A stretch in which they surrendered four goals in just over five minutes played a role in the Soo Greyhounds losing skid extending to six games on Friday night.
Leading 2-1, the Sarnia Sting scored four times in the second period, which included a penalty shot goal from veteran forward Sean Josling in a 7-4 win over the Soo Greyhounds Friday at Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia.
Josling’s goal, which came at 11:18 of the middle period, opened the floodgates in the period that saw the Sting score four goals in a stretch of 5:05 in the period en route to the win.
“Our mistakes unfortunately are on the larger side when we make them,” said Greyhounds coach John Dean. “They scored two goals where they beat our D clean and one ended up being a penalty shot. Of course it changed the game.
“Our intent and our push was there for the whole 60,” Dean added. “It was a couple of unfortunate bounces and some missed assignments, which I know is getting old, but our guys pushed back in the third period. I’m pretty happy with our group tonight. It’s one of those things where hopefully it got worse before it gets better.”
That being said, the game did produce some positives for the Greyhounds bench boss.
“We had a lot of zone time,” Dean said. “We had a lot of opportunities to put the puck in the net but didn’t.
“From start to finish, I thought we carried a lot of the play,” Dean added. “That being said, we have to bear down on our opportunities. We can’t have the big breakdowns that are costly and that ultimately is the difference tonight.”
Friday was the first game action for the team after a 10-2 loss to the Windsor Spitfires last weekend on home ice. For Dean, the fact the Greyhounds rebounded some from the stretch of Sting offence in the second period was important.
“If you compare the two games, there are some similarities in terms of the breakdowns and they score a couple of goals quick,” Dean said. “(Against Sarnia), we rebounded much better. And I think there’s a bit of that swagger back. It’s tough to say after a 7-4 loss, but you could see some confidence in the group. You could see that that believe in what they’re doing. When you work hard in this system and don’t get rewarded, it’s tough to see but I think the kids recognized that the efforts they put forward rewarded them with opportunities.”
Trailing 6-1 entering the third period, Cole MacKay scored 20 seconds into the third period and then Zach Trott added a shorthanded marker at 7:49 of the period to cut the Sting lead to 6-3.
A goal by Billy Constantinou cut the lead to two with just over four minutes to go, but the Greyhounds couldn’t claw back.
“If we can get to a point where we never think we’re out of a game, that’s a real positive force for us,” Dean said. “Tonight, it seemed like the guys took the approach that they didn’t think they were out of it and that showed in the third period.”
Ethan Taylor got the start for the Greyhounds, stopping 10 of 15 shots before being pulled after Sarnia’s fifth goal.
Christian Propp stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced the rest of the way.
Josling finished the night with two goals and an assist while Jamieson Rees and Eric Hjorth had a goal and an assist each.
Brayden Guy set up a pair of goals.
Theo Hill, Ryan McGregor, and Marko Jakovljevic also scored for the Sting.
Jordan Kooy stopped 33 shots for the Sting.
The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 6-11-1-0 heading into action on Saturday night in Flint against the Firebirds.
Sarnia improves to 8-8-0-0 with the win.
In other action around the league on Friday night, in Flint, five unanswered goals lifted the Flint Firebirds to a 5-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads. Riley McCourt scored a pair of goals for Flint.
In Kingston, Brady Hinz had two goals and an assist as the Peterborough Petes beat the Kingston Frontenacs 4-1. Declan Chisholm assisted on three Petes goals.
In Ottawa, Brett Neumann’s goal at 19:14 of the third period was the game-winner as the Oshawa Generals beat the Ottawa 67’s 3-2. Neumann had a pair of goals for the Generals.
In Sudbury, Christian Purboo made 28 saves as the Sudbury Wolves blanked the Niagara IceDogs 6-0. Quinton Byfield had a goal and two assists for Sudbury.
In Kitchener, Cam Hillis had two goals and two assists as the Guelph Storm beat the Kitchener Rangers 6-3. Daniil Chayka also had a pair of goals for Guelph.
In London, Connor McMichael’s goal at 18:55 of the third period was the game-winner as the London Knights beat the North Bay Battalion 4-3. McMichael had a goal and three assists for London. Ryan Merkley added a pair of goals for the Knights while Liam Foudy had a goal and two assists.