It was a record-setting night for MATT MURRAY.
Along with backstopping the Hounds to a 3-0 victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Saturday Night, the veteran netminder surpassed Robin Lehner’s single season franchise shutout record of five (2009/10), thanks to his thirty-eight save performance.
“It was a great team effort” began Murray when asked about the win following the game.
“It means a lot to be mentioned in a franchise record, but the win is what’s important. I owe a lot to the guys in front of me” he concluded.
Murray turned aside all sixteen shots in the first period setting the tone for his, and the Hounds game all night long.
The Hounds would have two early period powerplays in the first period before some critical penalty killing work would come into play late in the frame.
With 1:05 to play, Murray would turn aside a cross-crease play between Sudbury’s Radek Faksa and Danny Desrochers with Sudbury up one man.
The Hounds received a subsequent slashing minor and ended the period down two men.
The penalties left the Hounds starting the second shorthanded the pair of men for the opening 59 seconds of the second period.
There, TYLER GAUDET won some early important draws and blocked scoring chances while MURRAY would foil Nathan Pancel as the play turned into a 5-on-4 keeping the game scoreless even further.
SERGEY TOLCHINSKY opened the scoring 9:23 into the second.
After DYLAN CORSON won the puck battle just outside the Wolves blueline springing himself and Tolchinsky in on a 2-on-1.
Corson would send the pass from Franky Palazzese’s left to right where Tolchinsky one-timed his 24th goal of the season home for the 1-0 Greyhound lead.
For Tolchinsky the goal also marked his 50th career regular season goal.
Just over a minute later BRYAN MOORE would jump on a failed pass by the Wolve’s Connor Crisp sending him in on breakaway only to ring it off the left post.
Then at 7:50 a Sudbury turnover forced Palazzese to make the first stop and another, with the glove on Tolchinsky keeping the lead a single goal.
WIth less than two minutes remaining in the period DARNELL NURSE increased the Hounds lead taking the rush up the right wing before cutting to the net and putting the puck home for his 11th goal of the season for the 2-0 lead.
The goal came on the Hounds 16th shot of the game, and was set-up with assists by BRYAN MOORE and JARED MCCANN.
Sudbury held a slim 10-8 shot advantage in the period.
The Hounds would come out buzzing in the third period, indicative of their game high 18 shots on the period.
MURRAY was in the zone all night long, including a solid play on Nathan Cull with just 3:12 to go keeping the goose egg in tact.
With Sudbury pulling Palazzese for the extra attacker, the Hounds worked through some back-to-back icing calls against the club before TYLER GAUDET outskated his opponents up ice and lightly slid the puck into the empty net capping off the Hounds victory.
The win, the Hounds third in a row, improved their record to 35-11-1-4, good for 75 points and also mathematically clinched a spot in the 2014 OHL Playoffs.
They are just the third team in the OHL to do so, to-date.
Next up, the locals face a quick turnaround when they return to action tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, 2 p.m.) with a visit to North Bay against the Battalion.
You can hear all the action beginning at 1:30 p.m. with the Bay Mills Resort & Casino’s pre-game show on Rock 101.
RED STAR THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1- SSM, Matt Murray
2- SBY, Franky Palazzese
3- SSM, Darnell Nurse
To view the complete online scoresheet courtesy of the Ontario Hockey League please CLICK HERE.