There was some debate about whether it was a goal or not depending on who you asked, but in the end it capped off a solid finish for the Soo Greyhounds on Wednesday night.
Overage forward Tye Kartye scored the winner 25 seconds into overtime to give the Soo Greyhounds a 4-3 Ontario Hockey League win over the Sudbury Wolves Wednesday at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
Kartye scored on a rebound after Rory Kerins was initially stopped from the left wing.
“I tried to shoot it and fanned on it,” Kartye said. “It went to Kerins on the left and he shot it and it was a mad scramble and I just tried to get my stick on it.”
For the Wolves, there was some debate as to whether the puck crossed the line or not.
“It’s tough,” Wolves coach Craig Duncanson said. “I don’t know what they looked at, but they’re pretty convinced it went in.”
Duncanson said on the replay he watched following the game “it didn’t look like it went in.”
“The puck went in the air, it was batted out with a stick,” Duncanson said. “They said they watched it go in frame-by-frame. The stick was the only thing over the line, so they weren’t really watching frame-by-frame.”
Both coaches felt there were positives and negatives to take from the game.
“The last 40 minutes was a really good 40 for us,” Greyhounds coach John Dean said. “We didn’t like the second half of the first period. We challenged these guys to be cleaner out of our own end so that we can enter (the zone) a little bit better and generate more five-on-five and we did. “
“When we go look at the tape, we’re going to be happy with what we produced,” Dean also said. “If we keep playing that way, it’s bound to go in the net a little more often.”
“At times we played very well,” Duncanson said, “but we’re very young and the Soo is very fast, very strong, and good puck-moving. You can’t take penalties and we paid the price
The Greyhounds got on the board first as Kerins jumped on a loose puck in the right circle and beat Sudbury goaltender Mitchell Weeks to open the scoring 2:50 into the game after Tanner Dickinson’s initial shot was blocked.
The home side went up by a pair 60 seconds later as a point shot by overage defenceman Robert Calisti beat Weeks to make it 2-0.
The Wolves got on the board as David Goyette scored his first OHL goal, beating Greyhounds goaltender Samuel Ivanov from the right faceoff circle at 5:09.
Sudbury tied the game 3.2 seconds to go in the opening period as Evan Konyen took a feed from Quentin Musty on a 2-on-1 and beat Ivanov high glove to send the game into the intermission tied at two.
Konyen’s goal came moments after a neutral zone turnover by Greyhounds defenceman Ryan O’Rourke.
Dean said following the game that the Greyhounds “100 per cent had a letdown” after going up early.
“Even though we were up 2-0, I still consider it a bad start,” Dean added. “The result of the first period isn’t something that we liked. It’s become a bit of a trend. I’m going to have to look at how I prepare the team and the leadership group is going to have to look at how they prepare the team inside the room and make sure we don’t have those letdowns and those tough starts.”
Kerins called the slow starts “something we’ve got to fix.”
“We know that we’re in every game when we work hard,” Kerins added. “We worked hard throughout the game and we stuck with it. That’s the big thing we’re going to take away.”
Sudbury took the lead for the first time in the game as Nick DeGrazia scored on a rebound on the power play after Ivanov made the initial stop on Sudbury defenceman Jack Thompson at 3:06.
Kerins tied the game at 13:02 of the third with the Greyhounds on the power play.
The veteran forward got the puck in the right faceoff circle and sent it to the net with Cole MacKay battling a Wolves defender at the top of the crease. The puck deflected past Weeks off a skate in close and set the stage for Kartye’s game winner.
“You always want your team to respond,” Dean said of the final two periods and overtime. “I wasn’t happy between the first and the second periods and sometimes you fear that when you show your anger that you’re not going to get the right response. Our leadership group is so strong that they really take care of business inside that room, and it does show the resilience of our young group as well.”
Kerins finished the night with two goals and two assists for the Greyhounds while O’Rourke assisted on three goals.
Dickinson also had a pair of helpers for the Greyhounds.
Ivanov made 25 saves for the Greyhounds
Dean said Ivanov was a difference-maker in the opening period.
Weeks made 47 saves for the Wolves.
“He was really steady,” Duncanson said of the veteran netminder.
Thompson and Musty assisted on two goals each for the Wolves.
The Greyhounds lost veteran forward Kalvyn Watson to injury in the game.
Dean said following the game that Watson suffered a broken right wrist in the game.
Wednesday marked the first game in a Wolves uniform for newly acquired defenceman Dylan Robinson.
Sudbury brought in the veteran blueliner in a trade on Tuesday.
The Greyhounds return to action on Friday night at home against the North Bay Battalion at the GFL Memorial Gardens in the first of two games between the clubs locally.
The same teams will wrap up the weekend set on Saturday night with puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. both nights.