Just a few months after travelling to the Telus Cup in Alberta as midget AAA champions representing Ontario, the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves kicked off their 2012-2013 season in very impressive fashion.
Coach Peter Michelutti Jr. and company shellacked the visiting North Bay Trappers Saturday at the Countryside Arena, scoring three goals or more in each and every period en route to a 12-0 triumph.
Newcomer Daniel Eddy, Wolves' prospect Dylan Callaghan and smooth-skating defenceman Niibin Nashkawa scored two goals each to pace the Sudbury attack as veteran netminder Andrew Lefebvre chalked up the shutout.
Michael Laidley, Jackson Gunner, Brenden Pheasant, Owen Fransen, Justin Lebreton and Jeff Delange rounded out the scoring for the Nickel Caps. The team now looks to go 2-0 against the Trappers when the teams meet again in the same venue on Wednesday evening.
With Chelmsford Arena currently under repairs, the Nickel City Sons opened their campaign on the road, earning a weekend split. The Sons scored three times in the final 80 seconds on Saturday, knocking off the Timmins Majors 6-4 at the McIntyre Arena.
Malcolm Bilton netted a pair for the Sons, but it was Denver Ghent and Sheldon Lalonde who tallied just 18 seconds apart that provided the game-tying and game-winning goals for the visitors. Mitchal Payette and Matthew Neault rounded out the scoring for the Sons, with Scott Vaillancourt chalking up the win between the pipes.
Nickel City could not carry that momentum into their Sunday encounter, surrendering six first-period goals to the Kapuskasing Flyers, eventually dropping a 7-5 decision.
Ryan Punkari scored twice for the Sons, with singles coming from Lalonde, Ghent and Ryan Fraser, while Olivier Chabot and Brenden Locke scored twice each for Kap.
Heading north with just 13 skaters and losing the services of forward Michael Michel midway through game one to an ankle injury, Nickel City coach Joel Whissell was philosophical looking back on the weekend Monday evening.
"Considering the amount of players we had, it went pretty well," Whissell said. "We've had one week together as a team and haven't gone through much in the way of systems."
In fact, the stock of Nickel City forwards was bolstered by the late addition of both Ghent and Nathan Shane, helping to ease somewhat the concern about numbers.
"The effort was there throughout, even when we fell behind 6-0 to Kapuskasing," Whissell said.
While first-year midget netminder Kevin Labelle might have fallen victim to some jitters in his GNML debut against the Flyers, Whissell maintained that this was far more of a team issue.
"He may have had a bit of nerves, but we didn't help him out at all," he said. "Our defensive coverage was a little worse than sub-par. Kevin rebounded nicely and finished strong."
Whissell substituted Labelle briefly after the fifth Kapuskasing goal, reinserting him for the final 40 minutes, during which he allowed just one final goal to Miguel Castillo.