It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but the Soo Greyhounds found a way to win again.
The Greyhounds current winning streak moved to 22 games on Friday night thanks to a 6-5 win over the Flint Firebirds in front of an announced crowd of over 4,400 at the Essar Centre in Ontario Hockey League action.
Barrett Hayton scored with 15.2 seconds to go in regulation time to give the Greyhounds the victory in a game that went back and forth to the end.
Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister said he felt the team was fortunate to win.
“The power play wasn’t very good, our penalty kill wasn’t very good, our five-on-five play wasn’t very good,” Bannister said. “Our goalie let in a couple of soft goals in the first period. We weren’t very tight in the defensive zone. We couldn’t hit the net in the first period. There were a lot of bad things in that hockey game. It was just a bad hockey game all around.”
Rasmus Sandin paced the Greyhounds with a pair of goals and an assist while Hayton and Cole MacKay chipped in with a goal and an assist each.
Morgan Frost assisted on a pair of goals.
Ryan Roth and Tim Gettinger also scored for the Greyhounds, who led three different times in the contest.
Goaltender Tyler Johnson made 29 saves for the Greyhounds.
“We found a way to win,” Bannister said. “It seemed like every time a team made a mistake, the other team capitalized. It was a game of mistakes.”
Jalen Smereck, C.J. Clarke, and Hunter Holmes had a goal and an assist each for Flint. Ty Dellandrea and Jack Wismer also scored.
The Firebirds also had a goal called back in the game midway through the third period on a video review that determined the play was offside.
“That’s tough,” said Flint Coach Ryan Oulahen. “I’m not a fan in general of the rule. It doesn’t impact how the goal was scored but that’s the rule.”
Firebirds goaltender Garrett Forrest made 24 saves.
Oulahen said he felt his team deserved a better fate in the game.
“I was proud of our group,” Oulahen said. “It’s a group that I love coaching.”
“It’s too bad that we couldn’t at least grab a point out of this one,” Oulahen added.
The Greyhounds, who wrap up the weekend with a game at home against the Guelph Storm on Saturday night, improve to a league-best 31-3-2-0 and sit 12 points ahead of the Sarnia Sting in the OHL’s West Division standings.
Flint drops to 11-21-3-0 with the loss.
Friday night saw four other games on the OHL schedule.
In Ottawa, Kenny Huether’s goal at 11:32 of the third period was the game-winner as the Oshawa Generals beat the Ottawa 67’s 4-3. Kyle MacLean picked up a goal and an assist for the Generals.
In Sudbury, Billy Constantinou had a goal and two assists as the Niagara IceDogs beat the Sudbury Wolves 7-4. Danial Singer chipped in with a pair of goals for Niagara.
In Kitchener, Riley Damiani scored at 16:09 of the third period to lift the Kitchener Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Erie Otters. Damiani and Adam Mascherin had a goal and an assist each for Kitchener.
In Mississauga, Nicholas Canade scored at 15:07 of the third period to give the Mississauga Steelheads a 3-2 win over the Windsor Spitfires. Nicolas Hague chipped in with a goal and an assist for Mississauga.