It was a big day for veteran defenceman Mac Hollowell and the power play of the Soo Greyhounds on Saturday on the road.
Hollowell paced the Greyhounds with a pair of goals while assisting on three others as the team wrapped up a weekend road trip with an 8-2 victory over the Flint Firebirds at the Dort Federal Event Centre.
The big night continues a strong start to the season for the veteran blueliner, who now has five goals and 21 points in 15 games. He has already set a career high for goals and is two points short of his career high point total of 23, set last winter.
“I just have a lot more confidence with the puck,” Hollowell said. “And I’m really trusting my abilities when I have it. I’m getting put in the right positions to be successful.”
“He’s always had the ability,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister. “A lot of times, it’s a timing thing.”
“Opportunity is one thing, and he’s taking that opportunity and making the most of it,” Bannister also said.
Morgan Frost and Jack Kopacka chipped in with a goal and an assist each while Boris Katchouk set up a pair of goals. Frost’s goal opened the scoring midway through the first period.
“Getting on them early was definitely important to set the tone,” Frost said.
Calvin Martin, Keeghan Howdeshell, Conor Timmins, and Brett Jacklin also scored for the Greyhounds, who scored four times on eight power plays in the contest.
“Our power play was able to help us separate in the game and it was tough for them to push back,” Bannister said. “When we started to shoot the puck (on the power play), it was good. We moved the puck a little too much and weren’t attacking.”
Goaltender Tyler Johnson made 30 saves for the Greyhounds.
“He’s played two really good games in here,” Bannister said of Johnson. “In the third period, he had to make some difficult saves when we got a little bit complacent in our game. He kept us in there. There was a time early in the first and then early in the second when he had to make some difficult saves. It’s a good bounce back game for him.”
The Greyhounds improve to 15-3-2-0 and now have some time off ahead of a road trip that takes the team to North Bay on Thursday night and Sudbury on Friday. The team has now won six straight.
“We're starting to come together and we expect to go on streaks like this,” Frost said.
Max Kislinger and Ryan Moore completed the scoring for the Firebirds.
Garrett Forrest made 30 saves for Flint.
The loss drops Flint’s record to 6-11-2-0.
Game Notes: The Greyhounds played the game without rookies Hayden Fowler and Joe Carroll, who competed at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in British Columbia. The tournament was set to wrap up on Saturday.