Andrew Oak played a solid game in net and that to me was the difference. The Hounds played an open and fast game and had many scoring opportunities including a penalty shot in the first but were thwarted by the rookie Spirit goaltender.
Coach Dean said postgame that he thought the Hounds were a bit fatigued but I didn’t see it. To me, they were skating hard all night, but John would know better than I the story from the bench.
For the millionth time this year, I was wrong on my goalie picks. It appears Tristan Lennox may have something more serious to a small degree as he didn’t start tonight, nor did he sit on the bench as backup as he did two nights ago. I had picked him to be between the pipes for the Spirit.
At the other end of the ice, I was sure Ivanov would start but again…..WRONG. Oh well lol.
Back to the game; the Spirit got on the board with just two seconds left in the first period and that was crucial. Rookie Matyas Sapovaliv scored the goal in tight on Tucker Tynans right side.
The Hounds played a dominate second period outshooting Saginaw 11-5 but came up empty and it wasn’t until the first minute of the third that they solved the Oak puzzle with Marco Mignosa putting the Hounds on the board and tying the game at 1-1.
The Hounds still having some groove in their skates, could only manage 4 shots in the 3rd and couldn’t make their way close enough to beat Andrew.
Soo born players Calem Mangone and Camaryn Baber wanted to send a message of love back home and they did. Both played strong games and both won the game (2-1) for the Spirit with Mangone potting his 8th of the year which was assisted nicely by captain Baber.
The Hounds rookie line was on fire all night and the coaching staff I am sure were happy with that aspect.
It also looks like Jordan Smith found a recipe for the struggling Hounds pk. Although the Hounds…and to their credit, have only taken two penalties in two games, the PK for the one they took last night, looked really different. The Hounds were constantly skating and forcing the Spirit to quickly move the puck resulting in bad passes and bad decisions. The PK pre Christmas Break had the Hounds being passive and slow and that led to many goals.
If the Hounds keep this up, the unit will climb higher in that category.
All in all for playing a game on bus legs and missing two star players as Tanner Dickinson and Ryan O’Rourke didn’t play as per travel or C19 protocol coming from the cancelled World Juniors , I think the Hounds played a really good road game.
I can’t close out without mentioning that Robert Calisti played one hell of a game and was all over the ice all night.
Next up the Hounds play Sudbury this Sunday (hopefully..as C19 has reared its’ ugly head) at the Sudbury Community Arena.