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Early response, power play success keys in Greyhounds road opener (video)

Veteran forwards Tye Kartye and Cole MacKay had big nights offensively for the Greyhounds
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File photo. Soo Greyhounds forward Tye Kartye. Brad Coccimiglio/SooToday

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The start certainly wasn’t ideal but rebounding quick is something that could go a long way in the learning process for the Soo Greyhounds.

The Greyhounds fell behind by a pair of goals through 20 minutes before scoring six of the next seven goals in the game to pick up a 6-3 Ontario Hockey League win over the Barrie Colts on Thursday night at Sadlon Arena.

For Greyhounds coach John Dean, responding to the early deficit happened early on after the Colts opened the scoring in the first minute of the game.

“The response was great,” Dean said. “The response happened immediately. I really enjoyed our first period. We directed a lot of shots at their net. We had a difficult time blocking shots and they had a lot of chances, don’t get me wrong. Even at the end of the first. There wasn’t a lot of panic in our group. I was impressed with our leadership and how they kept the group calm, and we took over in the second period.”

Dean added that a game like Thursday’s is one that could have a good effect on the confidence of the group.

“When something like tonight happens, it gives the collective group a belief that, no matter what’s going on in the game, that we have an opportunity to win,” Dean said. “When you start believing that as a group and don’t let anything bother you, it makes for a fun season, especially in junior hockey.”

A pair of overage forwards led the way offensively for the Greyhounds as Tye Kartye scored three times while Cole MacKay chipped in with a goal and three assists in the win.

Dean credited the team for bouncing back after a loss on Saturday night against Sudbury in which

“To a man, everyone had some sort of contribution tonight,” Dean said. “We looked like a team with purpose tonight. We had no purpose against Sudbury. We looked like a team that knew what we were trying to accomplish.”

Kartye called the comeback “the more exciting part” of the game over his three-goal night.

“I’m just glad to help contribute,” Kartye added.

MacKay called the win “awesome.”

“This early in the season, you don’t know how the guys are going to respond,” MacKay added. “I was really proud of all of the guys and the way we responded to being down one really early.”

The Colts opened the scoring just 10 seconds in as import forward Oskar Olausson beat Robert Calisti in the slot before sliding the puck past Greyhounds starter Samuel Ivanov to give Barrie the lead.

The Colts would go up by a pair in the final minute of the period as Ethan Cardwell scored on a rebound after Nathan Allensen’s initial shot was stopped by Ivanov.

“Not much,” Kartye said when asked what was said between periods. “We know that if we play our game and work hard, we can be a really good team

The Greyhounds got on the board in the opening minute of the second period when rookie defenceman Luc Brzustowski got his first OHL marker 59 seconds into the frame with a point shot through traffic in the slot, beating Colts starter Matthew Sbrocca.

“It was a scramble in the high slot, and I saw the puck come loose,” Brzustowski said. “I just jumped in from the point and tried to put it on net. I didn’t really aim it, I just tried to get it through.

Kartye tied the game midway through the period with a power play goal, finishing off a passing play in the slot after taking a feed from MacKay off to the side of the Barrie goal.

Barrie appeared to take the lead just over three minutes into the third when Cardwell scored on a rebound, but the play was challenged and overturned due to goalie interference.

Dean credited Greyhounds video coach Ryan Dumoulin for catching it and notifying the bench at the time.

“He called it down and took a pretty aggressive stance on it and told us we had to make the call,” Dean said. “Obviously that’s a huge turning point in the game.”

Just 21 seconds later, Kartye gave the Greyhounds the lead on the power play as he grabbed a loose puck in the slot and beat Sbrocca stick side.

Just 14 seconds later, on the second half of a double minor penalty to the Colts, MacKay gave the Greyhounds a 4-2 lead as he redirected a pass from Rory Kerins past Sbrocca at 3:43 of the third.

Barrie cut the lead to one just under nine minutes into the period as Jacob Frasca deflected a point shot by Brandt Clarke past Ivanov on the power play.

Kartye picked up his third of the night on the power play with 3:01 to go in regulation time as he took a feed in the left circle from MacKay and beat Sbrocca high short (stick) side.

Bryce McConnell-Barker capped off the scoring with an empty net goal in the final minute.

The Greyhounds finished the night with four power play goals on six attempts in the win.

“We were all on the same page and we put in some extra work after practice all the time,” Kartye said of the power play. “Everything just clicked today.”

“For our power play to dominate like that, what a performance,” Dean added, also crediting the Greyhounds penalty kill in the win, which held the Colts at bay on a four-minute power play with the game close early in the third period.

Ivanov finished the night with 33 saves for the Greyhounds.

“Sammy played great and what a credit to him for a first year goaltender to let in a goal like that (to start the game) and rally the rest of the game,” Dean said. “We gave up a lot of chances tonight. It wasn’t a work of art, but it’s pretty impressive the mental focus he showed to bounce back.”

Sbrocca made 22 saves for the Colts.

The game marked a return to the lineup for rookie forward Owen Allard, who was injured during last Friday’s regular season opener against North Bay before sitting out Saturday’s contest against Sudbury.

Thursday’s game saw a return to the lineup for Clarke for the Colts. The Los Angeles Kings prospect missed Barrie’s opening two games due to mononucleosis and assisted on a pair of goals in his return to the lineup.

The Greyhounds return to action on Friday night on the road against the Guelph Storm before wrapping up the weekend in Owen Sound against the Attack on Saturday night.

Earlier in the day Thursday, the Greyhounds dealt overage forward Joe Carroll to the Peterborough Petes in exchange for three draft picks.

Carroll joined the Petes and was in the lineup on Thursday night as the team faced the Sudbury Wolves in Peterborough and was penciled in on a line with rookie forwards Ryan Gagner and Zack Lewis.

Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis also confirmed that overage forward Alex Johnston had passed through waivers, meaning the overage situation is set with Calisti, Kartye, and MacKay serving as the team’s three overage players going forward.