Wolves clinch a playoff spot

By: Stew Kernan - Pack Mentality

 | Feb 18, 2014 - 1:37 PM |
Shot-blocker extraordinaire, Craig Duininck, is one of four strong Sudbury Wolves players on the injuries list. Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Shot-blocker extraordinaire, Craig Duininck, is one of four strong Sudbury Wolves players on the injuries list. Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Monday win marks team's 30th of the season

There was plenty of playoff talk before and after the Sudbury Wolves game in Mississauga on Monday afternoon.

Sudbury won the game 4-1 thanks to a two-goal and three-point performance from Nick Baptiste, the win clinching a playoff spot for the Pack.

Heading in, the Wolves were seeded second in the Eastern Conference while the Steelheads were in seventh, meaning if the playoffs began today, the two teams would meet in the first round.

The win came despite four regulars being out of the Wolves lineup: Craig Duininck, Jeff Corbett, Dominik Kahun and Nathan Pancel, all of whom are listed as day-to-day.

Despite clinching a playoff spot, Head Coach Paul Fixter was taking it all in stride, saying it would be more of a story if they didn’t make the playoffs. But he was happy with the way his team won the game.

“It was efficient and tidy — it was a good win” Fixter said after the game. “With the injuries, I used everyone in different roles and I was proud of the effort, and in the end we persevered and we got the win.”

Along with two goals from Nick Baptiste, the Wolves got goals from Radek Faksa and Danny Desrockers.

Desrochers was one of those players who got extra ice time due to the injuries and he responded by scoring his fifth goal of the season.

“It was a great win,” he said. “We had a goal on the board before the game and we achieved it. We had to battle through all the injuries — it’s adversity and we found a way.”

The win was the Wolves' 30th of the season, and brings their record to 30-17-3-6. It also pushes their road record back over the .500 mark at 12-11-3-4.

Even though the team were 21 points ahead of the Steelheads in the standings, Fixter says they weren’t taking the Steelheads for granted.

“I expect to win every game” said Fixter. “That said, there are no easy games in this league regardless of the standings. The kids are proud and they (Mississauga) had us on our heels. and they came at us pretty hard in the third period.

“You expect to win those types of games, but you have to keep teams below you in the standings and the only way to that is to beat them.”

The Wolves host the Erie Otters on Friday before starting a home-and-home series with the Barrie Colts. The Pack plays in Barrie on Saturday night and heads back for a Sunday afternoon game at home.

- Wolves Scratches: Craig Nuininck (lower body), Jeff Corbett (upper body), Dominik Kahun (sick) and Nathan Pancel (lower body).
- The Steelheads outshot the Wolves 33-30, including by 15-4 in the third period.
- Sudbury was 0-1 on the power-play while Mississauga was was 0-3.
- The Wolves won the six-game season series with the Steelheads with a record of 4-0-1-1.

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