An inability to capitalize on scoring chances became an issue for the Soo Greyhounds early in the young Ontario Hockey League regular season.
In an opening period that saw the team put 15 shots on goal and have a lengthy 5-on-3 power play, the Greyhounds couldn’t find the back of the net and would eventually drop a 5-2 decision to the Peterborough Petes on Thursday night in the opening game of a three-game road trip.
The teams would trade goals in the second period before Peterborough would score four times in the final 20 minutes en route to the win.
It was a game that the Greyhounds felt they had plenty of quality scoring chances, but couldn’t convert.
“We had a lot of chances and I think the game would have been different if we would have scored on our chances in the first period,” said Greyhounds Coach John Dean. “We have to capitalize on our chances to score. We had a lot of chances to score in the first period.”
“When you have a young team, what happens is, if you don’t score in the first period, you’re not going against the game plan, but you start to cheat a little bit,” Dean added. “Those little cheats add up and the momentum starts to change, and Peterborough capitalized.”
“Give credit to their goalie (Hunter Jones), he played a great game, but we have to put the puck in the net,” said Greyhounds forward Ryan Roth.
The Greyhounds would finish the night 0-for-6 on the power play and the team has just one goal on the man advantage through five games.
Dean said he did see some positives on the power play against the Petes.
“In the first period, we must have had seven or eight grade-A opportunities,” Dean said. “In the second period, we had a tough time in the faceoff circle and we had a tough time breaking out of our zone. Once we got into (the Peterborough zone), I was really happy. They were organized and did a good job.”
Dean said the faceoffs and breakouts cost the team on the power play but did say “I saw a lot of good things in the offensive zone. It’s baby steps in the right direction.”
Greyhounds goaltender Matthew Villalta was solid again, making 39 saves in the loss.
Morgan Frost and Zack Trott scored for the Greyhounds, who fall to 2-2-1-0.
Veteran forward Zach Gallant, who was named the Petes captain this week, scored three times, including the go-ahead for with just over three minutes to go in the contest.
Nick Isaacson assisted on three goals while defenceman Matt McNamara chipped in with a pair of helpers for Peterborough.
Pavel Gogolev and Chad Denault also scored for Peterborough.
Jones made 34 saves for the Petes, who improve to 4-1-0-0.
The Greyhounds return to action on Friday night in Kingston against the Frontenacs. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.
The team then wraps up the road swing on Sunday afternoon in Ottawa against the 67’s.
In other games around the OHL on Thursday night, in St. Catharines, Peter Stratis scored at 15:27 of the third period to lift the Sudbury Wolves to a 3-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs. Wolves goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 46 saves.
In Windsor, Michael DiPietro made 32 saves as the Windsor Spitfires blanked the London Knights 2-0. Cole Purboo and Curtis Douglas scored for the Spitfires.
In Barrie, Cole Carter and James Hardie had a goal and an assist each as the Mississauga Steelheads beat the Barrie Colts 2-1.