December 9, 2012 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Soo Greyhounds
SAGINAW, MICHIGAN - With just three goals in their last two games, Greyhounds Head Coach Sheldon Keefe was looking for more offense on Saturday Night when his club met the Saginaw Spirit for the 4th time this season.
Through the opening three games of the season series, the games all have been decided by one goal, with the Hounds holding a 2-0-1-0 record against their division opponent. And entering Saturday Night, the Hounds trailed the Spirit by 2 points for 8th in the Western Conference.
JUSTIN NICHOLS would get the call between the pipes for his 8th start of his rookie campaign.
Just thirteen seconds into the game, defender ALEX GUDBRANSON and Spirit forward Gregg Sutch dropped the mitts with the Hounds rearguard gaining the decision.
Two powerplays would pass for the Hounds in the opening eight minutes of the game but to no avail against Nikita Serebryakov. Then while on their first powerplay Spirit leading point man Vincent Trocheck put one of the iron as the game remained scoreless.
DAVID BROLL would open the scoring at the 12:02 mark skating up the right wing and putting a backhand five-hole on the Spirit netminder as the Hounds opened the scoring for the 16th time this season.
Then with Broll in the box for a double-minor for highsticking, Saginaw though they pulled even but the goal was quickly waved off by officials. Just as the same Spirit powerplay expired, Trocheck even the score firing a shot from the top of the circle to the left of Nichols for a 1-1 game.
Before the period was over, and with Bradon Prophet in the box for Saginaw, DYLAN STAPLES pulled the Hounds ahead. WIth just 36 seconds to play in the first period, the Hounds forward was left all alone in front when NICK COUSINS fed a pass that would squeak past the glove hand of Serebryakov for a 2-1 Greyhound lead after twenty minutes.
Less than five minutes into the second, STAPLES would nearly strike as a feed from MICHAEL SCHUMACHER rung off the post to keep it a one-goal game.
After a Spirit defender fell just outside their zone, NICK HALAGIAN and BRANDON ALDERSON converted on the odd man rush with Halagian backhanded his 4th goal fo the year home and a 3-1 Greyhound lead.
NICHOLS would keep the cushion with back-to-back pad stops before the Hounds would strike again.
Four Hounds would work the play before COLIN MILLER fired home his 8th of the season and the locals built up a 4-1 lead by the 10:49 mark of the period.
Eric Locke cut the lead in half at the 15:28 mark netting a tally from in front to make it a 4-2 game. Trocheck was robbed shortly thereafter as NICHOLS sprawled on his back put his left hand over to rob the Spirit forward and keep the game a two-goal cushion.
And just like the first, the Hounds responded in the period's final minute on the powerplay. RYAN SPROUL made a nifty spin before backhanding the puck at the right point over to DARNELL NURSE who found NICK COUSINS at the backdoor for his 12th goal of the season and the Hounds lead 5-2 after two periods.
Shots were even 23-23 after forty minutes of play.
On the Spirit's 7th and final powerplay of the game, Locke notched his 2nd goal of the night as he below around the Hounds on the left wing before backhanding Saginaw's third goal of the game home.
Then at the 14:09 mark, Garret Ross scored from in tight to the left of the Greyhound goal to make it a 5-4 game.
ALDERSON and HALAGIAN nearly increased the Hounds lead shortly after but the Hounds coupled to ring it off the post setting up the late game clincher.
After Saginaw called a time-out and pulled Serebryakov from the nets, DAVID BROLL lifted the puck from inside the Hounds zone that would find it's way to the net for his 2nd goal of the night and a 6-4 Greyhound victory.
With the win the Hounds improved to 14-15-2-0 on the season and regained the 8th seed in the Western Conference. With a split so far on the weekend schedule, the Hounds round things out on Sunday afternoon (2:05 p.m.) with a visit to the RBC Centre against the Sarnia Sting.
All the action begins on Rock 101 starting with the Bay Mills Resort & Casino's pre-game show at 1:35 p.m.
SHOTS ON GOAL Saginaw - 11-12-17=40 Sault Ste. Marie - 14-9-6=29
RED STAR THREE STARS OF THE GAME 1 - Ryan Sproul, SSM 2 - Eric Locke, SAG 3 - Michael Schumacher, SSM