The Soo Greyhounds were dealt another pair of blows on Thursday night.
Not only were the Greyhounds blanked 4-0 on the road to the Sarnia Sting but the Windsor Spitfires also gained two points on the Hounds with a big 5-2 win at home over the Kitchener Rangers.
The latest setback comes just one day after the Ontario Hockey League levied a 15-game suspension against Greyhound overage forward Jeff Doyle for his hit to head on Windsor's Steve Downie in last Friday night's dramatic 5-4 Greyhound win in overtime.
The Soo's loss and Windsor's win moves the Spitfires, who hold a single game in hand, to within one point of the Greyhounds in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the OHL's Western Conference.
The loss drops the Greyhounds record to 28-32-3-1 for 60 points. The team would need to win their remaining four regular season games, which includes a pair of games against London and two more against Saginaw, in order to finish at the .500 mark.
The Greyhounds faceoff Friday night in London against the Knights, who are currently ranked as the number team in the Canadian Hockey League, at 7:30 p.m. to conclude their weekend road trip.
Windsor will travel to Guelph to meet the high flying Storm on Friday before returning home to host the Erie Otters on Sunday night.
In Sarnia, Joey Tenute led the Sarnia offense with a pair of special teams goals in the first period while Sting goaltender Ryan Munce was outstanding between the pipes.
Tenute opened the scoring 3:56 into the game on the power play before scoring short handed with 3:41 remaining in the period to give the Sting a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, former Greyhound Colt King scored his 18th goal of the season on the power play and Danny Fritsche added another goal to close the game's scoring. Tenute added an assist on King's marker.
Munce stopped all 48 Greyhound shots directed his way and was named the game's first star. Tenute was selected as second star and King third.
Jakub Cech made his first start for the Greyhounds since February 6 in Sarnia and stopped 25 of 29 shots.
The game also featured three fights as the Greyhounds' Reg Thomas hooked up with Daniel Carcillo in the second period, Greyhound defenseman Jordan Smith tangled with Jon Hecimovic just 16 seconds later and Greyhound rookie Matt Leszczynski battled former Hound Matt Manias in the third period.
In Windsor, the Spitfires jumped all over the Rangers with three first period goals to secure the win. Rob Hennigar paced the Spitfires attack with two goals and two assists.
*** STORMY KNIGHTS:
The London Knights and Guelph Storm have punished their OHL opponents on the scoreboard all season and now the two teams appear to engaging in a physical battle with each other.
The top-ranked Knights sport a 47-11-2-2 record for 98 points while the Storm trails close behind with a 45-12-5-0 record for 95 points. Sarnia is the league's next closest team with 80 points.
On Tuesday night in Guelph, the Storm edged the Knights 4-3 but things turned real ugly at the final buzzer.
Guelph's Jakub Koreis was assessed a major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct at the end of the contest after laying out Knights' offensive sensation Corey Perry with three seconds remaining.
The incident led to a heated exchange of words between on-ice and off-ice personnel from both teams. The league is expected to investigate these matters further.
The teams will meet each other again on Saturday night in London.
To read more on Tuesday's brouhaha from London Free Press columnist Morris Dalla Costa, click here.