Greyhounds late goal beats BattalionFriday, September 27, 2013 by: Brad Coccimiglio
In a game that looked as though it was headed for overtime, Jared McCann and Sergey Tolchinsky connected to make sure that wasn’t the case.
McCann took a feed from Tolchinsky and beat North Bay Battalion goaltender Brandon O’Neill with just 8.7 seconds remaining in regulation time to give the Soo Greyhounds a 2-1 win in Ontario Hockey League action on Friday night.
The win came less than a week after the Greyhounds opened the season with a 10-3 win over the Sudbury Wolves on home ice.
“It was a polar opposite type of game, not just because of the score but because of the type of game,” said Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe. “There was no free ice out there. (North Bay) played very strong defensively and they’re a big, strong team. Our guys had to fight hard for everything, both offensively and defensively tonight.”
“Considering how different of a game it was, it was a big challenge for our guys,” Keefe added. “I’m really proud of how they stuck with it. We did a nice job on the penalty kill and got rewarded for it in the end.”
The game continues a nine-game road trip for the Battalion to start the season as they wait for renovations to be completed at their home rink.
Nick Paul had the lone goal for the Battalion in the loss. O’Neill stopped 24 Greyhounds shots.
“It was a pretty even game and it could have went either way,” said North Bay coach Stan Butler. “We had a couple of two-on-one scoring chances in the third period. (Brandon) Robinson had a chance late. You have to give (the Greyhounds) credit. That’s what happens in a game like that. Last shot wins and they took advantage of their opportunity.”
Tolchinsky had the other goal for the Greyhounds, giving him to goals and six points in two games this season.
Tolchinsky set up the game winner, feeding McCann in the left faceoff circle where the sophomore forward beat O’Neill in the final seconds. The goal was a product of an adjustment made by the Greyhounds heading into the third period.
“What we talked about between periods going into the third period was that it was very difficult to get inside the good ice,” Keefe said. “They really clog it up. We said that we’re going to have to throw the puck in that area and look to get them scrambling a bit and get a bounce. We were talking about throwing pucks into that area. It’s funny how some offensive players have those instincts.”
Goaltender Matt Murray stopped 29 shots in the win.
“He was very solid,” Keefe said of Murray. “He gave up very little. Overall I thought he was just solid. He looks confident in the net. That really helps our guys. It’s very important for how we’re trying to play too because we know we’re going to make mistakes. It was another solid effort from him tonight.”
The Greyhounds return to action on Saturday night when they host the Barrie Colts in a 7:07 p.m. start at the Essar Centre.
To view SooToday.com's Live Blog from Friday night's game, click here.