The Soo Greyhounds current three-game road trip hasn’t been a very kind one through two games.
Just 24 hours after surrendering a 3-1 lead in a 4-3 loss in Windsor to the Spitfires, the Greyhounds gave up four third-period goals in a 5-1 loss to the Plymouth Whalers at the Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth.
“You expect more at this point of the season,” Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe told SooGreyhounds.com. “We are going through a tough stretch and we're learning things aren't easy and every team in this league is fighting for something and we just seem pretty content with where we are. We're learning that we're not nearly a good enough team to not be in the battle, not to fight to not to compete. We have a lot of work ahead of us down this stretch to win.”
Connor Chatham scored twice in the third period for the Whalers in the outburst.
Whalers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 34 shots in the win. Ryan Hartman had a pair of goals for the Whalers, including a shorthanded marker in the first period on a breakaway. Cullen Mercer also scored for the Whalers in the win.
“The difference maker was obviously we don't get any offense through forty-minutes,” Keefe would also say. “We don't get any goals and the third period we just folded. We were very soft and let a hardworking Plymouth team just roll over top of us. They wanted it more and our guys folded much like they did last night (Thursday).”
Sergey Tolchinsky scored a power play goal in the third period for the Greyhounds lone goal in the loss. Rookie netminder Brandon Halverson made 23 saves in the loss.
The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 35-14-1-4. With 75 points, the Greyhounds remain nine points ahead of the Windsor Spitfires in the West Division standings. Windsor was also in action on Friday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Mississauga Steelheads in Mississauga. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Spitfires.
The Greyhounds have now dropped three straight games.
“You have to hope that today is rock bottom and that we start to figure it out,” Keefe would add. “We talked as team and made it pretty blatantly obvious as to what we feel the issues are. We have a chance to respond tomorrow, but certainly this coming week will be a chance to get a more thorough analysis and make it clear where we're falling short and that just really comes down to the sheer battle and sheer fight.”
Meanwhile, the Whalers gained ground in the Western Conference playoff race. The Whalers improved to 19-27-0-5 and hold a seven-point lead over the Kitchener Rangers in the race for the final playoff spot in the conference. The Whalers gained two points as the Rangers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Oshawa Generals Friday night.
The Greyhounds wrap up their three-game road trip on Saturday night when they face the Saginaw Spirit at the Dow Events Center in Saginaw.