but trailed only by 1 goal.
Week 5 Preview
Wednesday October 17th Sudbury Wolves
Records Overall/Away (5-5-0-0)(3-4-0-0)
First game of the Bell Challenge Cup
Hounds split their preseason games with the Wolves
Sudbury has the 3rd worst road power play in the league which is great news because the Hounds have the worst home penalty kill in the league.
Won the World Junior Club Cup in Russia in September
Draft Eligibles to Watch
Brody Silk – GNML alum and Iroquois Falls native. Brody is coming off of a 24 point campaign in 39 games last season. He is probably best known for receiving a rather long suspension for sucker punching Ryan Strome in the face.
Nicolas Baptiste – Highly touted minor midget player coming out of Ottawa. Nicolas had trouble getting it going last year after undergoing off season shoulder surgery. He has 3 assists in 9 games this year and is still looking for his first goal.
Thursday October 18th Belleville Bulls
Records Overall/Away (5-2-1-0)(2-1-1-0)
Veteran laden team lead by NHL 1st round picks Malcom Subban and Brendan Gaunce
Must get traffic in front of Subban if the Hounds want to score. Watched him stand on his head and make 44 saves against the Generals last Saturday.
Only trip to SSM of the regular season. Watch for the Bulls to challenge for the Eastern conference crown this season.
Draft Eligibles to Watch
Jordan Subban – Third of the Subban brothers and a high end offensive d-man like older brother P.K. Currently tied with Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse for 1st place among draft eligible defensemen in points with 9.
Sergey Kuptsov – Russian import who came over to Belleville in an offseason trade with the Mississauga Steelheads. He has fit in nicely this year picking up 5 points in 7 games so far
Sunday October 21st Guelph Storm
Record Overall/Away (6-2-0-1)(2-0-0-1)
This is a team that I feel is where the Hounds want to be next year. Lots of young talent, both draft eligible and recently NHL drafted
This will be the Storms 3rd game in 3 nights following a home date on Friday and a road game in Saginaw on Saturday.
Goalie Garret Sparks was invited to the USA U-20 camp this summer
Draft Eligibles to Watch
Jason Dickenson – Listed as an “A” prospect by NHL central scouting and recently ranked #26 by ISS in its October Rankings. Currently had 5g and 4a this year in 9 games.
Hunter Garlent – One of the top players for Ontario at the U-17 challenge last season. Comes into this season with a “C” ranking according to NHLCS. He has struggled early this season with just 2 points in 8 games but regardless he is a player I love to watch.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Nephew of NHLer Todd Bertuzzi, Tyler enters this season with a “B” ranking from NHLCS. More of an energy type player who usually plays on a line with Soo native Patrick Watling. Tyler has 2 goals this season, both coming last Friday night against the Erie Otters.
Bold Prediction of the Week
In spite of the difficult schedule, the hounds will pick up atleast 4 points this week including a victory over the Guelph Storm.