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Gameday Preview: Greyhounds look to keep pace in standings

Sunday, December 09, 2012   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The Soo Greyhounds final road trip before the Ontario Hockey League’s Christmas break wraps up Sunday afternoon as the Greyhounds are in Sarnia to take on the Sting.

A win over the Sting would pull the Greyhounds to within five points of top spot in the OHL’s West Division as the Sting currently hold down first with 37 points. The Sting sit two points ahead of the Plymouth Whalers for top spot.

The Greyhounds enter the game coming off a 6-4 win in Saginaw on Saturday night that move the Greyhounds to within two points of Windsor in the standings as well. The logjam in the West Division currently sees Sarnia in top spot with 37 points, the Plymouth Whalers in second with 35, the Spitfires in third with 32 while the Greyhounds and Spirit are tied for fourth with 30 points each, though the Greyhounds currently hold the tie-breaker with more wins.

Of note, Windsor is also in action on Sunday afternoon as they host the Oshawa Generals at the WFCU Centre.

Saturday’s win was the first for new Greyhounds bench boss Sheldon Keefe and the team looks to finish the trip on a high against a Sarnia team that has been better on the road than at home. Of the Sting’s 17 wins this season, 11 have come away for the RBC Centre in Sarnia.

The Sting enter action on Sunday coming off a shootout loss to Windsor on Friday night at home. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Sarnia.

Sarnia forward Alex Galchenyuk enters Sunday in a tie for second in league scoring with Seth Griffith of the London Knights with 51 points, 11 behind league-leader Ryan Strome of Niagara. Sarnia forward Charles Sarault also sits in among the top 10 scorers with 10 goals and 44 points, good for ninth. His 34 assists are third.

Greyhounds forward Nick Cousins sits one point behind Sarault after a three-point night against Saginaw on Saturday night.

Three of the OHL’s top rookie scorers will also take part in the game as Sergey Tolchinsky and Jared McCann of the Greyhounds and Sarnia’s Nikolay Goldobin are in a tie for second with 12 goals each. Tolchinsky and Goldobin are also tied for fourth with 25 points each.

Interestingly, on the blueline, the Greyhounds are one of two teams – Guelph being the other – to have three defencemen among the top 20 scoring defencemen, all three of which have at least 20 points. Darnell Nurse leads the group with 22 and sits 13th, Ryan Sproul is 16th with 21 and Colin Miller is 18th with 20 points.

Following this afternoon’s action the Greyhounds will return home for a three-game homestand that will take the team into the Christmas break.

Puck drop on Sunday afternoon is set for 2 p.m.


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