TRAVERSE CITY — It took most of the three periods, but the Traverse City Hounds were eventually able to get the best of the Alpena Street Cats.
The Hounds erased one-goal deficits in each period, scoring four times in the final stanza to finally pull away and take a 6-3 win on Friday in the Hounds’ home opener at Centre Ice Arena.
Jordan Ruterbusch’s goal at the 12:05 mark of the third period was the score that put Traverse City ahead for the first time. The Hounds then followed with goals from Alex Devries and Cam Fisher and never looked back to remain undefeated on the season (4-0).
Before Ruterbusch scored, the Hounds were chasing Alpena the entire time. The Street Cats (3-1) took their first lead 19 seconds into the game on a goal by Vladislav Khasanov, but Traverse City’s Scott Luca knotted the game less than a minute later. Alpena came back with a goal at the 3:19 mark of the second period by Tommy Hrynkiw, but Traverse City again answered, this time on a Josh Smith power play goal right before the end of the second period.
Sergey Deev gave Alpena the lead again early in the third, but Tyler Thirlby’s goal at the 11:44 mark tied the game 3-3 and set off a flurry of scoring for Traverse City, which tallied its last three goals in the span of four-and-a-half minutes.
Smith, Ruterbusch, Thirlby and Fisher each had a goal and an assist to lead the Hounds. Kevin Hansen and Matthew Passino added assists.
David Krejcik got the win in goal, making 15 saves. Traverse City had a huge advantage in shots, 48-18, peppering Alpena goalie Vlad Salangin with 22 shots in the second period alone.
The two teams meet again at 7 p.m. tonight at Centre Ice.