It was a result the team likely needed.
The Soo Greyhounds scored eight unanswered goals en route to a 10-1 Ontario Hockey League win over the Niagara IceDogs at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Saturday night.
The win came on the heels of a disappointing effort on Friday night at home against the Guelph Storm.
“To respond the way we did today and did what we were supposed to do, it’s a good sign,” said Greyhounds coach John Dean.
Dean said the response to Friday’s loss was the biggest positive in Saturday’s victory.
“The truth is, today’s a scary game as a coach,” Dean said. “The fact that we laid such an egg yesterday, you’re nervous to see how you’re going to respond the next day and we responded exceptionally well.
“If we come out here tonight and don’t play a good game, then you start to question yourself and the guys start to question each other,” Dean added.
Rookie forward Tanner Dickinson had a big night for the Greyhounds with a goal and three assists.
“The way he controlled the puck was exceptional,” Dean said of the free agent rookie forward. “The big thing for me is how he commanded the puck on the power play. We’ve been asking him to really take control of the puck on the power play and he did a really good job of that tonight.”
Rory Kerins had four points for the Greyhounds with two goals and two assists.
Joe Carroll finished the night with a pair of goals, including a highlight reel marker in the third that saw him pick up the puck behind the Niagara goal lacrosse-style and beat Andrew MacLean.
Carroll also picked up an assist for a three-point night.
Jaden Peca scored twice for the Greyhounds
Jaromir Pytlik chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds while Alex Johnston and Robert Calisti also scored.
Defencemen Billy Constantinou and Jacob LeGuerrier assisted on three Sault goals each.
Cole MacKay assisted on two goals for the Greyhounds.
Dean spoke of the importance of the goals by players like Peca and Johnston, who have struggled to score of late.
“Sometimes you can use these games as a springboard,” Dean said. “Our best players have been playing very well of late with the exception of (Friday against Guelph).”
“Those are the things hopefully those guys can build on to feel good about themselves,” Dean added.
Overage netminder Bailey Brkin made 23 saves for the Greyhounds.
Andrew Bruder had the lone goal for Niagara.
Christian Sbaraglia got the start for the IceDogs, stopping 29 of 34 shots in two periods of work. MacLean stopped six of 11 shots in the third period
“It’s very disappointing,” said Niagara coach Billy Burke. “There’s just not enough compete. We’re too easy to get checked. Too many guys are just happy to be here, and they think that’s all that matters. There’s a lot of inexperience in our lineup. There’s not enough compete. We don’t get saves.”
The loss came on the heels of an 11-1 loss to Owen Sound on Thursday night for Niagara as they head into action on Sunday afternoon in Sudbury.
“Sometimes pounding guys down isn’t the best thing, but (the players) need to look at themselves in the mirror,” Burke said. “There needs to be way more compete here. It’s the OHL. You could lose every night and you could lose base every night.”
The loss drops Niagara’s record to 17-29-4-1.
For the Greyhounds, the win improves the Greyhounds record to 24-26-2-0 and took on added importance as the team moved to within two points of the Erie Otters for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Otters, who hold two games in hand on the Greyhounds, return to action on Tuesday night on the road against the Kitchener Rangers.
Meanwhile, the Greyhounds return to action on Wednesday night with a home game against the Saginaw Spirit. Puck drop at the GFL Memorial Gardens is set for 7:07 p.m.
Erie is also in action on Wednesday with a home game against the Barrie Colts.
In other action around the OHL on Saturday, in Hamilton, Jack Wismer had three goals as the Flint Firebirds beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 7-3. Evgeniy Oksentyuk assisted on three goals for Flint. Arthur Kaliyev scored twice for Hamilton.
In Erie, Andrew Perrot’s goal at 3:42 of the third period was the game-winner as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Erie Otters 4-3. Kaleb Pearson scored twice for Owen Sound. Goaltender Mack Guzda made 32 saves.
In Peterborough, Hunter Jones made 31 saves as the Peterborough Petes beat the Ottawa 67’s 4-1. Nick Robertson had a goal and an assist for Peterborough.
In Saginaw, Cole Perfetti scored 1:19 into overtime as the Saginaw Spirit beat the Guelph Storm 3-2. Perfetti had a goal and an assist for the Spirit.
In Windsor, Jacob Perreault scored three times as the Sarnia Sting beat the Windsor Spitfires 7-4. Sean Josling added a goal and two assists while Jamieson Rees assisted on three goals for Sarnia.
In Barrie, Matej Pekar had three goals as the Sudbury Wolves beat the Barrie Colts 6-4. Owen Robinson chipped in with a goal and three assists for the Wolves. Jet Greaves made 38 saves for the Colts.