He had just been stopped by Mississauga goalie Spencer Martin on two glorious chances. The score was 3-2 for the Steelheads. Crisp wasn’t frustrated. He was motivated. A few shifts later, Crisp ripped a power-play goal to tie the game. A few shifts later and Crisp jumped on a loose puck and blasted it in to give the Wolves a 4-3 lead.
The back-and-forth game continued in the third period and the two teams couldn’t settle anything in regulation, ending with the score knotted at 5-5.
Crisp continued to be a factor in overtime as he helped set up defenceman Jeff Corbett’s game-winning goal just 33 seconds into extra play to give the Wolves a much-needed 6-5 overtime victory and two points.
It was a battle of wills.
“We had it in our heads we wanted it and we wanted it more than them,” Crisp said about the gutsy performance by the Wolves.
The first period was almost a write-off for Sudbury. They were sluggish and had little bite. They were also sloppy and it cost them time in the penalty box and it allowed Mississauga to strike first when Bobby MacIntyre scored on the power play.
Sudbury forward Dominik Kubalik salvaged the period by scoring, giving the Wolves a breath of life.
Sudbury was out-shot 20-13 in the first frame.
The second period looked like it was going to more of the same as Mississauga struck early again when Andrew Goldberg scored just 44 seconds into the middle period. Mississauga stormed ahead 3-1 when Dylan Smoskowitz put in a power play goal.
Then, the Wolves woke up and got down to business, putting together a stretch of hockey that would ultimately win them the game.
Nicholas Baptiste sparked the comeback by scoring on a breakaway, followed by the two goals by Crisp to give Sudbury a 4-3 lead going into the third period.
Sudbury hit the scoresheet first in the third frame when Baptiste scored on another breakaway to make it 5-3 Sudbury. Things were looking rosy.
It came undone in the second half of the period.
Smoskowitz let loose a long shot that fooled Sudbury goalie Franky Palazzese - one he wanted back - on the blocker side that brought the Steelheads back to life. More penalty trouble proved to be costly for Sudbury as Mississauga tied it up 5-5 with a late power0play goal by Josh Burnside with 1:05 to play in regulation.
The teams went to overtime where Corbett’s point shot deflected in off a Mississauga defender and past a shocked Martin for the winning tally.
Cue the Wolves’ celebration as the players flooded the ice and leaped onto the hero of the game. Corbett took it all in stride and pointed out he did nothing special, but make a simple play to end the game.
“I kind of threw it on net. I got the good bounce,” Corbett said. “It never hurts to throw a puck on net, especially in overtime. I got lucky. It’s hard to say that.”
The Wolves were able to turn the tide in their favour thanks to some key veterans on the team. Baptiste didn’t hesitate to put the praise on Crisp and team captain Kevin Raine.
“We battled tonight. We battled (Friday night), too,” Baptiste said. “It was just nice to get rewarded finally. Guys like Connor Crisp and Kevin Raine don’t come around often and they were the guys who led us today. They make us go. We learn from them. It was the leadership.”
Sudbury is back in action, at home, Friday, Oct. 25 when they host the Kingston Frontenacs and Saturday, Oct. 26 when they host the Belleville Bulls.
-The Wolves scratched Nathan Cull, Dominik Kahun and Brody Silk all due to upper body injuries. Mississauga scratched Spenser Cobbold, Brandon Belding, Everett Clark, Bryson Cianfrone and Ryan Duhaime.
-The game’s three stars were: Nicholas Baptiste (first); Jacob Harris (second) and Dominik Kublai (third).
-Attendance was announced as 3,276.
-The Wolves were outshot 20-13 in the first period, but rallied to have more shots (50-42) when the game ended.
-Sudbury goalie Franky Palazzese finished with 37 saves.