Battalion hold on for win over GreyhoundsWednesday, December 11, 2013 by: Brad Coccimiglio
The Soo Greyhounds were back on home ice on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre after a lengthy stretch of games on the road.
The Greyhounds hosted the North Bay Battalion on Wednesday night in the first of three games on home ice this week in Ontario Hockey League action. A pair of shorthanded goals in the second period lifted the Battalion to a 4-3 win over the Greyhounds.
The game came on the heels of four games on the road in seven days that wrapped up on Tuesday night in Sudbury.
“It was a significant factor,” Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe said of the team being on the road so much recently. “We made some uncharacteristic mistakes and just didn’t have much life to our game. We don’t like to make excuses but when you’re making those types of mistakes and you’re lifeless and you’re played five games in eight days, you start to look at that as a reason. You need time to recharge for sure.”
Jamie Lewis and Barclay Goodrow scored shorthanded goals in the second period that made the score 4-1 at the time.
“You hate to see it,” Keefe said of the two shorthanded goals. “It was a sign of the type of night it was. The second one, we won the faceoff clean and it went right past us on a bounce into a breakaway for their best player.”
Said North Bay coach Stan Butler: “They were back-breakers and with the amount of penalties the refs were giving us we needed to score some shorthanded goals to stay in the game.”
Goodrow finished the night with two goals and an assist in the win.
“He’s been great for us all year,” Butler said of Goodrow. “He’s a team leader and he’s been there so many times this year he, quite frankly, puts the team on his back and just carries us and tonight was a prime example of that.”
Alex Henriksson also scored for North Bay in the win. Goaltender Brendan O’Neill got the start and stopped 25 shots before being pulled after the third Greyhounds goal. Jake Smith came in and stopped all three shots he faced in the final 10 minutes of action.
The Greyhounds scored a pair of third period goals to pull to within one but couldn’t get the equalizer.
“(The third period) was a positive for sure and I was happy that we pushed back,” said Keefe. “We challenged them a bit after the second period that this was a test to see what you’re made of. You can allow the fatigue to overcome you and use it as an excuse or do you have some fight back. I was happy that we fought back.”
Blake Speers had a pair of goals while Jared McCann had the other goal for the Greyhounds in the loss. Sergey Tolchinsky set up all three goals while Kyle Jenkins chipped in with two assists. Rookie goaltender Brandon Halverson got the start and stopped 27 shots.
“He battled,” Keefe said of Halverson. “Most of the shots he had were of the dangerous variety. He was good. I had no issues with Halvy. Who knows where we would have been if he didn’t’ have a little bit of life to him.”
The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 21-8-0-3 while North Bay improves to 16-15-1-0.
The Greyhounds enjoy a pair of nights off before hosting the Oshawa Generals at the Essar Centre on Saturday night.
Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.