7-0 loss ends season for the Wolves

By: Stew Kernan - Pack Mentality

 | Mar 29, 2014 - 6:20 AM |
For goalie Franky Palazzese, a 7-0 loss to the Barrie Colts in Game 6 put an end not only to his season with the Wolves, but, as a graduating player, his OHL career as a whole. File photo.

For goalie Franky Palazzese, a 7-0 loss to the Barrie Colts in Game 6 put an end not only to his season with the Wolves, but, as a graduating player, his OHL career as a whole. File photo.

Goalie Franky Palazzese went down to one knee when the buzzer sounded Friday night at the Barrie Molson Center.

He realized that his team had just lost 7-0 and was eliminated from the OHL playoffs, but also that his OHL career had just ended after a 7-0 loss.

The Wolves were again their own worst enemy, giving Barrie nine power-play opportunities and seeing the Colts score twice with a couple other goals coming shortly after power plays had ended. During the five-game series, the Wolves handed the Colts 37 power plays. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out nothing good can come from that.

Wolves head coach Paul Fixter agreed.

"In this series we were undisciplined...way too undisciplined and it killed us," said Fixter. "We didn't score timely goals and tonight our defensive zone coverage was very weak and we didn't have our skating legs tonight.

"You know, you have to play with passion and commitment in the playoffs and we didn't do that. (Barrie) played better than us. I'm not saying they're a better team than us, but they played better than us."

Barrie led 3-0 after the first period, 5-0 after the second and then added 2 more goals in the third to round out the scoring. The loss is even more disappointing when you consider Colts Captain Aaron Ekblad was not in the Barrie lineup after suffering a lower body injury in Game 4.

The loss also erased the hope after Thursday night's 2-1 win at the Sudbury Arena that the Wolves would make a series of it after falling behind three games to nothing.

"It's the end of my OHL career," said Palazzese. "At the end of the day, we lost 7-0, but whether it's 1-0 or 7-0 it's all the same. It's disappointing, but I guess it's time to look forward."

The OHL careers of two other Wolves also came to an end with the loss.

"It's the worst way to end a career to get blown out 7-0, it's embarrassing," said defenseman Craig Duininck. "At the same time, you have to look at the positives. I had a good career and good experiences with the teams I played for."

"Everything about how that series went was disappointing," said captain Kevin Raine. "We put ourselves in a position where we couldn't afford a loss and we lost in poor fashion. It's a tough way to go out, but I feel for myself I left it all out there. That's what helps me sleep at night instead of wishing I did more of this or more of that. Yes we lost but I think I did all I could."

With the expectations put on this club at the beginning of the season, it's expected there will be plenty of soul searching in the off-season.

"I'm disappointed," said Fixter. "I feel bad for the graduating players. I feel bad for the fans who wanted to see more hockey. I feel bad for some players, the guys that really did commit. I feel bad for Mr. Burgess (team owner) and Blaine Smith (general manager) who believed in us and went out and brought in some players and we didn't deliver for them and for that I feel bad."

Next up for the Wolves will be the OHL Priority Selection coming up on Saturday, April 8 with the Wolves picking 11th in the draft.

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