Well Monday morning’s news certainly threw a wrench into not only my week review but also my mid-season review I was planning to post in 2 weeks. If you havn’t heard coach Mike Stapleton has been relieved of his duties and has been replaced by former OHLer Sheldon Keefe. Some will have an issue with the hiring of Keefe due to his past transgressions while with the Barrie Colts as well as his association with David Frost. I don’t think either of these will be issues with Sheldon. You cant hold against someone their actions as a teenager or the hold someone may have had on a young mind. If Hockey Canada thought either of this was an issue they would not have named Sheldon as an assistant coach for the World Junior A Challenge.
Congrats to Ryan Sproul on his invite to the World Junior Selection camp. I for one assumed his ticket was lost when he broke his wrist against Sarnia in October. You can’t argue with the fact that he has been on fire since returning from that injury picking up 4 goals and 4 assists in his 6 games back helping lead the Hounds to a 3-2-1 record over that period. Those two losses of course have been very competitive games against CHL top 10 teams.
Wednesday November 28th
Sudbury Wolves 4 @ Soo Greyhounds 5 (SO)
The Hounds now have a 3-0-0-0 record in the Bell Challenge cup with the Wolves picking up a point in this lose. While the Bell Challenge cup may be meaningless to fans these games against the Wolves are very important. Due to the unbalanced schedule the Hounds only get 2 games against the Otters each season. That makes it imperative that they take advantage of their games against Sudbury. As we know from last year the race for the final playoff spot can be tight and every point is precious.
The Hounds didn’t come out strong in this one falling down 3-1 after the 1st. The cardiac kids moniker that the boys earned early in the season may be starting to return as they fought back with Colin Miller tying the game with less than a minute to go. After dropping 2 straight that went to extra time the Hounds were able to pick up the bonus point. I go into more detail in my “In the Numbers” section that highlights the importants of this.
Friday November 30th
Erie Otters 4 @ Soo Greyhounds 6
Conner Mcdavid’s only trip to Sault Ste Marie this year and he didn’t disappoint by scoring a goal. This also marked the 1st game behind the bench for Kris Knoblach who comes to the Otters after leading the Kootenay Ice to a WHL championship in 2010.
What stood out in this game were the barrage of shots that the Hounds fired at Oscar Dansk hitting the 50 mark for the 1st time this season. They were also to cash in on 2 man advantages to help do something they have struggled with this season and that is win games they should win. If the Hounds are to make the playoffs the Otters are a team they have to finish ahead of so picking up the 2 points here was imperative.
Saturday December 1st
Owen Sound Attack 2 @ Soo Greyhounds 1
For the 2nd straight game the Hounds outshoot an opponent, unfortunately for the home side thought they ran into a hot goalie in Jordon Binnington. The effort by the Hounds in this game in my opinion left a better taste in my mouth that Wednesday’s game against Sudbury even though they picked up the 2 points.
Other than the effort it is nice to see the Power Play still clicking. A lot of people will point to Ryan Sproul as being the reason and that is well deserved but I feel an equal amount of credit belongs to Colin Miller. Both add balance to the backend on the Power Play and gives the teams some options back there.
By The Numbers
229 – Nick Cousins is making his mark on the Greyhounds All-Time record book. Saturday’s game pushed him into 20th on the team’s all-time career games list.
86 – With Nick’s empty net goal on Friday he moved into a tie for 20th on the team’s all-time goal list.
226 – With 226 Career points Nick is 16th on the team’s all-time points list. Paul Woods is next up to pass with 228 in a Hounds uniform.
142 – With 142 Assists Nick is 12th on the team’s all-time list. With the top 10 within striking distance before Christmas.
8 for 12 – The Penalty kill is still a work in progress only killing of 75% of the man advantages the Hounds gave up.
4 for 11 – Sproul and Miller were cooking on the Power Play this week which helped the Hounds pick up 4 points and nearly more if a few calls went their way in the Owen Sound game.
5-2 – That is the Hounds record this season in games going to OT or a SO. What makes this significant other than the 5 extra points is that Windsor is 1-6 and Saginaw is 3-4 in similar such scenarios. The difference between 9th place and being tied for 7th
1st – Landon Schiller was able to knock home his first career OHL goal this year. Congrats!!
3 Stars of the Week
1st Brandon Alderson: Big week for Brandon included 2 multi point games as he helped take some of the offensive load from the big guns. Brandon is now 1 goal away from 50 on his OHL career.
2nd Ryan Sproul: Another big week for Ryan as he now has 8 points in the 6 games since returning from injury. I would say his wrist is doing alright. To top it off he also gets an invite to the World Junior Camp.
3rd Colin Miller: 2 goals and 2 assists for Colin on the week has now pushed him to over a point a game on the season.