Put the pressure on. Force the issue. Take advantage of home ice. Firing it up in that fashion on Friday, Soo Greyhounds pushed Kitchener Rangers to the embers of the grill with a 7-3 sizzler before close to 4,900 partisan fans.
Three goals from winger Jack Kopacka, including an empty-net marker that was the exclamation point, capped a 44-20 shots-on-goal edge and gave the Soo a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Western Conference final.
Game 6 is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener where the Rangers will try to extend a series in which the home side has won all five games to date.
A Rangers victory on Sunday will set up a Game 7 in the Soo on Monday night. Should the Greyhounds score the first road victory of the series on Sunday, they will advance to the OHL championship series against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Hamilton has been on down time since Thursday when it sidelined the Kingston Frontenacs in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
THEY SAID IT
“We showed a real sense of urgency, something we probably hadn’t shown in the series yet,” Greyhounds head coach Drew Bannister told Postmedia following the Soo’s Game 5 victory.
“We didn’t have the compete level on the way back for pucks as we did in the previous games. I thought our decision-making wasn’t good and we were making passes to guys that weren’t there,” Rangers head coach Jay McKee told TheRecord.com in the wake of Kitchener’s Game 5 defeat.
PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds high-scoring winger Jack Kopacka.