Despite not earning a victory, as the Wolves fell 3-2 in shoot-out, Timpano got the learning experience he was looking for.
Timpano faced a pile of shots, stopping 41 fired his way in regulation, held his ground in overtime and got a taste of what a shootout is like.
Not bad for a kid who is still just 15 years old.
“It was something else,” Timpano said. “It was my first home start. It was a great feeling to play in front of the home crowd. It’s all about development for me. I’ve come into this league at 15 and to have a game like this will only help my future. I learned a lot. I know I have to be better.”
Timpano was tested early and often and made 12 saves in the first period, including a point-blank save on a blistering one-timer from the Bulls. Timpano showed the Sudbury coaching staff exactly what they wanted to see - a composed and competent net minder.
“I thought Troy Timpano was outstanding. It was a big game for him,” said Sudbury head coach Paul Fixter.
The Wolves know they let a great opportunity slip through their clutches by not knocking off the Bulls in regulation or overtime. They blitzed the Bulls with 53 shots overall. The Wolves also squandered three straight power play chances in the first period by not cashing in and breaking the backs of the Bulls early.
“We have to be on our toes all the time against every team. We have to play better defensively,” forward Mathew Campagna said.
Sudbury scored the only goal of the first period. Nicholas Baptiste was in the right place at the right time and dumped in a juicy rebound into a wide open net at 2:58 to give Sudbury a 1-0 lead.
Belleville took over in the second period and scored three goals to Sudbury’s one marker in the frame. Belleville got goals from Jordan Subban and two from Brendan Gaunce, while Nathan Pancel replied for Sudbury. The Bulls took a 3-2 lead into the third period.
It took a long time for the Wolves to get out of the hole. Mathew Campagna scored on a later power play at 15:45 to tie the game at 3-3.
Overtime solved nothing and the game went to the shoot-out. Baptiste got the Wolves on the board by scoring on the first opportunity on Bulls netminder Charlie Graham. Timpano stopped Luke Cairns on his first shot faced. Pancel was unable to reply on the next turn. Subban scored on his chance. Dominik Kubalik was robbed by the glove of Graham to keep it tied. Gaunce made no mistake on scoring and gave the Bulls the 3-2 shoot-out victory.
“It is disappointing losing a point,” Fixter said. “As long as you can continue to get points, that is a good thing.”
It was a game that also wreaked havoc on the health of the Wolves. Forward Matt Schmalz left in the first period with a mouth injury and needed repairs to fix some of his teeth. Captain Kevin Raine also left in the first period with an upper body injury. Both players didn’t return to the game. Schmalz is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday against Mississauga. Raine will be re-evaluated on Sunday to determine the seriousness of his injury. It comes at a bad time as the Wolves were already battling the injury bug. On Friday, forward Jacob Harris left the game in the third period after being hit in the head.
He didn’t play Saturday and is listed as day-to-day.
The Wolves hit the road to play the Mississauga Steelheads Sunday at 2 p.m. Fixter wants to see better defensive play as well as some familiar faces.
“I want to see some bodies in the lineup,” he said.
-- The game’s three stars were: Brendan Gaunce (first), Jeff Corbett (second) and Troy Timpano (third).
-- The Sudbury Wolves scratched Jacob Harris, Domink Kahun and Brody Silk all due to injuries. Belleville scratched Andrew Ming and David Tomasek.
-- Attendance was announced as 3,074.