I was in the house for the Majors and Greyhounds game on Friday. It was a pretty sloppy game. The Majors were pretty undisciplined, taking 8 minor penalties. But when they weren't shorthanded, they dominated the pace of play.
The Majors got out to a 2-0 lead, only to surrender three straight goals to the Hounds. Down 3-2, the Majors got a game tying goal from Devante Smith Pelly with about 10 seconds left. Then they got a powerplay goal from Jordan Mayer, who stepped out of the box on a breakaway, as the game winner in overtime.
The Hounds are currently 8th in the Western Conference, with their inconsistent play to blame. Hopefully the addition of Chris Perugini in net can spark a better effort every night.
On to the player reports...
#4 - Justin Shugg (Drafted by Carolina in 2010)
Shugg good game, was driving hard to the net and trying to make things happen. He also looked good on the PK (and got a ton of practice on the night too). Offensively, he had two nice passes off the rush, one to Brace for the 2nd goal of the game, second to Smith Pelly for the game tying goal.
#5 - Stuart Percy (Draft Eligible in 2011)
This was his first game back from an apparent neck injury. I thought Percy looked very solid at both ends of the ice. He was very active in bringing the puck up, although I would have liked to seen him more on the PP. He definitely looks bigger this year and was ready and willing to assert himself physically (had a couple nice hits). He did take a couple of stupid/lazy penalties though.
#23 - Devante Smith Pelly (Drafted by Anaheim in 2010)
I felt like he was a non factor until late in the third period, then he became really hard to handle down low and scored the game tying goal off the feed from Justin Shugg. Without his usual linemate Casey Cizikas (out with an undisclosed injury), Smith-Pelly didn't look to have his normal jump.
#24 - Gregg Sutch (Drafted by Buffalo in 2010)
I thought Sutch was the Majors best forward, even though he didn't hit the score sheet. He was a beast on the forecheck and on the PK. His skating looks improved (especially his first step), as he drove to the net with conviction. It really seems like it's only a matter of time until he breaks out...but then again I'm always saying that.
#27 - Mika Partanen (Draft Eligible in 2011)
Outside of a few shifts at the beginning of the game where he looked strong on the puck, I hardly noticed him.
#34 - JP Anderson (Signed by the San Jose Sharks)
Anderson really held the fort during the Hounds 8 PP chances. His ability to take away the bottom of the net remains his biggest strength. However he still gives up too many rebounds. The Hounds 3rd goal (by Vern Cooper) was as a result of a juicy rebound to slot. On the Hounds 2nd goal by Brett Thompson, Anderson clearly didn't play the angle right and Thompson put a well placed shot to the lower far side of the net. But it was a solid performance and Anderson made 22 saves for the win.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
#3 - Brandon Archibald (Drafted by Columbus in 2010)
I thought he looked good defensively and physically, his size, skating and physicality profiles him as a solid NHL defensive guy. Although he didn't look great on the PP, as he had some difficulty handling the puck. This might be an outlier though, as I felt like he handled himself quite well on the powerplay last year. One thing I was looking for was more of a step forward in a puck carrying role, considering Archibald is a quality skater. But that role was mostly handled by Curcuruto.
#7 - Daniel Catenacci (Draft Eligible in 2011)
He was probably the best player on the ice. Catenacci showcased tremendous speed, and really disrupts play at both ends of the ice. He also got under the skin of the Majors players (got Derek Shoenmakers VERY angry on one shift where he got his stick up a little high). I was especially impressed by his play in his own end. He has a really active stick and is constantly buzzing around trying to cause a turnover. He also seems pretty fearless and drives hard to the net, creating plays for his teammates. One of those drives started the play that ended up as Hounds first goal by Omelyaneko. Colour me very impressed.
#24 - Gianluca Curcuruto (Draft Eligible in 2012)
He looked really good for a 16 year old defenseman. Curcuruto was solid at both ends of the ice and was poised in the puck rush. He also did a really good job defensively off the rush, and seems to play angles well. The Majors had a couple of one on one opportunities against him and both times he negated the scoring chance by separating his man from the puck.
#25 - Brock Beukeboom (Drafted by Tampa Bay in 2010)
I didn't notice him at all really, is that a bad thing or a good thing?
#27 - Nick Cousins (Draft Eligible in 2011)
Cousins got better as the game went on. He displayed good speed, kind of a pest similarly to Catenacci. He's definitely not afraid to do the dirty work on a line and probably profiles as one of those pesky energy guys with hands.