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Greyhounds fall in shootout in rematch with Spitfires (video)

A crucial divisional game saw the Soo Greyhounds drop a shootout decision to the Windsor Spitfires
2022-01-08 Greyhounds vs. Windsor BC (2)
File photo. Soo Greyhounds forward Tyler Savard throws a hit behind the net in a game against the Windsor Spitfires at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Jan. 8, 2022.

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It will take some time to sink in, but it’s something they can use to build on going forward.

After dropping a pair of games at home to the Windsor Spitfires, which included a 10-4 loss, earlier this month, the Soo Greyhounds appeared poised to bounce back against the Spitfires on Thursday night.

In the end, the Spitfires erased a strong showing by the Greyhounds through 40 minutes en route to a shootout win in a battle between two of the top teams in the Ontario Hockey League’s West Division.

A shootout goal by Daniel D’Amico was the difference as the Spitfires came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Greyhounds 3-2 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.

“We played an unbelievable 40 minutes,” Greyhounds coach John Dean said. “It was a really great response by our guys. We limited chances against. We had a lot of opportunities to extend our lead and build on it and we unfortunately didn’t capitalize on them.”

After the Greyhounds took the lead and outshot the home team 25-10 in the process, the Spitfires turned the tide in the third, outshooting the Greyhounds 15-9 in the final period as they forced overtime.

“Right from the drop of the puck in the third we looked like a tentative, nervous group,” Dean said. “We get the lead by being aggressive and heavy on our forecheck, taking away time and space. I saw a lot of backwards skating and a lot of trying to guide the play instead of dictating and forcing and being aggressive.”

Dean added that “we looked like a nervous group that was still thinking about the last result.”

The Greyhounds rebounded in the overtime frame, holding the Spitfires to no shots and picking up five of their own in the process.

“We’re at the point in the season where we want to see 60 minutes and we want to see the full group towing the line at the same time,” Dean said of the third period. “That was our game to win in the third and we found a way to lose so it’s tough to be happy with the third period for sure.”

The result notwithstanding, Dean agreed that the game was one the team could build on.

“It’s going to take some time to have that message sink in,” Dean said. “Obviously, they’re so disappointed because they wanted to win this game so badly. When you step outside of it and reflect on it, there’s a great blueprint there for that 40 minutes that we can follow and have some success with.”

Rookie forward Tyler Savard added that the first two periods “showed that we can play with them.”

The Greyhounds opened the scoring just under eight minutes into the game as rookie blueliner Caedan Carlisle beat Spitfires starter Xavier Medina with a shot from the left point through traffic.

The Greyhounds took a 2-0 lead in the second period when Tyler Savard deflected a point shot by Connor Toms in tight pas Medina at 5:21.

Windsor got on the board in the third period when Will Cuylle went to the net and redirected a pass from Matthew Maggio on the right wing past Tucker Tynan at 8:26.

Maggio tied the game with 24 seconds to go as he jumped on a loose puck in the slot and beat Tynan after Wyatt Johnston’s initial shot from the high slot was blocked.

The shootout winner by D’Amico saw the veteran forward beat Tynan 5-hole to give the Spitfires the victory.

The veteran forward said in an interview with YourTV that there was little doubt he was going 5-hole on his shot.

“I just watch (the goaltender’s) movement and see where he’s at,” D’Amico said. “If he’s going far in his net, I’m just going to shoot 5-hole.

“For now, it’s worked for me and I’m not going to switch it up since it’s been working,” D’Amico added.

Savard finished the night with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds.

Tynan made 23 saves for the Greyhounds while Medina made 37 at the other end for Windsor and stopped all three Greyhounds shooters in the shootout.

Maggio had a goal and an assist for the Spitfires offensively while Johnston assisted on both Windsor goals in regulation time.

With the win, the Spitfires pull to within three points of the Greyhounds atop the West Division with 40 points on the strength of an 18-10-2-2 record.

The Greyhounds fall to 20-12-2-1 with the loss.

The Greyhounds return to action on Friday night with a game at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph against the Guelph Storm.

Following a weekend off, the team is scheduled to play three in a row at home, beginning Wednesday night against the Saginaw Spirit. The team will then face the Flint Firebirds on Friday and the Barrie Colts on Saturday night. Puck drop for all three games at the GFL Memorial Gardens is set for 7:07 p.m.