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Greyhounds set new franchise record

The team will now conclude regular season play with three games on home ice
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20160413 Erie Otters at Soo Greyhounds Game 4 KA 02

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The final road game of the Ontario Hockey League regular season made Sunday a record-setting day for the Soo Greyhounds.

The Greyhounds battled back to force overtime before dropping a 6-5 shootout decision to the Owen Sound Attack Sunday afternoon at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound.

With the single point, the Greyhounds set a new franchise record for points in a season with 111 heading into the final three games of the regular season.

Getting the point wasn’t easy as the Attack led 3-0 early in the second period and would hold a 5-2 advantage in the early stages of the third period before the Greyhounds battled back.

“The comeback was huge for us,” said Greyhounds forward Boris Katchouk. “That shows that we can deal with adversity.”

“It was a great game in that we were able to fight our way back into it,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister. “It’s a really tough rink to play in.”

The Greyhounds scored three times in 66 seconds in the third period, including goals on both ends of a 5-on-3 man advantage to tie the game at five.

“That was important,” Bannister said of the power play having some success. “The power play has been a little bit off as of late. That was a good game for us to ramp it up for the playoffs. It’s important that we get whether it’s luck or opportunity and making sure that we cash in on those opportunities.”

Defencemen Conor Timmins and Rasmus Sandin scored 30 seconds apart on the power play to cut the lead to one before Morgan Frost tied the game with 12:54 to go in regulation time to tie the game.

Frost finished the night with a pair of goals while Keeghan Howdeshell also scored for the Greyhounds. Timmins had a goal and an assist. Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh assisted on a pair of goals each for the Greyhounds.

Goaltender Matthew Villalta stopped 38 shots in the contest, including 15 through the final 25 minutes of the game while the Greyhounds pushed in the third period and force overtime before proceeding to keep the Attack off the scoreboard in the extra frame.

“The goals were self-inflicted by individual players,” Bannister said. “It certainly wasn’t our best effort. Every time we made a mistake, they made us pay. We did a lot of good things. Offensively, we had some chances early on and weren’t able to score.”

Brett McKenzie paced Owen Sound with a pair of goals.

“It was a good pace,” McKenzie told RogersTV. “We had a really good pace and they did too.”

Maksim Sushko had the shootout winner for the Attack, who continue to battle the London Knights for fourth in the OHL’s Western Conference. The Attack move to within two points of the Knights with both teams having three games remaining in the regular season.

Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist for Owen Sound while Jonah Gadjovich and Aidan Dudas also scored.

Owen Sound goaltender Olivier Lafreniere stopped 28 shots for the Attack before stopping all three Greyhounds shooters in the shootout.

The Greyhounds will take a 53-7-2-3 record into the final week of the regular season. 

The team now prepares for a trio of home games beginning on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre against the Saginaw Spirit. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.

The homestand includes games against the Flint Firebirds on Friday night (7:07 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (2:07 p.m.) against the London Knights.

In other action around the OHL on Sunday, in Kitchener, Joseph Garreffa’s goal at 3:32 of the third period was the eventual game-winner as the Kitchener Rangers beat the Saginaw Spirit 3-2. Luke Richardson stopped 32 shots for the Rangers. 

In Ottawa, Ryan McLeod had a pair of goals as the Mississauga Steelheads beat the Ottawa 67’s 5-1. Cole Carter and Trent Fox had a goal and an assist each while Michael McLeod assisted on two goals for the Steelheads.

In Sudbury, Marshall Frappier made 27 saves as the Sudbury Wolves blanked the Peterborough Petes 4-0. Liam Ross scored a pair of goals for the Wolves. Peterborough goaltender Hunter Jones stopped 42 shots.

In St. Catharines, a power play goal by Akil Thomas late in the second period was the game-winner as the Niagara IceDogs beat the Windsor Spitfires 3-2. Sam Miletic had a pair of goals for the IceDogs. Cole Purboo and Luke Kutkevicius had a goal and an assist each for the Spitfires.

Sunday’s lone other game between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Oshawa Generals in Oshawa was a 6:05 p.m. start.