The Soo Greyhounds have set a standard for themselves under coach Sheldon Keefe.
The Greyhounds scored three times in the final 11:08 of regulation time to battle back against the Plymouth Whalers and pick up a 4-3 overtime win in Ontario Hockey League action. The Greyhounds needed a last minute goal from Darnell Nurse to get the game to overtime while David Broll scored the game-winner 1:56 into overtime.
“What they’ve done now is shown what they can do and now that’s the standard we’ll hold them to going forward,” Keefe said. “Anything else is just absolutely unacceptable.”
Keefe spoke highly of the Greyhounds line of Jared McCann, Sergey Tolchinsky and Michael Schumacher for their work midway through the third period that Keefe felt helped bring the crowd back into the game.
“A big difference in the game was the McCann, Tolchinsky and Schumacher line had a really great shift with some second and third efforts and it was recognized by the crowd,” said Keefe. “The life in the building changed right there and the players really fed off the energy the crowd gave them. It was nothing but positives after that.”
Sergey Tolchinsky had a goal and an assist in the win while Colin Miller also scored. Nick Cousins and Chris Buonomo had a pair of assists in the win. Matt Murray stopped 22 shots for the Greyhounds, who improved to 15-16-2-0 with the win.
“With what we’ve been through here as of late, it would be very easy, in particular when (Plymouth) made it 3-1, to make excuses and let the clock run out,” said Keefe. “They were committed to playing it out to the end. We had an inconsistent game up until that point.”
“The hope is to bottle up that feeling and that emotion and use it going forward,” Keefe also said. We’re going to watch the better part of the last ten minutes and show (the players) just how good we can be when everybody is committed.”
Matthew Mistele scored a pair of goals while Garrett Meurs also scored for the Whalers in the loss. Goaltender Matt Mahalak stopped 28 shots. The Whalers, who have dropped five straight games, saw their record drop to 14-9-5-3 with the loss.
“The young guys played well,” Plymouth coach Mike Vellucci said. “Mistele had two goals, (Zach) Bratina played over 20 minutes tonight. We just made a mental mistake with 40 seconds left in not getting the puck out and it cost us.”
The Greyhounds pull to within two points of the Windsor Spitfires in the Western Conference standings. The Greyhounds also pull two points ahead of the Saginaw Spirit in the standings.
The Spirit and Spitfires are the Greyhounds next two opponents as the Greyhounds head into the Christmas break. The Greyhounds host the Spirit on Friday night and the Spitfires on Sunday evening. Puck drop for both games is set for 7:07 p.m.
Photo courtesy Jim Egan
In Ottawa, Charlie Graham stopped 15 shots as the Belleville Bulls shut out the Ottawa 67’s 2-0. Jake Worrad and Aaron Berisha scored for Belleville in the win, both in the first period. Ottawa goaltender Clint Windsor stopped 44 shots.