“We laid an egg tonight.”
That from Soo Greyhounds coach John Dean on Sunday afternoon after a 7-1 Ontario Hockey League loss at the hand of the London Knights at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
The Greyhounds fell behind early after a pair of goals one minute apart midway through the opening period.
Add to that some penalty trouble in the second period that led to a pair of power play goals for the Knights in the frame.
All considered, it was a recipe for disaster for the Greyhounds in the contest.
“Even in the beginning when we were outshooting them (in the first period), I still felt we were flat and we didn’t generate much,” Dean also said. “That’s a team that just played three games (this weekend), we laid an egg.”
“Any negative that you saw in the game was a direct result of an insufficient effort,” Dean also said.
Gerard Keane and Connor McMichael staked the Knights to a 2-0 lead in the opening period and the Knights proceeded to take a 4-0 lead in the middle stages of the second when McMichael and Alex Regula, on the power play scored 1:09 apart to continue to break the game open.
“We were moving our feet really well and used our speed,” Knights coach Dale Hunter said.
The Knights finished the game with a pair of power play goals in eight opportunities.
“The power play has been clicking and it’s always dangerous with (Ryan Merkley) there making plays to shooters like McMichael,” Hunter said.
“It’s tough to get momentum going,” Dean said of the Greyhounds penalty trouble in the second period. “We want to encourage our guys to have a push back (in general) and I didn’t feel like we had any push back.
“It’s difficult to have a push back when you’re sitting in the box the whole game,” Dean added. “You try to generate but it gets stifled when you continually take penalties.”
McMichael finished the day with two goals and an assist for the Knights.
“He can shoot, he can make plays, so he’s been good,” Hunter said, adding that the veteran’s versatility has been a key for the veteran forward.
Keane also had a pair of goals for the visitors.
Luke Evangelista paced the Knights with a goal and three assists while Regula finished the day with a goal and two assists.
Liam Foudy chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Rookie netminder Brett Brochu stopped 25 shots for the Knights.
Joe Carroll had the lone goal for the Greyhounds, who had a goal waved off in the second period after a Zack Trott shorthanded breakaway goal in the second period was reviewed and negated by an offside.
Overage goaltender Bailey Brkin made 22 saves.
Sunday’s loss drops the Greyhounds record to 20-19-2-0.
Next up for the team is a home-and-home series with the Saginaw Spirit that begins on Friday night with a 7:07 p.m. puck drop at the GFL Memorial Gardens. The teams will then meet up the following night at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw to wrap up the weekend set.
In the midst of a tight battle in the OHL’s Western Conference, the Knights remain in the mix atop the standing, moving to 25-13-1-1.
The Knights sit two points behind the Kitchener Rangers for top spot in the Midwest Division and three points behind the Windsor Spitfires for the Western Conference lead following action on Sunday afternoon.
In other action around the OHL on Sunday afternoon, in Kitchener, Egor Afanasyev scored a power play goal at 4:02 of overtime to give the Windsor Spitfires a 5-4 win over the Kitchener Rangers. Tyler Angle had a goal and two assists for Windsor.
In Erie, Austen Swankler and Brendan Hoffman scored a pair of goals each as the Erie Otters beat the Sarnia Sting 6-2. Jamie Drysdale, Jacob Golden, Brendan Sellan, and Maxim Golod assisted on two goals each for the Otters.
In Ottawa, Jack Quinn scored three times as the Ottawa 67’s beat the Owen Sound Attack 7-4. Joseph Garreffa had two goals and an assist for Ottawa. Carter Robertson scored a pair of goals for Owen Sound.
In Sudbury, Kai Edmonds made 30 saves as the Mississauga Steelheads beat the Sudbury Wolves. 3-1. A power play goal by James Hardie just under seven minutes into the third period was the game-winner. Sudbury goaltender Christian Purboo made 32 saves.
Sunday’s other game, which was set to see that Oshawa Generals host the Peterborough Petes, was a 6:05 p.m. start and not underway at the time of writing.