Just 24 hours after a frustrating performance against the Ottawa 67’s, the Soo Greyhounds recovered with a better effort against the Barrie Colts in Ontario Hockey League action on Saturday night.
The result wasn’t ideal despite the improved effort as the Greyhounds dropped a 5-4 decision in overtime to the Colts in front of an announced crowd of 4,030 at the Essar Centre in the final game of a short two-game homestand.
Greyhounds coach Mike Stapleton was pleased with the improved effort despite a depleted lineup due to injuries and suspensions. One thing Stapleton wasn’t pleased with was the refereeing.
“As shorthanded as we are, we competed very hard,” said Stapleton. “It was a good game until the referees (T.J. Foster and Chris Carnegie) showed up in the third period and decided they wanted to have an input on the game. “
“They (Foster and Carnagie) decided to get involved at the end and made some soft calls,” said Stapleton. “(Barrie) scored on a four-on-four that probably shouldn’t have been a four-on-four. That’s the disappointing part.”
Mark Scheifele was the hero in the win, scoring the overtime winner 1:13 into the extra frame, capping off a three-goal, one-assist performance in the win.
“How he goes, we go,” Hawerchuk said. “He’s that kind of player. He’s come a whole other level from a year ago. He pushes the pace all the time. He had a bad stomach flu on the way up from Barrie. He didn’t look good at all. He slept on the bus during warmup (Friday night) and got a good night’s sleep. The rest was good for him.”
Anthony Camara added a goal and two assists for the Colts while Andreas Athanasiou also scored.
“I got worried because we had a lot of great chances that we couldn’t put away,” Hawerchuk said. “When that happens, you start to worry. (The Greyhounds) had a lot of young defencemen out there without a lot of experience but give them credit because they battled.”
Nick Cousins had a goal and two assists for the Greyhounds while Sergey Tolchinsky, David Broll and Mitchell Dempsey also scored. Matt Murray stopped 31 shots for the Greyhounds (9-7-1-0).
“Right from the get-go, we scored a goal and then they got a couple, I saw the resilience in our players,” said Stapleton. “They didn’t quit. They went right back at them and tied it up and took the lead only to come up on the short end of the stick. I was very happy with the effort from all 20 guys.”
Stapleton credited the defencemen in the loss, a group that was without three key veterans in Ryan Sproul, Colin Miller and Chris Buonomo.
“What we asked of them was to play as simple as they could,” Stapleton added. “We wanted them to try to keep it simple so they didn’t have any added pressure on them and they did a nice job.”
The Greyhounds return to action when they travel to Kitchener on Friday to begin a three-game road trip that takes them to Owen Sound on Saturday and London on Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Jim Egan
In Erie, Gemel Smith had a goal and two assists as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Erie Otters 6-1. Daniel Catenacci added a goal and an assist for the Attack in the win. Connor Brown had the lone goal for Erie.
In St. Catharines, Brett Ritchie had four goals and two assists as the Niagara IceDogs beat the Guelph Storm 9-4. Ryan Strome had a goal and four assists in the win while Mitchell Theoret also had a five-point night with two goals and three assists. Dougie Hamilton had four assists for the IceDogs. Rob Fabbri had three goals, the first three of his OHL career.
In Plymouth, Alex Galchenyuk had two goals and two assists as the Sarnia Sting beat the Plymouth Whalers 7-5. Charles Sarault added a goal and three assists for the Sting in the win. Alex Aleardi had a pair of goals for Plymouth in the loss.
In Sudbury, Taylor Fielding had the shootout winner as the Ottawa 67’s beat the Sudbury Wolves 4-3. Sean Monahan had two goals and an assist in regulation time for Ottawa. Michael Kantor had two goals and an assist for the Wolves.
In Saginaw, Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist as the Saginaw Spirit beat the Belleville Bulls 3-2. Garret Ross and Eric Locke added two assists each for Saginaw. Goaltender Charlie Graham stopped 37 shots for the Bulls in the loss.