It was about as good as a period could be for the Soo Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds scored a pair of goals to break a 4-4 tie and didn’t surrender a shot in the third period on Sunday afternoon in a 6-4 win over the London Knights in Ontario Hockey League action at the Essar Centre.
The Greyhounds outshot the Knights 15-0 and limited the Knights to just a pair of shot attempts in the frame en route to the victory.
“There wasn’t a lot of time spent in the defensive zone mainly because we spent a lot of time in the offensive zone,” said Greyhounds Coach Drew Bannister. “We did a real good job once we scored the first goal in the period to protect the lead and make it difficult on them and make them come 200-feet. Our forward were tracking pucks down. Our defencemen’s gaps were really good.”
Knights Coach Dale Hunter has little to say following the loss.
When asked about the third period and lack of shots, Hunter responded “I though we worked hard. We missed the net a few times. We worked hard and we’ll keep pushing away.”
In limiting the Knights shot attempts in the third period, Bannister spoke to the Greyhounds having better support defensively in the period to do so.
Goals by Blake Speers and Morgan Frost in the third period were the difference for the Greyhounds. Both players finished the day with a goal and an assist each.
Boris Katchouk paced the Greyhounds offensively with two goals and an assist while Zach Senyshyn chipped in with a goal and two assists. David Miller also scored for the Greyhounds.
“We were really good,” Bannister said. “I don’t think there were really any weak points in our game other than our discipline. The kids played well.”
Joseph Raaymakers made 18 saves for the Greyhounds.
Olli Juolevi and J.J. Piccinich had power play goals for the Knights in the opening period as London finished the day 2-for-4 on the man advantage.
“Our discipline was not very good in the first period and that was one of the things we talked about,” Bannister said. “They’re a team that wants to play on the power play. They’re extremely dangerous on the power play. They showed that. We felt if we could play five-on-five hockey, we could beat them.”
Evan Bouchard and Max Jones had the other goals for the Knights. Goaltender Tyler Johnson made 37 saves.
The game was the regular season final for both clubs. The Greyhounds finish the season with a 48-16-3-1 record and 100 points. The team finishes second in the OHL’s Western Conference thanks to winning the West Division title. The Greyhounds will face the Flint Firebirds in the first round of the playoffs beginning Thursday night.
The Knights entered the game with an opportunity to finish third in the Western Conference with a win and a little bit of help but the loss drops London’s record to 46-15-3-4. The team will finish fourth in the Western Conference and face the Windsor Spitfires in the first round of the playoffs.
Notes: Hayden Verbeek was a late scratch for the Greyhounds after being pulled following the warmup. Calvin Martin took his place in the lineup. Bannister said it wasn’t a serious issue and had it been a playoff game, Verbeek would have remained in the lineup.
For the Knights, Mitchell Stephens was also scratched following warmup. He was injured on a blindside hit by Flint’s Kole Sherwood in a game on Saturday night in Flint. Sherwood was assessed a major penalty on the play.
For those looking for a way to see the Greyhounds in the playoffs in the opening round against Flint, a fan bus is being organized for games three and four in Flint. For more information, interested fans can contact Valerie Trainor at 705-942-9899.
In Mississauga, Trent Fox had a goal and two assists as the Mississauga Steelheads beat the Niagara IceDogs 6-1. Spencer Watson, Stefan LeBlanc and Michael McLeod had a goal and an assist each for the Steelheads. Nathan Bastien and Matthew Titus also scored for Mississauga. Goaltender Jacob Ingham made 33 saves. Pavel Demin had the lone goal for Niagara.
In North Bay, a three-goal third period lifted the Kingston Frontenacs to a 5-4 win over the North Bay Battalion. Jason Robertson and Sergey Popov had a goal and an assist each for the Frontenacs. Ted Nichol and Cody Caron assisted on two goals each. Brett Neumann, Ryan Cranford, and Jakob Brahaney also scored for Kingston. Justin Brazeau had a goal and two assists for North Bay. Zach Shankar, Zach Poirier, and Kyle Potts also scored for the Battalion.
In Ottawa, the Hamilton Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Ottawa 67’s 3-1. Michael Cramarossa had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs, who outshot Ottawa 30-13 in the game. Cole Candella and Matt Luff also scored for Hamilton. Austen Keating had the lone goal for Ottawa.
In Oshawa, Riley Stillman scored three times as the Oshawa Generals doubled up the Peterborough Petes 4-2. Joe Manchurek had the other Oshawa goal. Domenic Commisso assisted on a pair of Generals goals. Zach Gallant and Pavel Gogolev scored for Peterborough.
In Guelph, Ethan Szypula had a goal and three assists as the Owen Sound Attack beat the Guelph Storm 8-5. Zachary Roberts scored three goals while Petrus Palmu chipped in with a goal and two assists. Defenceman Markus Phillips assisted on four Owen Sound goals. Maksim Sushko, Jonah Gadjovich and Santino Centorame also scored for the Attack. Isaac Ratcliffe and Liam Hawel had a goal and an assist for Guelph. Ryan Merkley, James McEwan and Matt Hotchkiss also scored for the Storm. Nate Schnarr assisted on a pair of Guelph goals.