Hounds Drop 3-2 Decision to Western Conference Rival Spitfires
Anthony Bumbaco for local2 sault ste. marie
September 22nd, 2012 at 11:09pm
Windsor Spitfires forward Brady Vail scored the game winner and goaltender Jaroslav Pavelka made 29 saves to lift the visitors to a 3-2 victory over the Sault Greyhounds in OHL action on Saturday night.
Vail took advantage of a misread by Hounds defender Ryan Sproul in the third period and broke in on a two on one rush. He used his teammate as a decoy and wired a snap shot past Hounds goaltender Matt Murray into the back of the net.
“We are always screaming at our guys to shoot the puck,” said Windsor head coach Bob Boughner. “I swore he was going to pass on that one. We knew it was going to a hell of a shot to beat him (Murray), he played very, very well.”
Windsor Spitfires received a strong performance in goal from Pavelka to ensure a victory. In the second period he made a massive save on a five star scoring chance from Russian winger Sergei Tolchinsky on a hounds power play. Tolchinsky took a back door pass from centre Nick Cousins and snapped a shot that looked destined for the top corner of the net. But Pavelka came sliding across the crease, doing a cartwheel in the process, and getting his glove on the shot.
“Sometimes your goaltender needs to be your best penalty killer,” said Boughner. “Jaroslav was definitely that for us tonight, he made some big stops in the second period and I thought that was a turning point for us. I thought he was our first star.”
The Hounds would get one last chance in the final seconds of the game as forward Michael Shoemaker would take a feed in the slot from David Broll and fire shot on net, he would get two or three wacks at the puck in the slot but could not beat Pavelka who stood strong to hold on to the victory.
“He was great,” said Stapleton of Pavelka. “Just like last year it seems like he has our number especially on that save at the end on Shoe.”
The Hounds got off to a slow start playing their second game in two nights and the Spitfires took full advantage early. Midway through the first period Hounds rookie would be assessed a slashing minor and Michael Clarke would find a lose puck in the slot and fire a wrister past Murray to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
Just under five minutes later, the Windsor power play would strike again. This time it would be Hounds defender Tyler Ganly in the box for hooking. 17-year old Jordan Maletta would be the recipient of a Matt Murray rebound and the right winger made no mistake sliding past the Hounds net minder to but the Spitfires ahead by 2.
“We talked to the guys after the game and we love the energy,” said hounds head coach Mike Stapleton of the Hounds penalty issues. “But we definitely need to be more disciplined.”
Just over one minute later the Hounds would cut the lead in half on a backhand shot by David Broll beating Pavelka over the shoulder. Defender Darnell Nurse and Cousins would draw assists on the goal. But the Spitfires, thanks in large part to their power play that finished 2 for 8 in the game, took a 2-1 lead to the intermission.
In the second period, fans were treated to an excellent goaltendering display by both Pavelka and Murray. The two seemed to go save for save for much of the period but it would be the Windsor goaltender who would crack first. Cousins would take a beautiful no look feed from Tolchinsky started by a slick rush by defender Ryan Sproul. Cousins would deke a few times before sliding the puck five hole on Pavelka to tie the game at two.
From there Murray would ensure the Hounds would stay tied heading to the third period, making a number of key saves. Murray would stop all 17 shots he faced in the second period and make 36 stops in the game overall to give the Hounds a shot to win.
“I thought Matty Murray had a great weekend,” said Stapleton. “We left him hanging out to dry a few times but he was there for the challenge.”
But in the third it would be Vail’s marker at 6:14 that would be the difference and give the Spitfires the victory over their Western Conference rivals.
Overall, the game served as a nice bounce back for Windsor who dropped their opener to Owen Sound 6-1 on Thursday night.
“Going into the third tied 0-0, and facing Kitchener on Thursday you don’t want to go in there 0 and 2,” said Boughner. It’s a huge two points. We wanted to wear them down five on five and stay out of the box. I am happy with how we played and with our compete level. There are no easy games in our conference.”
Meanwhile, the Hounds showed once again their no quit attitude coming back from a two-goal deficit for the second night in a row, but not getting the result they had hoped for this time around.
“I thought we played well five on five, they got a number of opportunities five on four,” said Stapleton. “We found a way to win one last night and let one slip away here tonight. Overall, great weekend and we can build from this when we head to the road next week.”
Next action for the Hounds will be on a two game road trip next Friday and Saturday when they take on the Sarnia Sting and the Saginaw Spirit. The Spitfires are back in action at home on Thursday to take on Western Conference favourite the Kitchener Rangers.