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Spreading out the offence, Greyhounds pick up divisional win (video, 7 photos)

Six players had goals as the Greyhounds beat the Saginaw Spirit on Sunday afternoon
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Staying the course helped the Soo Greyhounds to an important divisional win on Sunday afternoon on home ice.

Facing a 2-2 tie through 20 minutes, the Greyhounds scored four times in the second period en route to a 7-2 Ontario Hockey League win over the Saginaw Spirit at the GFL Memorial Gardens.

While the offensive ability of the Greyhounds played “a huge part in it,” forward Tanner Dickinson said the team made a decision after one period to maintain the course heading into period two.

“We made a decision after the first period to just stick with it,” Dickinson said. “Every period isn’t going to go exactly as we plan it if we stick with it, but we did and it paid off.”

“It was fine,” Dickinson said of the opening 20 minutes, “But we gave up opportunities that we didn’t need to give up.”

“We had a good game going and then it got blown open,” Saginaw coach Chris Lazary said. “We gave up too many high-danger chances against.”

“It’s (partly) style, but it’s guys not managing the risk,” Lazary also said.

Greyhounds coach John Dean was pleased with a lot from the game.

“I really liked our game today,” Dean said. “It was just a really consistent 60 minutes. We just kept rolling over period over period and shift over shift. We had all four lines going. It’s always fun when guys get involved.”

Lazary said the Greyhounds play in the game was a lesson for the younger players on the Spirit roster.

“For our young guys especially that haven’t been through the league, it’s good for them to see what an older team or a more mature team looks like,” Lazary said. “We’re trying to get our guys to understand that that’s how hard you have to be on both sides of the puck.”

In addition to goals from veteran forwards Dickinson and Tye Kartye along with overage defenceman Robert Calisti, a trio of rookies also got on the board in the game offensively for the Greyhounds.

“It’s very important,” Dean said of the offence getting spread around. “At the beginning of the year, I saw a lot of first-year players looking to our older guys, kind of hoping that they would get the job done. Now, I’m starting to see first-year players that believe in themselves as well and are ready to contribute.”

Ian Phillips opened the scoring for the Spirit 3:32 into the game when he beat Greyhounds starter Samuel Ivanov through a Greyhounds player trying to block the shot. The shot beat Ivanov glove side to make it 1-0 Saginaw.

The Greyhounds tied the game at 10:21 when Ethan Montroy drove the net and redirected a pass from Owen Allard that on the right wing past Saginaw goaltender Andrew Oke for his first OHL goal.

“Their defenceman just deflected (the pass), it went to space, and it went ahead of me and I chipped it in,” Montroy said of his goal, calling it “an unreal experience” getting his first OHL marker.

The Greyhounds pulled ahead 2:30 later when Bryce McConnell-Barker took a cross-ice pass from Robert Calisti and beat Oke on the power play to make it 2-1.

Sault native Camaryn Baber tied the game at two at 16:04, beating Ivanov glove side from the slot.

Kartye put the Greyhounds ahead for goo at 6:39 of the second period when he took a pass from Cole MacKay and beat Oke to finish a three-way passing play started by Dickinson on the power play.

Calisti extended the Greyhounds lead to 4-2 at 12:51 when he took a pass in the slot before beating Oke glove side.

Marco Mignosa made it 5-2 Greyhounds by redirecting a pass from McConnell-Barker going to the net at 15:30.

At 18:35, Dickinson made it 6-2 by scoring on a wrap around to the glove side on Oke.

The veteran forward picked up his second goal of the night at 7:38 of the third when he tried to hit MacKay at the side of the goal with a pass and it deflected off a Saginaw player and past Oke with the Greyhounds on a two-man advantage.

“Every time I touch the puck, I just try to move my feet first and everything else will figure itself out,” Dickinson said of his offensive success this season.

With Sunday’s three-point effort, Dickinson has 11 goals, a career high, and 32 points in 23 games.

“He’s consistently getting better,” Dean said of Dickinson. “That’s the wild part about it is that his game continues to grow.”

“He’s really worked on being assertive,” Dean also said. “Both with his body and his skill. He’s starting to do really good things on the other side of the puck that’s underrated.”

Dickinson finished the night with two goals and an assist while Rory Kerins assisted on three goals for the Greyhounds.

McConnell-Barker and Calisti each had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds.

Ivanov made 14 saves.

At the other end, Oke finished the night with 26 saves for Saginaw.

Winners of three in a row, the Greyhounds improve to 14-9-0-0 on the season and hold a five-point edge over the Flint Firebirds atop the OHL’s West Division.

Saginaw has dropped three straight and falls to 10-10-1-0.

Next up for the Greyhounds is the opening game of a scheduled three-game trip that begins Thursday night in North Bay.

The Greyhounds are scheduled to play a pair of games on the weekend in Sudbury against the Wolves, but the current COVID situation with the Wolves leaves the status for those games as unknown at this time.