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Greyhounds 'slay a dragon' with low-scoring win in Sarnia (video)

Rookie goaltender Samuel Ivanov picked up his first OHL shutout for the Greyhounds

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It wasn’t a typical win, but one they needed.

The Ontario Hockey League’s top scoring team, the Soo Greyhounds, skated to a narrow 2-0 win over the Sarnia Sting on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia.

It was a game in which they outshot their opponent 34-20 but led just 1-0 heading into the final minute of regulation time.

“It definitely is big,” said Greyhounds coach John Dean. “We definitely slayed a dragon that we needed to slay which is win a 1-0 game and stick to your structure for 60 minutes. A lot of times we would have deviated and tonight the guys get to see a reward for playing 60 full minutes in a tight 1-0 game and not giving up too much on the other side trying to go within their own game plan.”

Overage forward Tye Kartye called winning a low-scoring game “a great lesson for us.”

The win also took on some added importance as the team wrapped up its three-game road trip on a high note after struggling in losses to Erie on Thursday night and Kitchener on Friday.

“The thing that makes me happy is, we played a pretty sounds first period and we didn’t get rewarded for it and a lot of times in other games, we tend to deviate in the second period,” Dean said. “Today we stuck with it. We had a lot of opportunities to build on our lead in the second period. It was nice to see us progress from the first 20 to the next 20 to the next 20.

Kartye called the game a “huge win.”

Rookie goaltender Samuel Ivanov picked up the shutout for the Greyhounds.

“It feels amazing,” Ivanov said.

“I felt very calm and confident,” the rookie netminder said.

Ivanov admitted to struggling of late and feeling like he’s “starting to get out of it and today proved that.”

“I’m so happy for Sammy,” Dean said. “He made some big saves when he needed to. He stepped up big time in the third period. In the first period he made a breakaway save that could have changed the game. I’m happy with the way we played defensively, but Sammy still needed to step up when we needed him and he did that.”

After a scoreless opening period, Kartye opened the scoring for the Greyhounds in the slot after trading passes with Rory Kerins and finding him open in the slot with an open Sarnia net.

“It was a nice give-and-go and a really good find by him,” Kartye said of the goal. “It was a wide-open net and I just had to put it in.”

The goal was the 18th of the season for Kartye, who was asked of playing with some of the playmakers on the Greyhounds roster this season.

“Those guys are amazing players and amazing playmakers,” Kartye said of playing with players like Kerins and Tanner Dickinson

Overage defenceman Robert Calisti sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final seconds of regulation time with the Greyhounds shorthanded.

Kerins also picked up an assist on that goal, giving the veteran two points in the win.

Sarnia goaltender Benjamin Gaudreau made 32 saves in the loss.

The win improves the Greyhounds record to 12-9-0-0holds a three-point lead over the Saginaw Spirit atop the West Division standings.

Sarnia falls to 8-8-3-0 with the loss and sits in a three-way tie in the West Division with the Windsor Spitfires and Flint Firebirds. All three clubs have 19 points.

The Greyhounds return to action on Wednesday night in the opening game of a three-game homestand.

The team will host the Sudbury Wolves in a 7:07 p.m. start at the GFL Memorial Gardens.

The remainder of the homestand sees the Greyhounds host the Guelph Storm on Friday before wrapping up the weekend against the Saginaw Spirit on Sunday afternoon.