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Greyhounds blank Wolves in homestand opener (video)

Matthew Villalta had the shutout while Morgan Frost had three points

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The Soo Greyhounds opened a three-game homestand on Wednesday night and there were very few complaints by the end of the night.

The Greyhounds skated to a 4-0 victory over the Sudbury Wolves Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action at the Essar Centre. 

“There really wasn’t a lot to complain about in that game other than we didn’t shoot enough,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister. “We didn’t give up anything defensively. I don’t know how many quality scoring chances they had, but it was pretty minimal.”

Morgan Frost paced the Greyhounds with a goal and two assists. Jordan Sambrook, Taylor Raddysh and Brett Jacklin also scored.

Bannister was pleased with the play of the Greyhounds defenceman in the contest for the most part as the unit played without Conor Timmins and Rasmus Sandin.

“Early on in the second period we slowed the game down too much, especially in our zone but once we started to pick the pace up it was better,” Bannister said.

Timmins and Sandin missed the game due to injuries.

Timmins will remain out on the weekend while Sandin’s status isn’t known. 

Sandin was injured on Sunday evening in Saginaw after being hit by Spirit forward Ryan Stepien. Sandin was cut on the play and left the game. Stepien was given a major penalty and game misconduct on the play

Tyler Johnson, who was injured ahead of the Greyhounds road trip in mid-January, also missed the game.

Bannister said Johnson is skating but his availability for the weekend wasn’t known.

Greyhounds netminder Matthew Villalta made 22 saves for the shutout.

Wolves Coach Cory Stillman said the difference was the Greyhounds converting an opportunity moments after the Wolves couldn’t capitalize on one of their own.

“Tonight’s difference was it was a 1-0 game and we missed an opportunity, Blake Murray missed a back-door tap-in and they went down and scored to make it 2-0,” said Wolves Coach Cory Stillman. 

“We had some chances early,” Stillman also said. “We came out and played hard. We’re a fragile team right now. We don’t score a lot of goals so when we dig ourselves a hole and you can see shoulders dropping.”

Wolves netminder Jake McGrath made 26 saves.

“He played well,” Stillman said. “He seemed to be seeing the puck and tracking the puck well and making some saves. There were a couple of back-door-tap-ins and you can’t blame the kid on that.”

The Greyhounds, who improve to 41-5-2-1, return to action on Friday night at the Essar Centre against the Saginaw Spirit before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday afternoon against the Erie Otters.

The Wolves fall to 13-31-6-0.

In other action around the OHL on Wednesday night, in Flint, Fedor Gordeev scored 49 seconds into overtime to give the Flint Firebirds a 3-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit. Garrett Forrest made 37 saves for the Firebirds while Ty Dellandrea had a pair of goals. Evan Cormier made 36 saves for Saginaw. 

In Owen Sound, Maksim Sushko’s goal 50 seconds into the third period was the eventual game-winner as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Barrie Colts 4-2. Leo Lazarev made 43 saves for Barrie, which included stopping Nick Suzuki on a penalty shot.

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Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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