IceDogs sick and tired
The Niagara IceDogs’ winless streak hit six games with a 4-1 loss in Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario Hockey League action Saturday night at the Essar Centre.
The IceDogs still maintain a respectable record at 7-5-3-1, but haven’t won since defeating the Mississauga Steelheads 6-3 Oct. 19 at home.
“The points are positives and the lessons are positives, but the way we are there is such a fine line between winning and losing,” IceDogs head coach Billy Burke said. “There are a lot of little things that can add up to a win, or in this case a loss.”
The IceDogs were coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to the Sudbury Wolves Friday night.
“In the last couple of games, there were individual mental mistakes that cost us at bad times,” Burke said. “We just need to learn from them and build off that. The effort is there, and as long as the guys are competing it’s only a matter of time.”
Against the Greyhounds, it didn’t help that the IceDogs were hit by a flu bug that Burke said had players vomiting on the bench and between periods.
Both Elijah Roberts and Johnathon Schaefer were unable to play. The team wore surgical masks on the nine-hour bus ride home in an attempt to prevent the bug from spreading.
“A couple of guys also went and got tested for strep throat today, so we definitely faced some adversity,” Burke said. “The effort was great. They made no excuses. They battled through the sickness and the tired.
“We were right there.”
Burke said the team will be off Sunday and Monday to hopefully get everyone back to health.
Following a scoreless first period, Hayden Verbeek and Boris Katchouk scored for the Greyhounds sandwiched around a goal by Kirill Maksimov for Niagara.
“We were down 2-1 going into the third and feeling great about it,” Burke said. “I thought we were right there with the sixth-ranked team in Canada in their rink when they were rested up.”
Sault Ste. Marie then scored a pair of goals in the third by Barrett Hayton and Tim Gettinger.
Both teams went scoreless with the man advantage.
Stephen Dhillon made 30 saves in goal for Niagara.
The IceDogs are on the road again this week, travelling to Barrie Saturday night and North Bay Sunday afternoon. They return to the Meridian Centre Thursday, Nov. 16 to host Kingston.