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Wolves drop playoff opener in Barrie

By: Stew Kernan - Pack Mentality

 | Mar 21, 2014 - 10:11 AM |
Nathan Pancel scored both goals for the Sudbury Wolves in a losing effort against the Barrie Colts in Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series. Terry Wilson/OHLimages.

Nathan Pancel scored both goals for the Sudbury Wolves in a losing effort against the Barrie Colts in Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series. Terry Wilson/OHLimages.

For the Wolves to have success in the playoffs, they are going to need to regain that offensive flare they had earlier this season while, at the same time, staying disciplined.

One of those goals was accomplished Thursday night, but it wasn't enough as the Wolves lost 3-2 in Barrie.

The Colts take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series.


The Wolves took some undisciplined penalties, and head coach Paul Fixter wasn't happy about it.

"We took too many penalties, and we took some dumb ones," said Fixter. "They're tough to kill and they certainly kill momentum"

As for his overall assessment of the game, Fixter said it wasn't good enough for playoff hockey.

"We didn't play with enough urgency, and we did things you can't do — mainly turn over the puck."

That said, there were some things Fixter saw as encouraging.

"We hit four posts and we had some other great scoring opportunities, but you have to make the most of those and we didn't tonight."

Nathan Pancel, who saw his offensive production slow considerably in the second half of the regular season, scored both Sudbury goals.

"It felt good to score those goals, but at the same time a win would have felt better," said Pancel. "It's good to contribute, and it gives me a feel for the next game and I'm just going to keep trying to shoot as much as I can and hopefully it becomes contagious and we all get more shots and we score more.”

Twice the Wolves cut Barrie's two-goal leads down to one, but with less than four minutes left in the third period, Wolves defenceman Evan de Haan was assessed a four-minute checking-from-behind penalty which pretty well killed the comeback.


Fixter says there was a silver lining.

"It was a one-goal game and we didn't play our best, so I guess I'll take that as a positive sign.”

Game 2 in the series goes Saturday night at the Barrie Molson Centre with the series shifting north for games three and four in Sudbury Tuesday and Thursday nights.

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