On the last night of the regular season Sunday, the Wolves beat the Oshawa Generals 2-1 ending a four-game losing streak.
More importantly, it was a morale booster for the Wolves, a team that gave up the lead in the division earlier this month and then dropped to fifth in the conference.
“They were playing their victory song after the game ... and while it meant nothing as far as the standings were concerned, it was something we really needed” said head coach Paul Fixter.
“Our confidence was down because we’ve been losing, but it’s what it does for your energy and preparation for what’s to come. It’s a win under your belt and puts a smile on your face opposed to another loss and a frown.”
Both teams rested a number of their regulars with the Wolves giving Nick Baptiste, Radek Faksa, Kevin Raine and Craig Duininck the night off.
Franky Palazzese also served as the back-up goalie as rookie Troy Timpano got the start and certainly didn’t disappoint, and was named the first star. Timpano made a number of huge saves, many coming in the second period as the Wolves were out-shot 22-7.
“Last game of the season, I think going into playoffs we needed that” said Timpano. “We wanted it for our pride. We’ll have a nice bus ride home and hopefully ride the feeling right into the first game of the playoffs and go into Barrie with a little jump.”
The Wolves return home to begin the preparations for the first round playoff series against the Barrie Colts.
“The work started already,” said Fixter. “David (Matsos) and I were at it today. Tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday will be busy days. It’s not like we’re playing a team we don’t know, but there is some work and fine tuning to do.”
Fixter also had a message for Wolves faithful”
“I know for the fans out there it’s been a tough month. Thanks for sticking with us and let’s have some fun.”
- Wolves scratches due to injury: Nathan Cull (upper body), Jacob Harris (upper body) and Connor Cummins (upper body).
- The Generals out-shot the Wolves 35-32.
- 3 Stars: 1) Troy Timpano (SUD); 2) Ken Applby (OSH); 3) Sam Harding (OSH)
Saturday night in Belleville
The Wolves hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference slipped away Saturday night after a 7-4 loss in Belleville combined with Barrie’s 6-3 win in Peterborough.
The game was tied 2-2 after one with the Bulls taking a 4-2 lead into the third period. Belleville out scored the Wolves 3-2 in the third to finish their season on a high note,
Sudbury got two goals from Nick Baptiste with singles from Jacob Harris and Ray Huether.
First-round playoff schedule
The fifth-place Wolves meet fourth-place Barrie in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
The schedule is as follows:
Game 1: March 20, at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: March 22, at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: March 25, at Sudbury, 7 p.m.
Game 4: March 27, at Sudbury 7 p.m.
Game 5: March 28, at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6: March 30, at Sudbury, 7:00 p.m.
Game 7: April 1, at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.