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Soo Greyhounds win by a nose, get back in series: OHL post-game questions

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul had three assists in the Soo's crucial win (Getty Images)

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds hang on followed a waved-off goal in the penultimate minute of regulation to get back in their series against the Owen Sound Attack. Farther to the south, the Barrie Colts and Plymouth Whalers are up 3-0. On with the post-game questions:

Western Conference

Sault Ste. Marie 5 Owen Sound 3, ENG (Attack lead 2-1) — How much did the game turn on special teams? To a large extent, although the Greyhounds harnessing their desperation probably had something to do with them earning their chances before a raucous Northern Ontario crowd. Their power play, which was 0-for-11 during successive one-goal losses in Owen Sound, hit a trifecta early in the second period with star defenceman Ryan Sproul assisting on each tally.

Point being, though, the Soo handled that power-play windfall well. It also held the Attack to 0-for-6 with the extra skater after giving up a pair of PP goals in the first two games. This is looking every bit like the six- or seven-game series that was predicted.

How will Attack goalie Jordan Binnington rebound in Game 4 on Wednesday? The Team Canada goalie was mortal, giving up four goals on 34 shots and letting NHL first-rounder to be Darnell Nurse beat him for a soft goal short side that stood as the winner. The first three 'Hounds goals were power-play markers, so that's not completely on the goalie, although a goaltender of the year candidate isn't going to use that as an excuse.

So did the replay review official get it correct when what first appeared to be the Attack's tying goal with 1:16 left in regulation was disallowed Mea culpa; it appeared the puck never went into the net when Attack centre Gemel Smith, with his stick was below the crossbar, whacked it out of the air. Subsequent Shaw TV replays seemed to show the puck hit the bar and went directly up and the goal was signalled. The lack of an overhead angle created some confusion.

If Owen Sound had scored and gone on to win, the work of the Smith-Daniel Catenacci-Steven Janes line would have been the story. The big-bodied Janes has done some fine support work alongside the two smaller, skilled forwards. That line has helped compensate for Cameron Brace being gone with a suspension. The 'Hounds were stronger across all three periods, though.

Plymouth 5 Sarnia 2 (Whalers lead series 3-0) — How did the Sting fare with that 40-shot benchmark? Try only 13 in the opening two periods and just 21 on the night in a must-have game. The favoured Whalers, who have scored 72, 86 and 63 seconds after the opening faceoff, are essentially rolling as expected. Stefan Noesen (Ottawa Senators) and Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers) each had three-point nights.

Eastern Conference

Barrie 4 Kingston 2, ENG (Colts lead series 3-0)From how far away could you see that finish coming, with the Colts getting the tying and winning goals inside of the four-minute mark of regulation time? The youngish Frontenacs have done this many a time, take a lead over a top-flight team but fail to nail it down, as if they have Francisco Cordero's junior hockey equivalent playing for them. It's heartbreaking for the Frontenacs faithful which has a limitless supply of one more chances, but it could be expected. The Colts are contending, plus they have top-end forwards such as Andreas Athanasiou, who tied it after a Frontenacs mistake created an odd-man rush, and Mark Scheifele, who buried the winner with 1:26 left.

Kingston should prove to be better for it in the long run. This team is a far cry from the ones which also fell into a 3-0 crevasse in two of the franchise's last three playoff appearances. Colts goalie Mathias Niederberger (23 saves), who helped limit Kingston to 1-for-7 on the power play, was a reason Barrie stuck around.

Beside their nucleus being a year older and wiser, what's the major difference between these Colts and the 2012 team? New York Islanders-drafted wing Mitchell Theoret being a handful along the walls and in front of the goal. With burly Anthony Camara sitting out the first of his three-game suspension, Theoret came through with three points.

Day 6 docket — Kitchener-Guelph, Game 3, 7 p.m.; Oshawa-Niagara, Game 3, 7 p.m.; Belleville-Mississauga, Game 4, 7 p.m.; London-Saginaw, Game 3, 7:11 p.m.; Brampton-Sudbury, Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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