Fans of the movie Slapshot will remember the Charlestown Chiefs resorting to goon tactics to win hockey games.
The Soo Greyhounds don’t need to scare teams with violence to win games. Most teams are likely scared of the Greyhounds offensive attack, especially over the last month.
The team continued to pile on the goals on Saturday night as the team wrapped up a three-game homestand with an 8-3 win over the Peterborough Petes in Ontario Hockey League action at the Essar Centre.
Winners of 11-straight games, the Greyhounds have scored 58 goals in that stretch, an average of over five per game and giving up just 23.
“We have some offensive tools, but we have a committed group in the room that has figured out that if they’re willing to work away from the puck, they’re going to create offence for themselves,” Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister said. “The proof has been in the scoresheet and the shot clock.”
Veteran forward Jack Kopacka paced the Greyhounds with two goals and an assist while Tim Gettinger chipped in with a goal and two assists.
Hayden Verbeek and Keeghan Howdeshell added a goal and an assist each. Joe Carroll, Conor Timmins and Ryan Roth also scored. Morgan Frost also had a pair of assists for the Greyhounds, who improve to 20-3-2-0 with the win.
The Greyhounds remain in second in the OHL’s West Division, one point behind the Sarnia Sting, who also won on Saturday night.
The Greyhounds recovered from a slow start to the contest, which saw the Petes take the play to the home team at times before the Greyhounds took over in the latter half of the opening frame.
“The first 20 minutes we were a little bit off and our execution wasn’t that good,” Bannister said. “We gave them a little bit more space than we should have. As the game went on we started to get our feet moving.”
“We started to take over the game later in the first,” Bannister added. “We got ourselves midway through the first and continued it throughout the second and the third.”
Goaltender Tyler Johnson made 17 saves for the Greyhounds.
“Tyler was good,” Bannister said. “He settled in. You have to take into account he hasn’t played. There were some nerves early on but then he settled in fine. He was good after that.”
Adam Timleck paced the Petes with a pair of goals while Bobby Dow also scored.
Youngster Hunter Jones stopped 36 shots for the Petes, who were outshot 44-20 in the game.
“We had a pretty good first 20 minutes and then we came out in the second period and forgot how we were supposed to play the hockey game,” said Petes Coach Jody Hull. “If you only play 20 minutes, it’s going to be tough to win hockey games in this league. When you’re playing a top team like the Sault is, it’s tough to let them back in the game because they have depth in every facet of the game.”
The loss drops the Petes record to 14-12-0-1 as the team remains in a battle for top spot in the OHL’s East Division. The division sees five points separating four teams, including the Petes.
Next up for the Greyhounds is a three-game road trip that sees the team take on three East Division foes.
The trip begins on Thursday night against the Petes in Peterborough before the team travels to Kingston on Friday night to face the Frontenacs and Ottawa next Sunday afternoon to face the 67’s.
In other action around the OHL on Saturday night, in St. Catharines, Liam Ham and Bradey Johnson had two goals each as the Niagara IceDogs beat the Mississauga Steelheads 5-3.
In Erie, Hugo Leufvenius’ goal at 16:48 of the third period was the game-winner as the Sarnia Sting beat the Erie Otters 4-3. Jordan Ernst scored a pair of goals for the Sting while goaltender Justin Fazio made 32 saves. Taylor Raddysh had a pair of goals for Erie.
In Hamilton, Matthew Strome had two goals and an assist as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Ottawa 67’s 6-2. Navrin Mutter also had a pair of goals for the Bulldogs, who scored four times in the third period in the win.
In Saginaw, Mason Kohn scored at 3:30 of overtime to give the Saginaw Spirit a 4-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. Kohn had a goal and two assists while Spirit goaltender Cameron Lamour made 35 saves.
In Barrie, Serron Noel had a goal and two assists as the Oshawa Generals beat the Barrie Colts 7-3. Eric Henderson assisted on three Oshawa goals. Alexey Lipanov had a goal and two assists for the Colts.
In Owen Sound, Cam Hillis, Isaac Ratcliffe and Givani Smith had a goal and an assist each as the Guelph Storm doubled up the Owen Sound Attack 4-2. Trailing 2-1 early in the second period, the Storm scored three unanswered goals in the victory.