For the second night in a row, the Sudbury Wolves season opening game didn’t go as anticipated.
Friday night, fog caused a postponement in the scheduled start to the season against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at the Sudbury Arena.
Saturday night the Wolves would have gladly taken a postponement as they were hammered 10-3 at the Essar Centre.
The two teams traded goals up until the 6:44 mark of the second period before the Hounds busted open a 3-3 game scoring seven unanswered goals on the way to the win.
Wolves head coach Paul Fixter, who was coaching his first regular season game behind the Sudbury bench, was as expected disappointed, saying that is not how they wanted to start the season.
“We stopped playing defense and we weren’t committed to competing. Obviously they have a very explosive team and they took advantage of our sloppy defensive zone play and we left our goalies out to dry."
The Greyhounds led 3-2 after the first period and outscored the Wolves 5-1 in the second to take an 8-3 lead into the third.
Sudbury goal scorers were Nick Baptiste, Nathan Pancel and Dominik Kubalik while Mathew Campagna chipped in with two assists.
The Greyhounds were led by two players in particular. Jared McCann scored four goals while Sergey Tolchinsky had a goal and three assists. Jorgen Karteurd, Tyler Gaudet, Dylan Staples, Michael Bunting and Brandon Hughes also scored for Sault Ste. Marie.
Wolves starting goalie Franky Palazzese allowed eight goals on 28 shots and was replaced by rookie Troy Timpano to start the third period. The 15-year old, who doesn’t turn 16 until November, was making his OHL debut and allowed two goals on four shots,
Timpano never though he would get his first action in that type of situation.
“Franky didn’t get any bounces, He just pulled me aside and told me to battle through it. That’s basically all you can do in that type of game and hope for the best."
Timpano admits he was nervous when coach Fixter told him at the end of the second period he was going in to play the 3rd.
“I’d say I was a little nervous being my first actual OHL regular season game. It’s not the way you want to go in, especially down 8-3. I was excited to be in the game but not like that”.
Many of the experts have picked the Wolves as one of the teams to compete for top spot in both the Central Division and the Eastern Conference.
Head coach Paul Fixter says they’ll have to work a lot harder to make that happen.
“The care and commitment just wasn’t there tonight. You rely on your leadership and your so called super-stars and they didn’t show up tonight. It’s extremely disappointing in the first game of the year to make that kind of impression on a new coaching staff...it’s really disappointing.
Along with Timpano, a number of other Wolves made their OHL debuts. Kyle Capobianco, David Zippieri and Stefan LeBlanc all played their first games in the Ontario Hockey League.
The Wolves can expect a long week of practice as they get ready for their first three in three weekend. Next Friday night they host the Barrie Colts at the Sudbury Community Arena at 7:30 before heading out on the road for games in Owen Sound on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Mississauga.
-Shots on goals were even at 32.
-The Wolves were 0/3 on the power play while the Greyhounds were 2/3.
-Sudbury’s scratches were Danny Desrochers (1 of 2-game suspension), Nathan Cull (1 of 3-game suspension), David Eccles (healthy) and Austin Veleke (healthy).
-3 Stars....(1) Jared McCann (SSM) (2) Sergey Tolchinsky (SSM) (3) Tyler Gaudet (SSM)
Attendance at the Essar Centre was 4,388.