After last weekend’s embarrassing 10-3 loss to the Soo Greyhounds on the road, the Wolves were looking to show everyone in the OHL they could overcome a big loss with a big win. The Wolves got their chance at redemption Friday night at Sudbury Community Arena when hated rival, the Barrie Colts, rolled into town.
The Wolves seized the opportunity and delivered the big win by overcoming a 3-2 deficit in the third period to win 5-3 thanks to an offensive outburst from forwards Connor Crisp and Dominik Kubalik, both of whom tallied two goals each in the victory.
Kubalik was the hero as he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period. With the scored knotted at 3-3, Kubalik raced in and pounced on a juicy rebound and ripped a shot past Barrie goalie Daniel Gibl at 19:05 to send the fans into an absolute frenzy and make it 4-3.
Despite the fact the Wolves earned the win and some redemption after last weekend’s blow out, Kubalik wasn’t satisfied. More is demanded and more will be expected.
“It was huge for us. It was important for us,” Kubalik said about the win. “We still have to play better.”
Crisp was acquired in the pre-season from Erie for scoring and leadership. He dished out both. Crisp racked up two goals and three points in the win. The fourth-year veteran had little doubt the Wolves would right the ship, even when Barrie had a 2-1 lead after two periods and took that 3-2 lead early in the third period.
“We have a lot of confidence on the bench,” he said. “The intermissions were huge for us. Some guys were down going into the third period. The leadership in the room is tremendous. To have guys like that to get the boys back up is huge. The guys started clicking. Things went our way.”
There was probably no one more disgusted with last week’s performance than Sudbury head coach Paul Fixter. He said so several times during the week. He never once minced his words. The bench boss wanted better execution in the defensive zone. Fixter wanted to see an overall better team effort. He got it Friday night.
“We held an explosive hockey club to one five-on-five goal and that is impressive,” Fixter said. “There’s different ways of winning and tonight we found a way to come back against a very good hockey club. A credit to our guys for never quitting. The message after the second period was don’t quit. We came out with some good energy in the third period. In the end, we got production from guys we’re expecting production from and it gave us a chance to fight back.”
When asked if the defensive zone coverage was better, Fixter answered with one word.
“Absolutely,” he said.
The Kubalik-Crisp-Jacob Harris line was front and centre all game and set the pace for the Wolves. Fixter hopes all the Wolves took lessons from the line.
“They showed nice chemistry,” Fixter said. “Most importantly, they were responsible in the defensive zone, too. They generated their offensive from the defensive zone. That’s a credit to them buying into what we preached this week.”
The Wolves got the start they needed by scoring first when Crisp popped his first of the season at 18:26 of the first period to make it 1-0 Wolves. Barrie took over in the second period and also took the lead with two power-play goals by Aaron Ekblad and Jake Dotchin.
Sudbury came out flying in the third and took over the game eventually. Crisp notched his second of the game at 4:53 of the third period to make it 2-2. Fans were still standing up and cheering when Barrie answered right back with a goal by Tyson Fawcett just 35 seconds later to take the lead 3-2.
Sudbury roared back to life with two goals by Kubalik to go up 4-3. Mathew Campagna sealed the deal with an empty net goal and the Wolves' 5-3 win.
Rescheduled game confirmed
The Sudbury-Sault Ste. Marie game cancelled on Sept. 20 due to excessive fog at Sudbury Arena has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Season ticket holders can redeem their tickets from the Sept. 20 game on Dec. 10 or they can redeem that ticket for a free extra ticket to any other home game based on availability. All fans with a ticket stub from the Sept. 20 game can redeem the ticket for a free ticket for any home game including the rescheduled match.
-The Wolves scratched Danny Desrochers and Nathan Cull (suspensions), Brody Silk (surgery), Dominik Kahun (upper body injury) and Kyle Capobianco.
- The Colts scratched MacKenzie Blackwood, Liam Maaskant, Cody Brown, Matthew Kreis and Devon Rymarchuk
- Barrie outshot Sudbury 34-23, including 10-4 in the first period.
-Sudbury goalie Franky Palazzese made 31 saves
- The game’s three stars were: Dominik Kubalik (first), Connor Crisp (second) and Franky Palazzese (third).
- Attendance was announced as 3,652.