Kerins nets the hat-trick as Hounds pick up an 8-5 win over the Battalion

Jordan D’Intino of the Soo Greyhounds rags the puck as North Bay Battalion forward Liam Arnsby tracks from behind. Rory Kerins scored a hat-trick as the Hounds picked up an 8-5 win over the Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Friday night. Gordon Anderson/Postmedia Network

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Rory Kerins scored three times as the Soo Greyhounds picked up an 8-5 win over the North Bay Battalion in Ontario Hockey League action at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Friday night.

The game winner happened at 3:21 of the third period when Kerins scored his second of the night, a wrist shot that snuck under the pads of Battalion goalie Dom DiVincentiis and trickled over the line.

The winger completed the hat-trick at 5:57, his one-timer from the left face-off dot catching the corner of the net. The goal was Kerins’ fifth goal in two games as he netted a pair against the Sudbury Wolves in a 4-3 overtime win on Wednesday night.

Cole MacKay iced the game, converting on a two-on one worked to perfection with Kerins as the winger drew the attention of DiVincentiis before slipping the puck over the MacKay for the tap-in at 17:43.

But there were anxious moments for the announced crowd of 2,789 as the Hounds squandered a three-goal lead in the second period, the Battalion eventually battling back to tie the game 5-5 after 40 minutes.

The Hounds appeared on the way to a sure-fire victory when Marco Mignosa scored on a wrist shot that got past DiVincentiis at 1:23 of the second period to give the Hounds a 4-1 lead.

DiVincentiis turned aside 22 shots in the loss

The Battalion picked up a short-handed goal by Josh Currie but the Greyhounds responded 2:14 later when Tye Kartye took a cross-crease pass from MacKay and blasted the puck into the empty net at 9:09, restoring the three-advantage at 5-2.

The visitors started the comeback when Liam Arnsby converted on a three-on-two at 11:59, the Battalion closing the gap even further to 5-4 when Matvey Petrov roofed a close-in rebound over the glove of Hounds starter Samuel Ivanov just 1:37 later.

Ivanov stopped 28 shots for his fourth win of the season.

The visitors completed the comeback at 15:45 of the second period when Mitchell Russell’s shot from the left face-off circle got past a screened Ivanov and into the far side of the net for a power-play goal, setting the stage for a fast and furious third period that included Kerins completing the hat-trick.

The Greyhounds opened the scoring 24 seconds into the game when Mignosa ripped a quick wrist shot over the glove of DiVincentiis and into the top of the net.

The Battalion tied the game 1-1 when Tnias Mathurin scored his first goal of the season, converting on a rebound at 11:37 of the first period, as Ivanov couldn’t get a handle on the rebound before Mathurin tossed the puck into the empty net from just outside the crease.

The Hounds took a 2-1 lead when MacKay scored his fourth goal of the year at 15:25, his wrist shot from the left face-off circle getting past the glove of DiVincentiis.

Kerins scored his first goal of the night at 19:24 of the first period, his one-timer from the slot besting DiVincentiis to give the Hounds a 3-1 lead after one period of play.

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