As far as first impressions go, it was a good one for Taylor Raddysh and Jordan Sambrook.
Acquired from the Erie Otters over the weekend in a trade, both players contributed on the offensive and defensive side of the puck as the Soo Greyhounds beat the Saginaw Spirit 3-1 Wednesday night in Ontario Hockey League action at the Essar Centre.
Raddysh paced the Greyhounds with a pair of goals in the victory. Raddysh sealed the victory with a third period marker as he drove the net and redirected a feed from Sambrook on the right win midway through the final period.
“I feel like we played pretty well,” Raddysh said. “We got the win, and both contributed offensively.”
The game was the first with the Greyhounds for Raddysh while Sambrook got into action in Sunday’s road win over the Guelph Storm.
Raddysh would play the game on the Greyhounds top line with Boris Katchouk and Morgan Frost and the trio showed chemistry early on in the game.
“We were moving the puck really well,” Raddysh said of the trio, noting his previous play with Katchouk on the same line with Team Canada at the recently-completed World Junior Hockey Championship.
“I was with (Katchouk) there for a month and we were on the same line the whole time,” Raddysh said. “With Frosty, he’s a skill guy that can make a lot of plays. You just have to get open and he’ll find you.”
“They played really well and as we go on, the chemistry will get better,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister of the line.
Tim Gettinger had the other goal for the Greyhounds.
Greyhounds goaltender Tyler Johnson made 29 saves.
“Tyler played really well,” Bannister said. “It was a really good bounce-back game for him form when we were in Mississauga (on Friday). He made some key saves for us. “
The Greyhounds lost the services of veteran defenceman Conor Timmins in the second period on the play that led to the Saginaw goal.
Bannister said Timmins saw a doctor at the rink and the team will know more on Thursday.
“We’ll see after 24 hours where he is,” Bannister said.
Bannister was pleased with a number of aspects of the Greyhounds play in the contest.
“We competed hard, we were physical, and guys were working hard away from the puck,” Bannister said. “We did some good things. I’d like to see us shoot a little bit more, but we certainly had the puck for a lot of the game.”
Cole Coskey had the lone goal for the Spirit in the loss while goaltender Cameron Lamour made 22 saves.
“We competed really hard and played one of our best games of the year,” said Saginaw Coach Troy Smith. “We’ve been trying to promote the fact that sometimes it’s more about the effort than the execution. Our effort was there, we just weren’t able to execute on our opportunities.”
The Greyhounds improve to 35-3-2-1 and sit 17 points ahead of the Sarnia Sting in the OHL’s West Division standings.
Battling for playoff positioning, the Spirit fall to 21-15-3-0 and sit in sixth in the Western Conference, two points behind both the London Knights and Windsor Spitfires.
The Greyhounds now prepare for a pair of weekend home games, beginning on Friday night against the Owen Sound Attack in the first of two regular season meetings between the two clubs. The team will then face the Mississauga Steelheads on Saturday night, facing the Eastern Conference team for the second time in eight days.
Puck drop at the Essar Centre is set for 7:07 p.m. on both nights.