It was billed as a battle of the OHL’s heavyweights and the Soo Greyhounds looked to assert themselves and extend a winning streak in the process.
In the end, they weren’t as happy with the effort, but managed to still come away with a key victory.
The Greyhounds took a 3-1 lead through 20 minutes and would hold on for a 6-3 victory, extending its team-record winning streak to 15 games in the process.
Despite the score, Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister called it “a sloppy game on both sides.”
“We were just a little bit better than them and we’ll take the two points,” Bannister also said, noting he didn’t think either team was sharp.
“We gave up a lot of opportunities pressing when we should have, and I don’t think we managed the puck well.”
A pair of shorthanded goals on the same Sarnia power play in the opening period was the difference in the game.
“It gives you energy,” Bannister said. “We’re dangerous on the penalty kill and our guys have been really good as of late on the penalty kill. It was a turning point for both teams.”
“Before that, five-on-five we were doing good things,” said Sting Coach Derian Hatcher. “To give up two shorthanded goals in (the same power play), it took a bit out of us. That was the story.”
Morgan Frost and Ryan Roth had a goal and an assist each for the Greyhounds while Boris Katchouk and Brett Jacklin also scored.
Goaltender Matthew Villalta stopped 22 shots for the Greyhounds.
Hugo Leufvenius scored a pair of goals for Sarnia while Anthony Salinitri had the other goal.
Sarnia goaltender Justin Fazio made 27 saves.
“They’re a methodical team and they like to come up the ice as a team,” Hatcher said of the Greyhounds. “Early in the game we disrupted that. Their defencemen don’t like to get hit and they always want to bring the puck through the middle of the zone and we did a good job (against that) early in the game, but the two shorthanded goals tilted the momentum their way.”
The Greyhounds played much of the third period minus captain Tim Gettinger, who scored a pair of goals, including one of the two shorthanded markers in the first period.
Bannister said Gettinger left the game with a lower body injury but more information on the seriousness of the injury was limited following the game
The win improves the Greyhounds record to 24-3-2-0 and give the team a four-point lead over the Sting in the OHL’s West Division as the Sting fall to 22-6-2-0.
Next up for the Greyhounds is a home game against the North Bay Battalion on Friday night. Puck drop at the Essar Centre is set for 7:07 p.m.
The OHL schedule saw one other game on Wednesday.
In Hamilton, Nate Schnarr had three goals and an assist as the Guelph Storm doubled up the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3. Trailing 3-2, the Storm scored four times in the third period to pick up the win. Dmitri Samorukov chipped in with a goal and an assist for Guelph.