On Saturday night at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, the Wolves remained true to form. Posting the best defensive record in the league, surprisingly, the team is tied for having scored the fewest goals, and trimmed the Sons on Saturday by a 3-1 score.
D.J. Hancock, Caleb Boman and Owen Fransen all connected on the power play, with Denver Ghent managing the only goal for Nickel City, also with his team on the man advantage.
The defensive focus went right out the window the next afternoon in Chelmsford as the Sons scored three times in each period to up end the Wolves 9-5. Nathan Shane paced the winners with a hat trick, with Jason Bednarski chipping in with a pair of markers.
Jacob Palmerio, Alain Sicard, Ghent and Cole Braney rounded out the scoring for Coach Joel Whissell, with Cédric Primeau, Ryley Chum, Eric Paquette, Shane Zorzit and Jeff Delange countering for Sudbury.
Becoming the third player on his team to hit double digits in scoring with his tenth of the year, Palmerio said the Sons were a different team in game two.
"We had to play a lot harder," said the native of Sault Ste Marie. "We weren't getting any pucks deep last night. This game, we actually capitalized on a lot of our chances. I think it was just the motivation from all of the times that they have beat us so far.
"We wanted to come out hard and beat them, and that's what we did."
Palmerio is one of three players from the Soo who made the move to Sudbury when the North Stars program folded before the start of the 2013-2014 season (Shane Zorzit and Caleb Boman signed on with the Nickel Capital Wolves).
"I didn't want to play high school hockey or house league," explained Palmerio. “So I knew that if I still wanted to play, I would have to go out of town."
His team now sitting in third with the start of playoffs just over six weeks away, Palmerio believes there is one key improvement still needed to give the Sons a fighting chance come the post-season.
"We've got to stop taking penalties," he said. "That's our worse downfall right now. Other than that, we just have to keep skating and shooting the puck."
Nickel City will face another stiff test next weekend, travelling north to battle both Kapuskasing and Timmins. Sudbury returns home Sunday afternoon to face the last-place New Liskeard Cubs.
In the only other GNML encounter played last week the Timmins Majors dropped the Cubs 5-1.
Nicholas Hautanen enjoyed a three-goal effort, including a pair in the third period as the Majors pulled away from the Cubs in the final twenty minutes.