Rounding out their three – game road trip on February 11th in Hamilton, Ontario, the first – place western conference (45-5-2-1) Soo Greyhounds hit the ice against the first – place (33-14-3-3) Hamilton Bulldogs at the FirstOntario Centre in Ontario Hockey League action.
At 9:56 of the opening period, defenseman Benjamin Gleason skates in from the Greyhound blueline to find the back of Matt Villalta’s net to give the Bulldogs a 1 – 0 lead with Matthew Strome and Ryan Moore adding the helpers on Gleason’s goal. With the Soo on a power play, veteran forward Boris Katchouk picks up the puck in the offensive end to fire the tying goal at 11:49 of the first. Morgan Frost and Barrett Hayton drew the assists on Katchouk’s 35th of the season. Issac Nurse fires the go – ahead goal through Villalta’s five hole to give the Bulldogs a 2 – 1 lead. MacKenize Entwistle and Strome set up Nurse’s go – ahead at 9:26 of the second. Matthew Strome increases the hosts lead to 3 – 1 at 11:08 of the second with Riley Stillman and Entwistle adding the assists on Strome’s goal.
For Hamilton’s fourth of the contest, Will Bitten slides the puck under Villalta’s pad to bring the lead to 4 – 1 at 17:08 of the period with Nicholas Caamano and Ryan Moore registering the contributors on Bitten’s goal. With 2:05 remaining in the second, Entwistle picks up a bouncing puck to fire the fifth for the Bulldogs with Nicolas Mattinen drawing the helper on Entwistle’s fourth point of the contest. Hayden Verbeek scores the Greyhounds second of the game with his 21st on the season with Jordan Sambrook and Jack Kopacka adding the assists on Verbeek’s goal. Matthew Villalta turned away 19 of 24 in the first forty minutes before being replaced by goaltending partner Tyler Johnson. Johnson made all eight saves in the Soo’s 5 – 2 loss to the Bulldogs.
Next up for the Soo will be the Spirit in Saginaw, Michigan in a mid week clash at the Dow Event Centre in a February 14th match – up. Game time will be 7:05 p.m against the Spirit.