Greyhounds surrender lead, lose to Storm in overtime (Updated)Thursday, December 19, 2013 by: Brad Coccimiglio
For the Soo Greyhounds, things were looking very good through 20 minutes of play on Thursday night at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ont.
Playing a short-staffed Guelph Storm hockey club, the Greyhounds jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes, outshooting the Storm 15-8 in the process. Despite taking a 4-1 lead midway through the second period, the Greyhounds would surrender five of the next six goals in the game, dropping a 6-5 decision in overtime to the Storm.
The Storm scored three times in the third period, including a goal by Robby Fabbri with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock to force overtime. Fabbri would then score the winner 1:43 into the extra frame.
“It was really two different games,” said Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe. “There was the five-on-five game and then there was the special teams. On the penalty kill we actually did a really good job of killing the penalties and didn’t give up anything on the kills, until some key moments where we could clear the puck or deny them entry into our zone and we failed to get it done at those key moments. That allowed (Guelph) to capitalize and score. There were key moments where we didn’t get it done on the kill. They were all chances that we handed to them.”
Fabbri finished the night with three goals in the win while Scott Kosmachuk added a goal and two assists for the Storm. Justin Auger and Jason Dickinson also scored for Guelph. Justin Nichols stopped 30 shots for the Storm after coming in after the first period in relief of Matthew Mancina. Mancina stopped 12 of 15 shots in the first period.
The Storm played the game without forwards Brock McGinn, Ryan Horvat, Tyler Bertuzzi and Kerby Rychel. McGinn is out as he prepares for surgery to fix a calcium buildup in his wrist while Bertuzzi is also out due to injury. Horvat is serving game one of a five-game league-imposed suspension after he flipped a puck into the stands during a stoppage in play on Sunday while Rychel is with the Canadian National Junior team in Sweden.
The shortage of forwards in the lineup forced the Storm to move defenceman Zac Leslie onto a line with Hunter Garlent and Scott Kosmachuk for the game.
Keefe added that he was “thrilled” with the Greyhounds play at even strength in the loss.
“We dominated in a lot of areas and did a lot of things that we wanted to do,” said Keefe. “Obviously we built a lead against a very good club. I don’t care who (Guelph) had out of the lineup, that’s a very good team. They’re the deepest forward group in the country. If there’s a team that can afford to miss a few guys and still be a great club, it’s them.”
After a pair of first-period power plays, the Storm saw the next five man advantages in the game. The Storm proceeded to score three times on their five power plays.
“We were fighting an uphill battle in terms of how the game was called,” said Keefe. “We’re not thrilled with that. Darnell (Nurse) got called for a high hit late in the game to put them on the power play in the last couple of minutes and then virtually the same thing is let go just 15 seconds before the puck ends up in our net and it was let go virtually all game long. It was very frustrating. They missed a call on us in the first period and Guelph’s coaches were very upset about it, and probably rightfully so. Interestingly enough, the power plays were five to nothing the rest of the way so we were fighting an uphill battle in a lot of ways.”
Keefe was pleased with the play of Zachary Senyshyn in his first game with the team.
“I was really happy with his play,” Keefe said of Senyshyn. “There were some things early in the game where you could tell he was trying to ease his way in but once he did get comfortable, he was excellent.”
David Miller scored a pair of goals and assisted on two others while Michael Bunting scored twice and assisted on another goal. Sergey Tolchinsky also scored for the Greyhounds in the loss. Matt Murray stopped 35 shots.
The Greyhounds wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule on Friday night when they travel to Kitchener to face the Rangers.
For a full recap of the rest of the OHL's action on Thursday night, click here.