It’s about not getting to high with the highs and low with the lows and the Soo Greyhounds have seen a little bit of both through six games in the Ontario Hockey League regular season.
After winning four-straight games to start the season, the team has dropped a pair of games, including a 4-3 loss to the Peterborough Petes on Sunday afternoon at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
The loss was the Greyhounds second in less than 24 hours after the team dropped s 4-3 decision to Sudbury on Saturday night.
For the Greyhounds, it was a frustrating weekend overall and coach John Dean called some of the struggles in Sunday’s contest self-inflicted.
“A lot of things were self-inflicted,” Dean said. “The frustrating part for us as a staff and as a group is that a lot of the mistakes came from second-year guys and third-year guys that cost us at critical moments in the game.
“When you have lost-assignments from your older guys at critical moments in the game, you’re going to find yourself in trouble,” Dean added.
The Petes also made life difficult offensively for the Greyhounds on Sunday.
“They play a D-zone coverage where they collapse in front of their net, so even when you get offensive zone time, you really have to find ways to penetrate,” Dean said.
“We closed them down a lot and we kept a lot of pucks to the outside,” said Petes coach Rob Wilson. “We didn’t open up the middle and our back pressure was very good. We didn’t allow them to button hook. They like to button hook and look for the late guy. We tried to close that down as much as we could.”
The two clubs traded goals in the opening period, but it was goals by Max Grondin and Nick Robertson in the middle frame that wound up being the difference.
Robertson’s goal, which was the game-winner, came on a penalty shot.
Cameron Butler and Dustin Hutton had the other goals for the Petes while goaltender Hunter Jones made 25 saves.
Joe Carroll and Jaden Peca had a goal and an assist each for the Greyhounds. Rory Kerins had the other Sault goal.
Goaltender Ethan Taylor made 23 saves.
Following the weekend games, Dean spoke of the need for older players to take on an added role when things aren’t going well.
“Our older guys need to step up to the plate and take the bull by the horns and lead the way,” Dean said. “When you play a good hockey club and things are going the wrong way on you, you need the older guys to calm you down.”
After playing five of their first six games at home and posting a 4-2-0-0 record, the Greyhounds now prepare for a three-game road trip next weekend that begins on Friday night in Guelph. The team then faces Owen Sound on Saturday night before wrapping up the trip in North Bay on Monday afternoon.
Sunday’s win moves Peterborough’s record to 4-2-0-0.