With a trio of their top players out of the lineup, some other key players stepped up in their absence.
Overage defenceman Mac Hollowell had the overtime winner as the Greyhounds picked up a 3-2 Ontario Hockley League victory over the Mississauga Steelheads on Friday night at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga.
Hollowell picked up a turnover in the Sault zone as Mississauga defenceman Liam Ham tried to feed Ryan McLeod in the slot.
Hollowell skated down the right wing on a two-on-one with rookie Alex Johnston and beat Steelheads netminder Jacob Ingham high glove side to give the Greyhounds the win.
“I usually like to pass there but the defenceman was taking it away,” Hollowell said.
The overage defenceman’s effort in the contest, which saw him grab a goal and an assist, didn’t go unnoticed by his coach.
“Mac Hollowell really led by example tonight,” said Greyhounds Coach John Dean.
Rookie netminder Ethan Taylor made 27 saves for the Greyhounds.
“I was nervous but mostly excited to get back in the net,” Taylor said.
“After the first goal, I didn’t like it, so I reset mentally,” Taylor also said. “I felt really relaxed in there.”
“He was fantastic,” Dean said. “He put confidence in the guys.”
Dean also said Taylor would get the start Saturday as the Greyhounds wrap up the weekend on the road in Hamilton against the Bulldogs.
The Greyhounds forced overtime as Keeghan Howdeshell beat Ingham from the right circle, also high glove, on the power play as he converted a feed from Hollowell midway through the third period.
“I loved our third period,” Dean said.
Dominic Mufarreh had the other goal for the Greyhounds.
Cole Schwindt and Alan Lyszczarczyk scored for Mississauga, both on the power play in the second period, a frame that saw the home team outshoot the Greyhounds 14-7 while taking the lead in the game.
“There were times in the game when Mississauga did take over and with a young group, you worry about how they’re going to respond to adversity and our guys showed a ton of resiliency,” Dean said. “Our compete level was extremely high even when we thought things weren’t going our way and we got rewarded for it.”
“Our older guys were exceptionally good tonight as well,” Dean also said, crediting the play of Ryan Roth and Jordan Sambrook in addition to Hollowell and Howdeshell.
Ingham made 26 saves for the Steelheads.
The Greyhounds improve to 20-8-4-1 with the win and sit eight points ahead of the Saginaw Spirit atop the OHL’s West Division.
Mississauga, meanwhile, falls to 15-13-3-0.
The Greyhounds received some news on Friday night as Hockey Canada wrapped up its selection camp on Friday.
Goaltender Matthew Villalta was among the players cut, meaning Ottawa 67’s goaltender Michael DiPietro and Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott will make the team.
Villalta is not expected to join the team for Saturday’s game in Hamilton and will rejoin the team after the Christmas break.
Greyhounds forwards Morgan Frost and Barrett Hayton are among 15 forwards still with the Canadian team.
Among the 15 forwards are three who are nursing injuries in Gabriel Vilardi, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Alex Formenton (London Knights). Formenton was injured on Tuesday night while Vilardi and Anderson-Dolan did not compete in any of the three Canadian exhibition games against a USports all star team.
In other OHL action on Friday night, in Kingston, Andrew MacLean stopped all 27 shots he faced as the Owen Sound Attack blanked the Kingston Frontenacs 3-0. Mitchell Russell had a goal and an assist for Owen Sound. Brendan Bonello made 32 saves for the Frontenacs.
In Ottawa, Cedrick Andree made 17 saves as the Ottawa 67’s blanked the Flint Firebirds 3-0. Tye Felhaber, Lucas Peric, and Quinn Yule scores for Ottawa.
In Saginaw, Damien Giroux had two goals and an assist as the Saginaw Spirit beat the Windsor Spitfires 6-2. D.J. Busdeker and Blade Jenkins added a goal and two assists each for the Spirit. Ivan Prosvetov made 36 saves for Saginaw.
In Sarnia, Curtis Egert had three goals and an assist as the Sarnia Sting beat the Erie Otters 10-4. Jaco Perreault chipped in with two goals and an assist while Hugo Leufvenius had a goal and two assists for Sarnia. Ryan McGregor assisted on three Sarnia goals.
In Sudbury, Cole Candella had a goal and two assists as the Sudbury Wolves scored four unanswered goals in a 5-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers. Quinton Byfield scored a pair of goals for Sudbury.
In Guelph, Nate Schnarr had a goal and three assists as the Guelph Storm beat the Peterborough Petes 6-1. Liam Hawel added two goals and an assist while Keegan Stevenson also had a pair of goals for Guelph.
In London, Josh Nelson scored at 2:40 of overtime to give the London Knights a 3-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs. London goaltender Jordan Kooy made 38 saves. Connor McMichael assisted on a pair of goals for the Knights.
In Oshawa, Anthony Salinitri scored three times as the Oshawa Generals beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 7-1. Eric Henderson had a goal and two assists for Oshawa. Matt Brassard assisted on three Generals goals.
In other OHL news on Friday, the Storm made headlines by dealing high-scoring defenceman Ryan Merkley to the Peterborough Petes.
In exchange for the San Jose Sharks first rounder, the Storm receive forward Pavel Gogolev, a second round pick in 2019, a third round pick (originally Windsor’s) in 2021, a conditional fourth round pick in 2022, a conditional second round pick in 2023, and a conditional third round pick in 2024.