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Spitfires come back to beat Greyhounds

Thursday, February 06, 2014   by: Brad Coccimiglio

It was a tough start to a three-game road trip for the Soo Greyhounds on Thursday night.

The Greyhounds surrendered a pair of third-period goals as the Windsor Spitfires picked up a 4-3 win over the Greyhounds on Thursday night at the WFCU Centre in Windsor. The game marked the first of a three-in-three stretch for the Greyhounds, all against divisional opponents.

The Greyhounds opened up a 3-1 lead before surrendering three unanswered goals in the loss.

“We played well for two periods and we just let them back into the game in the second period when they had nothing happening for them and we had countless opportunities,” said Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe. “We only scored two (in the second period) when I thought we could have had four or five, then we handed them life to get life to get back in the game with some soft play in our own end that gave them life.”

Keefe felt the Greyhounds could have had a much bigger lead through two period instead of finishing 40 minutes up 3-2.

“When you give life to a team that already has confidence and has found ways to win other games, you’re going to be in really tough in the third period and that’s exactly what happened,” said Keefe. “We had the game fully in hand and we let them back in. we could have stomped on them the way we did the last time we were here. Credit to (Windsor), they had a great third period.”

Patrick Watling had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds while Jared McCann and Tyler Gaudet also scored in the loss. Jean Dupuy returned to the Greyhounds lineup on Thursday night, picking up a pair of assists. The veteran forward had been out since Jan. 3 with a concussion. Matt Murray stopped 30 shots for the Greyhounds.

Keefe said that, despite the result, there were some positives in the loss.

“Through the better part of two periods, we played a structured game and they were playing a one-three-one trapping style and we dealt with that well,” said Keefe. “We didn’t give up very much in terms of chances against. We played that seesaw, chess match style overly well and struck when we had opportunities. We had a dominant second period with 20 shots on goal. Those were some positive things.”

Remy Giftopoulos had a goal and two assists in the win for Windsor while Slater Koekkoek had a goal and an assist. Ben Johnson and Steven Janes also scored. Dalen Kuchmey stopped 39 shots for Windsor.

Keefe talked about the Greyhounds struggles of late in putting together a 60-minute effort.

“It’s hard to put together three solid periods where you’re really good,” said Keefe. “You can’t discount the fact that we’re playing against very good teams. We’re in a segment of the season here where we’re playing teams, almost on a nightly basis, that are really good teams that are playing good hockey. They’re going to have a push back. They’re going to have their time in the game. It’s all about how you manage that and how you stomp on teams when you’ve got them down. We’re struggling with that in how to put teams away.”

The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 35-13-1-4 and remain in top spot in the OHL’s West Division with a nine-point lead over the second place Spitfires. The Spitfires record improves to 32-17-2-0.

The Greyhounds return to action on Friday night when they travel to Plymouth to take on the Whalers. The team ends their three-game trip on Saturday night in Saginaw against the Spirit.

Comments
4
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fatafr 2/6/2014 11:31:47 PM Report

Some Greyhound players have this continual bad habit of making these soft passes that don't make it to the player being passed to and are intercepted. In addition, some Greyhound players try to pass the puck over the blue line and again, don't make a firm pass and thus is intercepted and suddenly heading towards the Greyhound goaltender. Tonight's game proved this bad habit continues and at least 2 goals were scored on the Greyhounds because of it.
harry dick 2/7/2014 12:01:41 AM Report

I watched the third period and the Greyhounds were badly outplayed. They could not get past the Spitfire blue line. They had to resort to the dump and chase , and that always ended up with the Spitfires carrying the puck out of their zone and into the Greyhound's zone . This resulted in a couple of shots on our goal by the Spitfires. Also once the puck was in our zone , the Greyhounds could not clear the zone or carry the puck out of the zone . If they are to make a showing in the play-offs , they better get back to playing better hockey than they are playing now!!!
anthony01 2/7/2014 9:31:04 AM Report

There is a defenceman, whom seems to feel he has to do it all. It is not working. He gets caught up over the blueline time and again, with no one covering his position, resulting in a lot of breakaways by the opposing team. This defenceman has also made several errors resulting in turnovers and goals. Maybe a trade should be considered. Just a thought.
GoHoundsGo 2/7/2014 10:49:21 AM Report

A trade eh Anthony...considering the trade deadline was 4 weeks ago. And really "I watched the 3rd period" come on, you missed really exceptional hockey in the first two. The Hounds are an excellent, well coached YOUNG team. They have a TOP OHL goalie and excellent scoring forwards. Their defence is young, and are learning, mistakes will be made. I love how people watch a couple of games all year and all of a sudden become Greyhound hockey experts. This team is one of the best Greyhound teams in its franchise history...not oppinion...fact!!! (look at the stats) With the team being so young it promisses to only get better and stay that way for awhile. Kyle Dubas, Sheldon Keefe and the reat of the training staff deserve kudos for bringing the Hounds back from the depths of hockey duldrum and into being full fledge OHL contenders. Will they win the Memorial Cup this year, probally not...but they are sure to be big contenders next season and for seasons after that.
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