Nichols shines despite Hounds loss in Sarnia
October 14, 2012
1st-year netminder turns aside 39 saves en-route to 1st star honours
|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Chicoutimi Sagueneens||Drummondville Voltigeurs|
|Gatineau Olympiques||Halifax Mooseheads|
|Moncton Wildcats||PEI Rocket|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
|Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Edmonton Oil Kings|
|Medicine Hat Tigers|
|Moose Jaw Warriors|
|Prince Albert Raiders|
|Red Deer Rebels|
|Swift Current Broncos|
|Prince George Cougars|
Photo courtesy of Metcalfe Photography (Sarnia)
SARNIA, ON -
Less than twenty-four hours after an impressive road win against the Plymouth Whalers, the Hounds would close out their West Division roadswing Sunday afternoon in Sarnia.
Entering the game with a 6-3-0-0 record, the Hounds were capping off the start of the OHL season that saw them play their opening ten games against Conference opponents. It was their third meeting of the year with the Sting, and thus far the season series was split with a win each, favouring the visiting team in each previous meeting.
The Hounds would give the nod to JUSTIN NICHOLS (3rd Rd, 2011), who was making his Ontario Hockey League regular season debut between the pipes, and the St. Catharines, ON product would not disappoint.
The afternoon would start in odd fashion just as the National Anthems were about to be performed at the RBC Centre, an area-wide power outage would put the arena in darkness sending both teams to their respective dressing rooms. After approximately 20 minutes, power returned and the West Division clubs would face-off to cap off the 4th week of OHL action.
Nikolay Goldobin would open the scoring in the game 7:18 into the first period, taking the left wing around the Hounds defence before backhanding a shot off the right post and behind Nichols for the early lead.
NICHOLS kept the game at a one-goal difference late in the period. With ALEX GUDBRANSON in the box for slashing, Nickolas Latta was fed a pass in the face-off circle to the right of the Hounds goal but the first-year netminder slid over to make the big stop and keep the game 1-0 favouring Sarnia.
With just one shot in the first ten minutes of the period, the Hounds eventually found themelves outshot 18-2 in the period, but trailed by the single goal.
Early in the second ANDREW FRITSCH continued to display his scoring finesse on the weekend. At the 1:31 mark of the period, Fritsch would take advantage of a Sting turnover before firing home his 5th goal of the season. BRANDON ALDERSON picked up the only assist on Andrew's 3rd goal in the past two games.
The Hounds penalty-kill would be put to a test midway through the period when KEVIN SPINOZZI was assessed a 5-minute major for a check to the head. Sarnia took a two minute minor on the play as well but when Sting powerplay resumed, the Hounds were shorthanded for three minutes and were able to shut down the Sting on the man advantage.
In the final four minutes of the period, NICK COUSINS battled Sting scoring leader Alex Galchenyuk forcing his backhand wide, and the Galchenyuk shot would be stopped by a diving Nichols.
Sarnia would pull ahead in the dying seconds though, with 8 seconds remaining on the clock, Justice Dundas fired a shot shortside off the right wing beating Nichols for the 2-1 Sarnia lead after two periods of play.
A goal would be waved off just under five minutes into the third period when Latta was deemed to have unintentional contact with NICHOLS.
Anthony DeAngelo made it a two-goal game later in the period going to the top of the net under the crossbar at 10:16, for his 3rd of the season and the Hounds now trailed 3-1.
Shortly thereafter, BRANDON ALDERSON broke in on the right wing around the Sting defence but would see his backhand go wide of the goal behind JP Anderson's.
The Hounds would see just their 2nd powerplay of the night with just over five mintues remaining when Alex Basso took a five-minute major for a check to the head. Sarnia's penalty-kill had been perfect for three straight games entering Sunday's contest and would continue that trend this time around on the advantage that was shortened when the Hounds took a penalty just two minutes later.
Later, while skating four-on-four the Hounds pressed when DAVID BROLL led a 2-on-1 in on the left wing with SERGEY TOLCHINSKY but no scoring would result from the late opportunity.
The Hounds used their thirty-second timeout, and pulled NICHOLS from the Hounds net but couldn't climb any closer in falling to the Sting in a 3-1 final. Shots on goal (presented by Prouse Chevrolet Buick GM Cadillac) ended 42-13 in favour of the Sting.
NICHOLS gave the Hounds every opportunity on the afternoon to stay in the game stopping 39 Sting shots he faced, and was named the "Red Star" 1st star of the game in the loss.
In defeat, the Hounds record fell to 6 wins and 4 losses on the season, good for 12 points and they remain 1st in the OHL's West Division.
The locals now return home for a trio of game this week at the Essar Centre.
The Bell Challenge Cup will take to the Soo on Wednesday, October 17th vs Sudbury, and then one night later the Belleville Bulls make their only regular season visit to the Lock City.
The weekend will conclude on Sunday, October 21st against the Guelph Storm.
All three games are set for 7:07 p.m. starts, and you can get your tickets at the Essar Centre Box Office (M to F 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., S 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), online at www.essarcentre.ca or by phone at 1-866-775-9422.
STATE OF HOUNDS HOCKEY RADIO SHOW
The 4th edition of the "State of Hounds Hockey" will air this coming Tuesday Night - October 16th on ESPN 1400 (1400 AM). Host GERRY LISCUMB JR. will be joined by Greyhounds Assistant/Goaltending Coach SEAMUS KOTYK, goaltender JUSTIN NICHOLS and Wolves play-by-play man STEW KERNAN.
Fans can submit questions for the show's guests by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or posting them on one of the team's social media networks; Facebook or Twitter.