Soo's second period decisive

Soo Greyhounds coach John Dean. BRIAN KELLY SunMedia

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It was like sticking a big pin into a balloon.

The Guelph Storm endured a thoroughly deflating second period on Friday.

The Soo Greyhounds scored five times in the middle frame — including three in a span of 2:55 — en route to a 7-1 drubbing of the Storm before 3,434 at Sleeman Centre.

“The second period was a great period for us,” said head coach John Dean, whose team snapped a two-game losing skid and will carry a 5-2-0-0 record into Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. start in Owen Sound. “I thought we played really well defensively in the second.”

Dean went on to talk about how his players were very good in the defensive and neutral zones and how structured they were.

“When we play well without the puck, it translates into offence,” the coach added. “And when we had the puck, we managed it well.”

“We chatted between periods, cleaned a few things up and the scoreboard told the tale,” veteran winger Cole MacKay, who finished with a goal and two assists, said of the middle frame.

A team leader, MacKay was among the Greyhounds most disappointed players after the club dropped consecutive 4-3 decisions to Sudbury and Peterborough at home last weekend.

“We had a structured week of practise and we were all pretty determined,” he said of Friday’s opening game of a three-game road trip. “We came in and did the things we had to do and got the result we wanted.”

With the score tied 1-1 through 20 minutes, Jaromir Pytlik’s hard work down low resulted in Tanner Dickson’s first Ontario Hockey League goal.

MacKay fed Dickinson in the left face-off circle and he beat Owen Bennett 1:24 into the second period.

The visitors made it 3-1 when Pytlik banged home the rebound of a Drew Wawrow shot at 7:29.

Just 51 seconds later, a Guelph turnover led to another Hounds marker.

Jacob LeGuerrier ripped one past Bennett high to the glove-hand side to give the visitors a 4-1 lead.

Pytlik fed Rory Kerins, who was all alone in the slot, giving the Soo a 5-1 lead at 10:24.

And then it was Kerins again, with his team-leading sixth goal late in the second period. Jaden Peca’s feed set things up and the Hounds had themselves a 6-1 advantage through 40 minutes.

“We played really well after last week’s (losses),” said Pytlik, who contributed a goal and two assists and has three goals and nine assists through seven games so far. “We worked hard, the details in our game were really good. We played really well, but we can be better.”

MacKay notched a third period goal, his fourth of the young season. He beat Tanner Wickware, who came on in relief of Bennett to start the final frame.

Rookie Marc Boudreau, with his second of the season, had the other Hounds marker on a night when the visitors held a 31-29 shots advantage.

Cam Hillis was the lone Storm player to beat Greyhounds netminder Christian Propp, who was solid.

“He was good,” Dean said of his overage netminder, who made some key saves when the result was still in doubt. “He settled us down and did exactly what we needed him to do.”

After last weekend’s performance, Dean admitted that coaches are often “nervous as to how their team will respond” at the start of an ensuing road trip. “But I thought the whole team was good.”

Notes: Hounds forward Joe Carroll left the game five minutes into the second period after being on the receiving end of a check from Sault native Keegan Stevenson.

Carroll failed to return.

After the game Dean said Carroll had suffered an upper-body injury, but had no information as to the seriousness of the injury.

When asked, he also said he hadn’t decided on a starting goalie for Saturday’s game, but was “leaning towards (Ethan) Taylor.”

Following the Owen Sound clash, the Hounds are idle Sunday before completing their trip on Monday (2 p.m.) in North Bay.

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