The period included a stretch in which the Greyhounds scored four times in just over five minutes
A five-goal first period, including four in just over five minutes late in the period, lifted the Greyhounds to a 7-2 Ontario Hockey League victory over the Guelph Storm on Friday night at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
Greyhounds coach John Dean called the opening period “our best time of the year.”
Greyhounds forward Rory Kerins agreed with Dean and spoke of the offensive build-up at the end of the period.
“Those five-minute periods can make or break you,” Kerins also said. “You just have to be on the safe side of these. If they are growing you need to make sure you keep it out of your net and if you are pushing you need to make sure you have a few.
“There was nothing super fancy about the period,” Dean said. “We just did it right. We ran out of a rush. We made some really good choices in the attacking zone as to when to use the back of the net and when to use our feet and challenge the points.
Asked about the opening period, Storm general manager and coach George Burnett said “there is nothing positive about the game in any way.”
“I don’t have answers,” Burnett said. “My job is to get the team ready to go and they weren’t tonight. I have to take responsibility for it. “
The game took place after the Greyhounds had a game postponed Wednesday night due to 12 Sudbury Wolves players who tested positive for COVID-19.
“They have had a great week of training,” added Dean. “We really enjoyed a day off. It was just a great atmosphere all week. Lots of work ethic. Lots of competition. They brought that forward in the first half.
Playing against a Storm team that had won four straight games on Friday, Kerins said “if we play our game and play the way we can, we can beat anyone”.
The Greyhounds opened the scoring at 3:24 of the first period when Marc Boudreau caught a pass from defenseman Kirill Kudryavtsev and beat Guelph starter Owen Bennett from close range.
The Greyhounds opened the game later in the period.
Bryce McConnell-Barker made it 2-0 at 2:28 pm when he caught a pass from Marco Mignosa and beat Bennet on the stick.
Rory Kerins made it 3-0 just 1:27 later when he beat Bennett’s short side at 3:55 pm.
Too old defender Robert Calisti made it 4-0 at 16:19 when he beat Bennett on the right side of the game.
Kerins got his second of the night with 30 seconds left in the opening period when he beat Bennett with a shot from the right face-off circle.
Guelph added to the board at 12:11 of the second period when Sasha Pastujov passed into the slot and beat Greyhounds goaltender Samuel Ivanov from close range.
Tye Kartye went 6-1 Greyhounds when he redirected a tight pass from Rory Kerins past Jacob Oster at 19:02 of the second.
Justin Cloutier made it 7-1 Greyhounds at 6:52 of the third, beating Oster High with a slot shot.
Veteran defender Daniil Chayka made it 7-2 late in the game, beating Ivanov with a point shot on the power play with 2:47 left.
Kerins finished the night with four points thanks to a pair of assists in addition to his two-goal performance.
“I’m just playing my game,” Kerins said. “I play with great players and I’m in good places to get the puck. I had a few chances to put the puck in the net and I did. I play the game the same every night.
Asked about not being selected for Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp and if that provided additional motivation, Kerins said, “I’m playing to prove it to myself.”
“He’s a pretty special kid and that’s a pretty special response,” Dean said. “These things can go a number of ways. The game he played tonight shows a lot about his character.
Defenseman Ryan O’Rourke and forward Cole MacKay each scored two goals for the home side.
Ivanov made 22 saves for the Greyhounds.
Bennett stopped 16 of 21 shots during a shift for the Storm. Oster made 20 stops the rest of the way.
“He has to be better, but we have to be better with him,” Burnett said of Bennett’s play in the first half.
The victory improves the Greyhounds’ record to 13-9-0-0.
The storm falls to 13-7-1-1 with the loss.
The Greyhounds return to action Sunday afternoon at home against the Saginaw Spirit. The face-off is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. at GFL Memorial Gardens.