It took a pair of goals by a rookie and a three-point day from a veteran to lead the Soo Greyhounds offensive attack on Sunday afternoon.
Defenceman Caedan Carlisle scored a pair of goals while Rory Kerins had a goal and two assists as the Greyhounds beat the Erie Otters 5-4 Sunday afternoon at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
The game saw plenty of chances offensively for the Greyhounds throughout with the team outshooting the Otters by a 9-1 margin late in the opening period and 31-12 through 40 minutes.
“You just need to keep putting pucks on net,” said Kerins.
“We stuck with it,” Kerins also said. “We didn’t change the way we played because we weren’t scoring. We were getting chances, and nobody took the selfish route.
Asked about players maintaining a push in the game when the team was leading 3-1 through two periods despite a lopsided shot advantage, Dean said it’s “less about keeping their foot on the gas.”
“It’s more about not going out of your way to create stuff that isn’t there and let the chances come to you,” Dean said. “We feel that if we play the right way, the chance will come to us and then we can capitalize. When we play the wrong way is when we try to make something out of nothing and then we give the other team opportunities to get back in the game and score goals.”
For the Otters, it was a game in which coach B.J. Adams was pleased with the battle in the group.
“That’s one of the great things about our group,” Adams said. “They don’t quit. No matter the score of the game, they keep going at it. It’s a pleasure to coach a group like that.”
Carlisle opened the scoring for the Greyhounds midway through the opening period when he drove the net and had a rebound of a shot by Marco Mignosa deflect off him and past Erie netminder Nolan Lalonde.
“It’s an exciting feeling for sure,” Carlisle said of the goal, his first OHL marker. “I gave the puck on the outside to Miggy and drove the net. It was a funny rebound that hit off my stomach and went it. I’ll take that any day.”
The rookie blueliner added to the lead with 2:43 to go in the period when he beat Lalonde with a shot from the left point, sending the game into the intermission with the Greyhounds up by a pair.
Erie got on the board 61 seconds into the second period when Brendan Hoffmann potted a rebound past Samuel Ivanov in the Greyhounds goal on the power play.
Tanner Dickinson restored the two-goal lead when he jumped on a rebound in the slot and beat Lalonde on the power play at 6:42.
The Otters would cut the lead to one late in the middle period when defenceman Cameron Morton took a shot from the left circle that appeared to handcuff Ivanov.
Early in the third, Jordan D’Intino made it 4-2 Greyhounds when he scored on a rebound of a Bryce McConnell-Barker shot at 4:16 of the frame.
The Otters remained in the game as Noah Sedore scored on the power play at 7:28 when he beat Ivanov with a shot from the left faceoff circle.
Kerins got the eventual game-winner at 13:01 on the power play as he tried to feed Cole MacKay going to the net, but the puck deflected past Lalonde off the skate of Morton to make it 5-3.
The Otters again cut the lead to one when Christian Kyrou beat Ivanov with a point shot 5-hole with 1:46 to go in regulation, but the visitors couldn’t claw all the way back.
Mignosa and O’Rourke assisted on a pair of goals each for the Greyhounds.
Ivanov made 22 saves for the Greyhounds.
“That might be one of his first games all year where the play was concentrated in their end and all of a sudden it comes back our way and he’s a bit cold and he has to get used to that,” Dean said. “When we start playing more consistently, we are eliminating those shots against.”
Lalonde made 34 saves for the Otters.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Adams said. “He played his tail off for us. He kept us in the game and gave us a chance to tie it and get a point at the end. He was outstanding.”
Elias Cohen assisted on three goals for Erie while Brett Bressette had a pair of helpers.
On the injury front for the Greyhounds, Kalvyn Watson remains out with a broken wrist. The veteran forward has an appointment with doctors on Monday.
Tyler Savard, out with a lower-body injury remains week-to-week.
Sunday’s win improves the Greyhounds record to 11-7-0-0 while the Otters fall to 4-11-1-0.
The Greyhounds return to action on Thursday night in the opening game of a three-game road trip that sees the team renew acquaintances with the Otters at Erie Insurance Arena.
The trip will also take the Greyhounds two Kitchener to face the Rangers on Friday before it wraps up with a Sunday afternoon game in Sarnia against the Sting.