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Otters down Greyhounds in series opener (11 photos)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The Soo Greyhounds will look to take a step forward after opening their Western Conference semi-final series with the Erie Otters on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre.

After a five-game series win over the Owen Sound Attack in round one, the Greyhounds dropped a 3-1 decision to the Otters Wednesday night in the first game of their best-of-7 series.

“It felt like we played in a different league tonight than what we played in the first round,” said Greyhounds Coach Sheldon Keefe. “That’s what happens when you play a young, up-and-coming, rebuilding team like Owen Sound versus a team that has been building for this season for four years.”

The Greyhounds fell behind 1-0 early and couldn’t capitalize on their chances, including in the second period when they Greyhounds took the play to the Otters.

“The whole game, there’s wasn’t a whole lot of great chances for either team,” said Keefe. “We generated enough to have at least a goal coming out of that second period. We didn’t get it. To lose that period is tough. We felt like we played a really good period.”

On the other side, Otters coach Kris Knoblauch spoke highly of the Otters ability to limit the Greyhounds by skating with them.

“You give the Greyhounds room and space, they create a lot of opportunities,” said Knoblauch. “When we backed off, they had some good opportunities and that’s where Devin Williams played well. The Greyhounds skate well and if you’re not skating with them, you’re going to pay for it.”

“We like to pressure but we’re not going to put ourselves out of position by going behind the net,” Knoblauch also said. “Just like the Greyhounds do. When we’re set up behind the net, they don’t chase and we don’t do that either.”

Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist for the Otters in the win while Brendan Gaunce set up a pair of goals for Erie. Connor Brown and Michael Curtis also scored in the win while Devin Williams stopped 26 shots.

Knoblauch called opening a playoff series at home tough.

“It’s always a little difficult being the home team opening a series,” said Knoblauch. “You have the jitters and you’re expected to set the tone. When you come in as the underdogs, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a road game. The first 10 minutes are usually difficult to play for the home team.”

Kyle Jenkins had the lone goal for the Greyhounds in the loss. Goaltender Matt Murray made 23 saves.

“We made mistakes,” said Keefe. “We didn’t have to defend a whole lot. A lot of the game was played in the neutral zone. Both teams were trying to get it figured out offensively.”

“To me, the difference in the game is the chances they had, they put them in the net while the chances we had, we didn’t,” said Keefe.

Keefe told reporters following the game that there was at least one positive from the loss.

“We can get a lot better and that’s the positive out of this,” said Keefe.

Game two in the series is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday night at the Essar Centre before the series shifts to Erie for games three and four.

Photos by Kenneth Armstrong for

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
duster_b 4/3/2014 6:13:37 AM Report

Ok hounds, it's only 1st game, next one will be better outcome, following you guys game by game 1st in austrailia and New Zealand, now in Vegas, go hounds go, see you for game 5, be back home for that....
friendlyone24 4/3/2014 8:21:38 AM Report

Go Hounds Go!.....rooting loud!
SuperiorYardCare 4/3/2014 8:34:10 AM Report

Put the first game aside . But on the other note play a better game, our powerplay needs to capitalize on those chances ( which I haven't seen all year ) . And they need to stop playing with the pick inside there zone, first 7 min hounds couldn't get it past there blue line and the only shot we had was from our end . 2nd round only gets harder but get the shots on net.
SuperiorYardCare 4/3/2014 8:35:06 AM Report

And crash the net*
Boomboom 4/3/2014 8:57:02 AM Report

...And someone please knock out will change the whole game. Kid needs to get roughed up a little bit. Think back to first series with Gabriel...fired the whole Essar centre!
terraf 4/3/2014 9:29:18 AM Report

While I'm sure there are things the Hounds could have done to help their game, I think they played well. However, the referees we have for the games are becoming more of a joke. So many things that never got called. I think its a disgrace that the OHL allows poor refing to continue. We have had a season full of bad refing, but this game takes the cake. The Erie Otters are a good and fast team but to have many things not get called. #23 pushed our player into the wall and when he was getting up he pushed him down again. The ref standing there, and nothing done. We take penalty for to many men, yet they dont blow whistle when they do it again ref looks right at them. Tell me, are they dirty refs or are they just putting out a revenge for Joe Monette. Each team deserves a fair shake. The OHL needs to get their crap together. Season ticket holders pay good money to support our team and to enjoy the game. How can that be done when we have bad ref's. There is an article where the OHL investigates a ref giving a player advice. They say it was misunderstood. Please give your head a shake, why would the player lie, when they got the goal and still won. That ref said exactly what the player said, just not admitting as he knows its wrong. This is just an example of how poorly the OHL follows through with the bad referees they have for the games.
SuperiorYardCare 4/3/2014 9:56:31 AM Report

Yup I agree on both statements . Someone show 23 how it's done . And the refs were to blame aswell
ROLAND_ROLLY 4/3/2014 1:21:28 PM Report

Need to put Gaudet, Watling and Bunting on the 1st power play. Never mind Tol, etc. this line is getting stale and not big enough to control a power play.

Also, there isn't one player on the Hounds that can "handle" 23. If anyone tries they may end up out of the series.

Sorry, I'm a hound fan but Erie is too skilled and big for the Hounds to handle.
Erie in 5 games
wingnut 4/3/2014 1:27:00 PM Report

I could think of three off hand that could do the job. Lets wait and see "Roland" or "23".
Left Winger 4/3/2014 2:38:30 PM Report

The incompetence of the refs were mind boggling. This is the only game I attended this year due to my work schedule and I could not believe my eyes. They refs were a total disgrace to the league..The ref that wore the number 29 jersey looked like he wanted to get 1st Star for his play or lack thereof...sad day when playoff games are decided by the refs...these kids have battled all year to get into the playoffs only to be screwed over by over ambitious refs.

The hounds were too timid as well.
vinniequa 4/3/2014 3:16:22 PM Report

I was at the game and the four singers that performed the national songs of both country's. Terrible job and who ever is responsible for getting somebody to sing, get them to sing the anthems correct, please.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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