With a short turnaround, the Soo Greyhounds will look to carry over a strong finish into the end of a weekend set.
The Greyhounds broke open what was a tight game with three goals in the third period en route to a 6-1 Ontario Hockey League win over the Sarnia Sting on Saturday night at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
“We’re still striving for that 60 minutes but I’m happy with the last 20 so hopefully we take that last 20 and build on it for tomorrow,” said Greyhounds Coach John Dean.
Dean said the first two periods “left a little bit to be desired.”
“We traded chances in the first two periods and that’s not the way you want to play,” Dean also said. “Our third period, we came out pretty hard and generated a lot in the offensive zone. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but I liked our effort in the third.”
The Greyhounds scored a pair of goals 1:31 apart early in the second period to go up 3-1 but it was at that point Dean said he felt the Greyhounds began “mismanaging the puck.”
Jacob LeGuerrier scored 1:12 into the third period to make it 4-1 in what turned into a key goal after the Sting took the play to the Greyhounds to end the second period.
“The last 13 minutes (of the second period), we were all over them,” said Sarnia Coach Derian Hatcher. “The fourth goal pretty much broke us.”
With a revamped lineup, the Greyhounds saw some changes in line combinations in the win and it was something Dean hopes will spark the team as it comes out of a tough stretch,
“We tried to balance the lines a little bit,” Dean said. “We had lost three of our last four games so we threw it in the blender a little bit to see if we could find a little spark. We saw flashes from each line.”
After spending an extending time together, the line of Morgan Frost, Keeghan Howdeshell, and Jaromir Pytlik was broken up on Saturday.
Frost centered a line with Zack Trott and Cole MacKay while Pytlik centered a line with Howdeshell and Ryan Roth.
Howdeshell finished the night with a goal and an assist while Pytlik assisted on Howdeshell’s marker.
Frost assisted on an early goal by MacKay.
Roth also had a goal and an assist while Trott and Ryan O’Rourke also scored for the Greyhounds.
Overage defenceman Jordan Sambrook assisted on three goals.
Goaltender Matthew Villalta made 32 saves.
Nolan Burke had the lone goal for Sarnia while netminder Ethan Langevin stopped 29 shots.
The Greyhounds improve to 41-16-6-1 with the win but remain four points behind the Saginaw Spirit for top spot in the OHL’s West Division after the Spirit beat London 4-1.
Sarnia falls to 26-31-5-2 with the loss.
The Greyhounds wrap up weekend action on Sunday afternoon with a game at the GFL Memorial Gardens against the Windsor Spitfires. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m.
In other action around the league on Saturday, in London, Cole Perfetti had four goals as Saginaw beat London 4-1. Owen Tippett assisted on three goals for Saginaw while goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 47 saves.
In Ottawa, Allan McShane scored at 9:42 of the third period to give the Oshawa Generals a 3-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s. Oshawa scored three unanswered goals in the win.
In Hamilton, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves as the Sudbury Wolves blanked the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-0. Adam Ruzicka had a goal and two assists for the Wolves.
In Erie, Cole Ceci made 43 saves as the Erie Otters beat the Mississauga Steelheads 5-3. Mathew MacDougall had a goal and an assist for the Otters,
In Flint, Luke Cavallin made 36 saves as the Flint Firebirds beat the Windsor Spitfires 4-1. Cody Morgan had a goal and an assist for Flint.
In Barrie, Ryan Merkley had two goals and an assist as the Peterborough Petes beat the Barrie Colts 5-4. Tyson Foerster had a goal and two assists for the Colts while Ryan Suzuki had a pair of goals for Barrie.
In Owen Sound, seven different players had goals as the Guelph Storm beat the Owen Sound Attack 7-2. Nick Suzuki, Nate Schnarr, and Fedor Gordeev had a goal and an assist each for Guelph.