That’s the number of consecutive games the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds had won heading into last nights’ action. Their opponent was none other than the Kitchener Rangers, the team that currently holds the record of consecutive games won at twenty-five, who accomplished the feat from January 11 to March 24, 1984.
But two other win streaks stand between the Greyhounds and the Rangers’ record. The Barrie Colts strung together twenty-two victories from October 14 to December 9, 2009. Most recently. The London Knights knocked on the Rangers’ door when they put together 24 wins from November 2, to December 31, 2012.
Last night it looked as though the streak might come to an end. The Rangers dominated territorial play and were it not for some spectacular saves by Matthew Villalta, the Rangers could have held a lead after one period. Instead, they finished the frame scoreless. The Greyhounds had trouble with the Rangers’ speed, forecheck and their cycle game and the 8-7 shot advantage held in the period was not indicative of the play.
The second period started with more of the same. Adam Mascherin finally put the Rangers on the board one second shy of the eight-minute mark of the second. Just over a minute later, the Rangers would go on the first powerplay of the night. While on that powerplay, Greg Meireles would go in on a partial breakaway and get taken down and would be awarded a penalty shot. Meireles went in with speed, and just as he was about to go on his backhand, the puck hopped over his stick and he lost control.
However, just fifty seconds after the missed penalty shot, Rickard Hogg would put the Rangers up 2-0. They seemed in control and it was their game to lose at that point.
Despite missing Boris Katchouk and Conor Timmins who were at Team Canada’s camp (and named to the final roster last night), the Greyhounds are still a dangerous team and you should never count them out.
Just over four minutes after Hugg’s goal, The Greyhounds got on the board on a Noah Carroll goal. It took just fifty-five seconds for the Rangers to restore their two-goal lead as Connor Bunnaman scored one what was somewhat of a fluky goal. But they all count.
Again, never count the Greyhounds out. With a minute-ten remaining in the frame, Keeghan Howdeshell pulled the Greyhounds back within one and the period would end with the Rangers up 3-2.
In the third period, you could sense some urgency in the Greyhounds’ game and the Rangers departed from their game plan that got them ahead. They seemed at times to sit back and wait for the Greyhounds to come at them, sometimes not sending a forechecker in and waiting in the neutral zone.
At 13:50 of the third, Mac Hollowell scored a controversial goal as the referee’s missed a high sticking penalty and the Greyhounds would capitalize.
Just as it looked like we were heading to overtime, Howdeshell scored his second of the game with just 2.9 seconds remaining on the clock.
That now leaves the Greyhounds needing six victories to tie the longest winning steak in Ontario Hockey League history. So, what is next? Here’s a look at the Greyhounds six next opponents:
December 16 at Guelph Storm
December 28 at Saginaw Spirit
December 29 versus Flint Firebirds
December 30 versus Guelph Storm
January 4 at Mississauga Steelheads
January 5 at Oshawa Generals
And should they win those six games, the potential record breaking game would be January 7, 2018 versus the Storm in Guelph.
Good luck to the Soo Greyhounds.