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Gameday Preview: Greyhounds face Spirit in key divisional matchup

Friday, December 14, 2012   by: Brad Coccimiglio

An important three-game homestand against divisional opponents continues on Friday night for the Soo Greyhounds as they host the Saginaw Spirit at the Essar Centre.

The Greyhounds are currently in a four-team battle for positioning in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference with the Spirit, Windsor Spitfires and Plymouth Whalers. The four teams, who stretch from sixth through ninth in the standings, are currently separated by just six points. The Whalers, who are in sixth with 36 points, have two games in hand on the other three clubs going into the weekend.

With the Christmas break approaching, a pair of wins this weekend for the Greyhounds would be crucial. The Greyhounds host Windsor on Sunday night. Windsor sits two points ahead of the Greyhounds heading into action tonight.

Windsor is the only team of the four not in action tonight as the Whalers are in Sudbury to take on the Wolves. The Spitfires return to action on Saturday in Saginaw before travelling north to take on the Greyhounds on Sunday.

The Spirit enter Friday night without the services of starting goaltender Jake Paterson. Paterson will be out of the lineup into the new year after being named to the Canadian National Junior Team on Thursday. Paterson is among three goaltenders, all from the OHL, on the team.

Greyhounds defenceman Ryan Sproul, who was also at the selection camp, was not named to the team.

Saginaw forward Vincent Trocheck will be among the 27 players attending USA Hockey’s training camp for the US National Junior Team, which opens on Sunday in New York City. Trocheck currently sits seventh in OHL scoring with 22 goals and 46 points.

The Greyhounds and Spirit have met four times already this season, twice in each city. The Greyhounds have won three of the meetings while dropping an overtime decision to the Spirit at the Essar Centre on Nov. 21.

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

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