He’s expected to be a leader for the Soo Greyhounds on the blueline this season and on Wednesday night, Mac Hollowell stepped up in a big way.
The veteran defenceman had a pair of goals and assisted on two others as the Greyhounds came back and picked up a 6-3 win at the Essar Centre over the Saginaw Spirit in Ontario Hockey League action.
With the Greyhounds trailing 3-1, Hollowell scored both his goals in the second period, just under six minutes apart to pull the Greyhounds even.
“I worked hard (after getting hurt) and I think it’s starting to pay off here,” Hollowell said.
Hollowell returned to the Greyhounds lineup last weekend for the team’s two-game road trip and has six points in three games.
“I’m starting to feel more like myself,” Hollowell said. “I worked hard once I hurt my leg so getting back (in the lineup) I’m feeling pretty good.”
“Mac skates really well and he creates a lot of opportunities with his mobility,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister.
Morgan Frost added a goal and two assists while Boris Katchouk and Ryan Roth had one of each for the Greyhounds, who struggled out of the gate in the contest.
“We just weren’t really focused at the start of the game,” Hollowell added.
“We got outworked for most of the hockey game,” Bannister said. “We just weren’t able to find our legs underneath us. From our goaltending out, for whatever reason, we weren’t ready to play and it showed for a lot of that hockey game. We’re really lucky we got two points tonight and found a way to win.”
Jack Kopacka had the other goal for the Greyhounds. Anthony DeMeo, Keeghan Howdeshell and Barrett Hayton assisted on two goals each for the Greyhounds, who would eventually take the lead on a two-man advantage in the second period. The initial penalty on the play was to Sault native Nick Porco, who saw his night come to an early finish after a match penalty for slew-footing.
Saginaw coach Troy Smith called the two-man advantage a turning point in the game.
“It changed the momentum greatly,” Smith said. “Before that, we were working really hard and creating a lot of opportunities. By doing that, we were limiting their time in the offensive zone.”
Smith went on to say losing Porco for the remainder of the contest hurt because the 16-year-old “is a key part to our team.”
Damien Giroux scored a pair of goals for the Spirit.
“Every single day, that kid comes to work,” Smith said of Giroux. “Sometimes he almost works too hard where you have to pull him back. I was really happy for him personally to get a few goals. What he does doesn’t always show up on the scoresheet.”
Hayden Davis assisted on a pair of goals for the Spirit while Ryan Stepien had the other Saginaw goal.
Saginaw goaltender Evan Cormier made 29 saves while his Greyhounds counterpart, Matthew Villalta, made 38.
The win improves the Greyhounds record to 6-1-1-0 heading into a pair of weekend home games against the Kitchener Rangers on Friday night and the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday afternoon.
Saginaw drops to 1-4-1-0 with the loss.
In other OHL action on Wednesday night, Max Kislinger and Ethan Keppen had two goals each as the Flint Firebirds beat the Guelph Storm 7-1 in Flint. Ryan Moore assisted on three Firebirds goals.
In Owen Sound, Aidan Dudas had a pair of goals as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Erie Otters 5-2. Jacob Friend chipped in with a goal and an assist while Ethan Szypula assisted on a pair of goals for the Attack.