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Battalion hold on for win over Greyhounds

Wednesday, December 11, 2013   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The Soo Greyhounds were back on home ice on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre after a lengthy stretch of games on the road.

The Greyhounds hosted the North Bay Battalion on Wednesday night in the first of three games on home ice this week in Ontario Hockey League action. A pair of shorthanded goals in the second period lifted the Battalion to a 4-3 win over the Greyhounds.

The game came on the heels of four games on the road in seven days that wrapped up on Tuesday night in Sudbury.

“It was a significant factor,” Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe said of the team being on the road so much recently. “We made some uncharacteristic mistakes and just didn’t have much life to our game. We don’t like to make excuses but when you’re making those types of mistakes and you’re lifeless and you’re played five games in eight days, you start to look at that as a reason. You need time to recharge for sure.”


Jamie Lewis and Barclay Goodrow scored shorthanded goals in the second period that made the score 4-1 at the time.

“You hate to see it,” Keefe said of the two shorthanded goals. “It was a sign of the type of night it was. The second one, we won the faceoff clean and it went right past us on a bounce into a breakaway for their best player.”

Said North Bay coach Stan Butler: “They were back-breakers and with the amount of penalties the refs were giving us we needed to score some shorthanded goals to stay in the game.”

Goodrow finished the night with two goals and an assist in the win.

“He’s been great for us all year,” Butler said of Goodrow. “He’s a team leader and he’s been there so many times this year he, quite frankly, puts the team on his back and just carries us and tonight was a prime example of that.”

Alex Henriksson also scored for North Bay in the win. Goaltender Brendan O’Neill got the start and stopped 25 shots before being pulled after the third Greyhounds goal. Jake Smith came in and stopped all three shots he faced in the final 10 minutes of action.

The Greyhounds scored a pair of third period goals to pull to within one but couldn’t get the equalizer.

“(The third period) was a positive for sure and I was happy that we pushed back,” said Keefe. “We challenged them a bit after the second period that this was a test to see what you’re made of. You can allow the fatigue to overcome you and use it as an excuse or do you have some fight back. I was happy that we fought back.”

Blake Speers had a pair of goals while Jared McCann had the other goal for the Greyhounds in the loss. Sergey Tolchinsky set up all three goals while Kyle Jenkins chipped in with two assists. Rookie goaltender Brandon Halverson got the start and stopped 27 shots.

“He battled,” Keefe said of Halverson. “Most of the shots he had were of the dangerous variety. He was good. I had no issues with Halvy. Who knows where we would have been if he didn’t’ have a little bit of life to him.”

The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 21-8-0-3 while North Bay improves to 16-15-1-0.

The Greyhounds enjoy a pair of nights off before hosting the Oshawa Generals at the Essar Centre on Saturday night.

Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.

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houston 12/12/2013 8:36:00 AM Report

The Greyhounds lack of size and toughness is starting to catch up to them. It just seems like it's always the other team that is knocking people down. I am surprised that Nurse isn't more physical, especially with the size he has.

I watched some of the Leaf game when I got home and thought about when Jordan Nolan played here. Jordan fought the Leafs heavy weight and did very well. I am a Leaf fan and was disappointed that the Leafs didn't draft Jordan. It is hard to figure out why they wouldn't draft him when he is the type of player Burke was looking for at the time. Jordan should be playing on the 3rd line though. The Kings got a steal drafting him in the 7th round. It looks like his skating has improved.
Meatsy 12/12/2013 9:42:34 AM Report

Personally I think Nurse has taken a few steps backwards. I still can't understand how much ice time he gets. He is on every other shift, plays on the PP and when they are SH. He was on for both shorthanded goals last night and they didn't take him off the ice after each goal. There is just no accountability anymore. What message does that send him after being on the ice for two shorthanded goals?

As for his physical strength....he has a long way to go. He is tall and lanky and needs to bulk up to make the next step. I really don't see him making the next step next year to the Oilers. I heard London is very interested in him to help them in the Memorial Cup. I say deal him
ONNFIRE 12/12/2013 11:19:50 AM Report

I have said it for the past 2 years that NURSE is way "over rated". Big Plug, deal him to whoever will take him.
snorules 12/12/2013 11:32:39 AM Report

This was a very bad game. Halverson is terrible, no he can't be faulted for a couple of the goals last night, but he needs to learn how to handle the puck. He gave the puck away more than a few times. If these guys want to further their careers, they need to play harder. Saying that 4 games in 7 days was tiring is not an excuse. NHL players do it all the time.
monkey 12/13/2013 12:07:41 AM Report

Nurse does seem to turn the puck over a lot this season but my concern is the makeup game. Did the Hounds agree to have the Sudbury game rescheduled to Tuesday after playing three on the road the previous weekend and playing at home against North Bay on Wednesday.
Meatsy 12/13/2013 11:14:54 AM Report

Its hard to believe that they would deal Nichols to Guelph and hold on to Halverson. I get that he is younger but he seems to struggle a lot. Last time I checked Nichols was 16-2...that should tell the story right there
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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