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Greyhounds can't pull away, win in overtime

'You walk away and feel like you lost' - Soo Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister

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In two visits to North Bay this season, the Soo Greyhounds have needed a little extra time to pick up a victory.

Morgan Frost scored with 28.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Greyhounds a 5-4 victory over the North Bay Battalion at the North Bay Memorial Gardens on Thursday night. It marks the second overtime victory in two visits to North Bay this season for the Greyhounds.

Frost’s shot from the left side of the slot slipped past North Bay netminder Julian Sime, capping off a game that saw the Greyhounds squander a 2-0 lead and come back from one-goal deficits on a pair of occasions to force overtime. 

“We started a little slow in the first period but got things going around the five-minute mark and took over the game there until late in the second period where we had a lapse,” Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister said. “At that point, we gave them life and they were feeling good about themselves.”

Bannister would call the game one “where you walk away and feel like you lost.”

“We had an opportunity to pull away in that game,” Bannister added. “I’d like to see us have more killer instinct so that we do, and we don’t put ourselves in a position where we end up chasing the game in the third and get lucky coming out of here with two points.”

Veteran forward Boris Katchouk assisted on three goals for the Greyhounds, giving his six assists in his past three games and points in seven consecutive games. 

“Boris is a competitive guy and we weren’t really going well in the third and after they got the lead, you could see his compete level rise,” Bannister said. “He’s a very opportunistic player. He doesn’t need a lot of time and space to hurt you.”

Conor Timmins added a pair of helpers for the Greyhounds. Also scoring for the visitors were Tim Gettinger, who tied the game with 2:08 to go in regulation time, Jack Kopacka, Barrett Hayton, and Cole MacKay.

Greyhounds goaltender Matthew Villalta made 24 saves.

“He made some really difficult saves but then he let two weak goals in,” Bannister said. “Preferably, I’d like to see him not make the hard saves and make those easier ones. The ones that are soft deflate your team a little bit and they ruin your confidence.

“We’d like to see a little more out of him on a consistent basis,” Bannister added. “When he’s on, he’s really good and he’s tough to beat.”

Veteran forwards Luke Burghardt and Brett McKenzie had a goal and an assist each to pace North Bay offensively. Luke Moncada and Justin Brazeau also scored for the Battalion.

North Bay goaltender Julian Sime stopped 32 shots.

“We were down a couple of goals but you have to give the kids a lot of credit. They battled back,” said Battalion Coach Stan Butler. “To allow a goal with two minutes to go was tough.”

The win improves the Greyhounds record to 16-3-2-0 as the team has now won seven straight heading into a game in Sudbury on Friday night against the Wolves.

Meanwhile, the Battalion drop to 6-12-3-0.

In other action around the OHL on Thursday night, in London, Cliff Pu had a goal and three assists as the London Knights beat the Guelph Storm 7-4. Alex Formenton chipped in with two goals and an assist while Max Jones also had a pair of goals for the Knights. Sam Miletic added a goal and two assists for London. Cedric Ralph paced Guelph with two goals and an assist.

In St. Catharines, Ted Nichol set up three goals as the Kingston Frontenacs doubled up the Niagara IceDogs 4-2.

In Windsor, Nick Suzuki had a goal and two assists as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Windsor Spitfires 6-3. Jonah Gadjovich chipped in with a goal and an assist for Owen Sound.

In Peterborough, Jack Studnicka and Nick Wong had a goal and an assist each as the Oshawa Generals beat the Peterborough Petes 4-1.

In Barrie, Dmitry Sokolov had two goals and two assists as the Sudbury Wolves beat the Barrie Colts 8-2. Blake Murray also scored a pair of goals for the Wolves.