(Photo Via: Windsor Star/Nick Brancaccio)
WINDSOR – The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have won their 48th game of the season, and hit the 100-point mark, with 10 games left to play after a 4-2 victory on the road over the Windsor Spitfires.
As per usual, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have won a hockey game in the 2017-2018 regular season. This one coming after the Windsor Spitfires scored the first goal of the game off the stick of Igor Larionov, of Detroit, Mich., who potted his 4th of the year just 2:41 into the game, on just Windsor’s second shot. This was Larionov’s first goal since January 7th in a 4-3 OT victory over the Ottawa 67’s.
But the Greyhounds answered almost instantaneously, as Jack Kopacka scored his 24th goal of the season just 35 seconds after the Larionov opening goal. Kopacka, of Metamora, Mich., scored his first goal in five games, but his three assists in the Greyhounds last game allowed him to surpass his career high point total of 49. Kopacka now has 52 points with 10 games left in the season.
4:02 after the Kopacka goal, Sault Ste. Marie struck again. Boris Katchouk scored his 37th of the year, giving the Greyhounds a 2-1 lead, just 7:18 into the first period.
Windsor would tie the game with 1:27 left in the 2nd period as Luke Kutkevicius scored his 9th of the year. The Toronto, Ont., native, playing with his 3rd team in three OHL seasons, scored his fourth goal in five games for the Spitfires. Before that, he had gone eight games without recording a goal.
A little over midway through the final period, it was Boris Katchouk scoring his second of the game and 38th of the season. This marked the Waterloo, Ont., native’s 10th multi-goal game of the season for the Greyhounds. He had gone the last two games without a goal when the Greyhounds played Hamilton and Sarnia.
With just 17 seconds left in the game, it was Katchouk again, finding the back of the net for Sault Ste. Marie, giving him his 39th goal of the season, and first career hat trick.
Matthew Villalta of Godfrey, Ont., made 22 saves on 24 Spitfire shots on goal for his 37th win of the season, improving his record to 37-5-2 on the season and has an OHL leading 2.45 GAA.
Lucas Patton of Waterloo, Ont., played in just his 6th game of the season, makes just 13 saves on 16 Sault Ste. Marie shots, and picks up the loss, moving his record to 2-2-1 on the season.
Windsor will host Erie, tomorrow at 2:05pm. The Spitfires currently sit in eighth place in the OHL Western Conference standings, two points back of Guelph for seventh and three points back of Saginaw for sixth place.
Sault Ste. Marie will stay on the road tomorrow as they will travel across the 401 to London to take on the 5th place Knights, who will look to move into fourth and clinch a playoff spot with two points.
First Star: #12 Boris Katchouk – 3 Goals, +3, 5 shots on goal, 33% Faceoffs (1/3)
Second Star: #17 Igor Larionov – 1 Goal 1 Assist, +1, 1 shot on goal, 2 penalty minutes
Third Star: #20 Luke Kutkevicius – 1 Goal, 4 shots on goal, 50% Faceoffs (1/2)