It was a back and forth game for a stretch, but the Soo Greyhounds took advantage of some key opportunities on Friday night.
The Greyhounds skated away with a 6-5 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs on Friday night at the Essar Centre in Ontario Hockey League action in a game that saw a rookie forward come through in the clutch.
With the game tied at three, the Greyhounds would score three times in a span of 4:52 to retake the lead. It included a pair of goals by Hayden Fowler 45 seconds apart, the first two goals of Fowler’s OHL career.
“It was definitely a huge weight off my back,” Fowler said of the first goal. “(Cole) MacKay made a really nice pass to me and I was lucky to get the shot off.”
Fowler would then tip a Conor Timmins point shot for his second of the night.
As nice as the goals were, Fowler spoke of being “happy to contribute to the win.”
“The first goal was a real nice one,” Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister said of Fowler’s efforts. “He found the soft area and Cole McKay made a great play to him and he got rid of it quick.
For the Greyhounds, the stretch of goals came after Kingston scored three times in 91 seconds to tie the game at three and for Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister, that was likely the only poor stretch of hockey the team played in the game.
“54 to 55 minutes of the game, I thought we were really good,” Bannister said, noting that he was pleased with numerous players throughout the lineup.
Keeghan Howdeshell had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds while Hayden Verbeek, Jack Kopacka and Holden Wale also scored. Veteran defenceman Conor Timmins assisted on three goals while Morgan Frost added a pair of helpers.
Tyler Johnson, acquired by the Greyhounds from the London Knights this week in the deal that sent Joseph Raaymakers south, made 21 saves for the Greyhounds.
“Certainly, he’s going to be under some pressure and he’s going to want to perform well,” Bannister said. “I feel for him. I can’t blame him on anything tonight.”
Bannister said the play is to start Matthew Villalta on Sunday afternoon against Guelph.
Kingston Coach Jay Varady spoke of how the game came in waves but “we gave them too much ice. We know they’re dangerous. It started in the first period. They got open in the side slot and were able to find the back of the net.”
Bryan Laureigh, Tyler Burnie, Cal Davis and Cody Morgan completed the Kingston scoring. Goaltender Mario Peccia made 21 saves.
Varady would say as well that, as nice as it was that his team didn’t quit late, he would rather see a similar push throughout the contest.
“When you get down 6-3, it’s easy to push a little but,” Varady said. “Our issue right now is, we have to push the whole game.”
In other action around the OHL on Friday night, Jacob Cascagnette scored a pair of goals as the Mississauga Steelheads beat the North Bay Battalion 7-1 in Mississauga. Nicolas Hague and Trent Fox chipped in with a goal and an assist each.
In Ottawa, Kody Clark scored at 4:35 of overtime as the Ottawa 67’s beat the Oshawa Generals 2-1.
In Sudbury, Brayden Guy scored a pair of goals as the Sarnia Sting beat the Sudbury Wolves 5-2. Justin Fazio made 41 saves for the Sting.
In Guelph, Cedric Ralph’s goal at 2:19 of the second period was the eventual game-winner as the Guelph Storm beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 2-1. Guelph goaltender Anthony Popovich made 45 saves.
In Kitchener, Max Jones scored three goals as the London Knights beat the Kitchener Rangers 5-1. Robert Thomas added a pair of goals for the Knights. Goaltender Joseph Raaymakers made 35 saves for London.