The group of boys born in 2000 that make up the Sudbury Minor Bantam Wolves and Nickel City Minor Bantam Sons rosters have become very well-acquainted over the years, waging countless memorable battles.
The current NOHL semifinal playoff series is shaping up to be no different.
Throw the 26-point regular season difference between the first-place team (Sons) and the fourth-place team (Wolves) right out the window. When these teams go head to head, it's anyone's game.
Sudbury and Nickel City split the first two games of their best-of-five affair last weekend, with the Sons blanking the Wolves 5-0 in the opener before coach Barry McCrory and company rebounded for a 5-2 win in Game 2.
In both cases, the final scores were somewhat deceiving. On Saturday afternoon in Garson, Mathieu Seguin broke the ice for Nickel City, scoring the only goal of the first period, with Damien Giroux doubling the lead in the second.
But it was only in the final frame, when Giroux, Shane Poitras and Brady Maltais connected that the contest appeared well in hand.
Matty Mayhew racked up the shutout between the pipes for the Sons.
The Wolves countered with substantially more jump in Game 2, capitalizing on a pair of early power plays. Both Mathieu Dokis-Dupuis and Joel Mongeon scored with the man advantage before the contest was five minutes old, with Giroux halving the deficit with his third in two games before the end of the opening stanza.
Giroux and Joseph Cassio traded goals in the second, keeping the one goal Sudbury advantage intact. Once again, it was third-period markers that would put the matchup to rest as Brett Jacklin and Tyler Maki scored less than two minutes apart, allowing Allisa Hitchen to pick up the win, in net, for Sudbury.
The teams are back in action this coming weekend, facing off in Game 3 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening at Carmichael Arena, and meeting at the same venue on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.