Last night in Windsor, the Hounds took advantage of a weak Windsor penalty kill by cashing in with 3 power play goals on 5 chances. In my opinion, that and the solid goaltending of rookie Charlie Schenkel were the reasons for the 4-3 win by our boys in red and white.
To be honest, I saw a pretty Sloppy Joe of a game by both teams as there didn’t seem to be much flow. Pucks were jumping and chipping over sticks, players missing their targets when passing the puck, and some miscues and turnovers by both squads.
I had a hard time deciding on a title for this article because coincidentally last night I had the good old Manwhich concoction for supper and well; if you know me and my writing, I like to bring some fun and levity into it whenever possible.
Anyway, for whatever reason Samuel Ivanov was not feeling well last night and that gave way to Charlie Schenkel getting his second start of the season. He stopped breakaways, made a huge pad save in the middle frame (I believe), and as unorthodox as he is, he played confident and very well. If you have watched him play you will no doubt confirm he has an obvious flopper style of playing and it works for him. At 6’5″ he is the tallest kid on the team and with that size his limbs fill out the net very well.
In reading Peter Ruicci’s article this am on last nights game, I noticed something refreshing when the question was put forward about the future of playing time Charlie should get. “He’s in a spot where we have to find him minutes.” Coach John Dean responded.
Let’s hope that Samuel is well and was feeling the effects of nothing more serious than the flu or other minor and normal ailments at this time of the year.
Without suggesting anything; the truth of the matter is we may not know until Wednesday’s game against Saginaw as to the status of Samuel. These kids love to play and a scenario is not unheard of where a player gets dinged during a game, only for the swelling and injury to produce more acute in the days following. Again, I am not suggesting this is the case, I am just making conversation.
One player that caught my eye last night was rookie defenceman Caeden Carlisle who was playing in only his 5th OHL game. This kid played with an edge and didn’t shy down from the rough stuff. Great job Caeden; keep it up.
Anyway, back to the game.
Special teams won it last night and in my thoughts about the game seeming (to me anyway) to be sloppy and without flow, maybe it had to do with the injuries and the young kids being inserted into the lineup.
Having played with certain players on your line all year makes a big difference; you get to know their habits, where they will be positioned without even having to look, and the chemistry just gets better each game.
Now if you insert a wrench into the spokes, and have new kids on your line, it tends to puncture a small hole in the tires until you can get more air (playing time.)
The coaches will tell you and rightly so, that when a team goes through an injury phase like the Hounds are currently going through, it not only gives other players a chance to step up and take on more responsibility, but it also gives young kids who are riding the pine every other game a chance to play. When this happens it only produces positives as per experience.
With Jacob Holmes out for the unforeseeable future as per his cut above his eyelid thanks to an errant high stick by Luke Evangelista (that wasn’t called) during game in London, Tyler Savard mending his ankle, and Kalvyn Watson recovering from a fractured wrist, the next few games are going to be pivotal and the Hounds will need all guys to gel together to keep themselves at the top of the league.
John Dean as you all know is a players coach, and I am sure he will get the kids on track, and blood flowing in the right direction in order to repair any damaged tissue very soon.
Scoring for the Soo was Tanner Dickinson, Robert Calisti, Tye Kartye, and rookie Justin Cloutier with his second of the season.
Replying for Windsor was rookie James Jodoin with his first two of the season and Assistant Captain Zito Pasquale with the other.
I cannot be a “Homer” without recognizing the fact that Windsor rookie goaltender Kyle Downey played a good game as well in a losing effort stopping 21 out of 25 shots.
I noticed a lot of red in the stands while watching the game and I knew that the Hounds did not have three fan busses on the trip. The red in fact turned out to be the back wall of the seats at the Windsor Family Credit Union area.
With a population base of almost 350 000 people, the Spits could only manage to draw 3266 fans in a building that can hold 6450. This has been a constant around the league all year and you wonder how/if some smaller market owners will be able to survive and run an organization at these levels if it continues. Only time will tell.
GO HOUNDS GO