Soo Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe issued a challenge over the weekend.
Keefe challenged his team after a 4-1 loss in Sudbury on Sunday afternoon and the team rebounded to beat the Saginaw Spirit 7-3 at the Essar Centre in Ontario Hockey League action on Monday afternoon.
“We challenged them to overcome not only the schedule but the fact that we were coming off a loss,” said Keefe. “We wanted to get back to doing the good things. I wasn’t happy with our first few shifts. Our first rotation through the team wasn’t very good. We took off from there.
The Greyhounds outshot the Spirit 34-16 in the win, giving up just six shots over the final two periods of action.
“Even when the score was close, I thought we deserved a better fate,” Keefe said. “It was one of those weird games where we were controlling everything and they were just hanging around.”
“The thing that we’re most pleased with is the 16 shots against, six of those in the final two periods” added Keefe. “It’s just from us playing the right way and it’s tough to get through the neutral zone to enter our zone.”
Defenceman Ryan Sproul scored three times, including twice on the power play in the win.
“Those were three big league shots,” said Keefe. “That’s what he does best. He’s elite. I haven’t been through the league but I can’t imagine there’s many other guys out there at this level.”
Brandon Alderson chipped in with a pair of goals in the victory. Colin Miller had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds. Sergey Tolchinsky also scored in the win. Nick Cousins set up four goals while Michael Schumacher had three assists in the win.
Goaltender Matt Murray stopped 13 shots for the Greyhounds.
Jimmy Lodge had a goal and two assists for the Spirit in the loss. Garret Ross and Jeremiah Addison also scored. Goaltender Nikita Serebryakov stopped 27 shots for the Spirit.
“Our first period was ok,” said Spirit coach Greg Gilbert. ”We were competing and we were battling. In the second and third periods we were just terrible. There was no fight.”
With the win, the Greyhounds record improved to 19-17-2-0 and kept pace with the Plymouth Whalers, who also won on Monday – 5-2 over Windsor. The Greyhounds and Whalers each have 40 points though the Whalers hold two games in hand on the Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds now prepare for a three-game road trip that will see them depart Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday. The trip opens on Thursday evening in Ottawa. The rest of the trip sees the Greyhounds travel to Belleville on Saturday night and Kingston on Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Jim Egan
In Sarnia, the London Knights extended their winning streak to 24 games with a 3-2 win over Sarnia. The Knights scored three unanswered goals in the win. Bo Horvat scored twice for London. Ryan Rupert assisted on all three London goals. Reid Boucher had a goal and an assist for Sarnia.
In Brampton, Nick Paul scored three times as the Brampton Battalion beat the Mississauga Steelheads 5-2. Blake Clarke added a pair of goals for the Battalion. Former Greyhounds Brendan Childerley set up two goals for Brampton. Riley Brace had a goal and an assist for the Steelheads.
In Ottawa, Ryan Kujawinski had three goals and an assist as the Kingston Frontenacs beat the Ottawa 67’s 7-5. Henri Ikonen had two goals and two assists for the Frontenacs. Mike Vlajkov and Cody Ceci had a goal and an assist each for the 67’s.
In Windsor, Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 38 shots as the Plymouth Whalers beat the Windsor Spitfires 5-2. Garrett Meurs had two goals and an assist for the Whalers. Kerby Rychel and Zach Lorentz scored for Windsor.
In St. Catharines, Steven Shipley scored three times as the Niagara IceDogs beat the Erie Otters 7-4. Carter Verhaeghe had a goal and two assists for the IceDogs. Shayne Rover (one goal, one assist), Mitchell Theoret (one goal, one assist), Aaron Haydon (two assists) and Anthony DiFruscia (two assists) also had multi-point nights for Niagara. Adam Pelech and Dane Fox had a goal and an assist each for the Otters.
In Barrie, Joel Vienneau stopped 54 shots as the Sudbury Wolves beat the Barrie Colts 4-1. Jacob Harris had two goals for the Wolves. Mathias Niederberger stopped 35 shots for the Colts in the loss.