Wolves Blanked by Spirit
The Sudbury Wolves wrapped up the weekend in Saginaw on Sunday as they matched-up against former teammate Reagan O’Grady and the Spirit. In an entertaining game between the squads, Jake McGrath had a noteworthy performance making 28 saves that led him to earn second star of the game. In a very close game, the Wolves battled hard, out-shooting the Spirit 54-30. An unfortunate empty net goal in the final minute of the third period resulted in the Spirit taking the win with a 2-0 final score.
In the first, the Spirit took an early 1-0 lead as DJ Busdeker beat Jake McGrath blocker side just over five minutes in. The Spirits’ recent acquisition of former Mississauga Steelheads’ forwards Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod helped pile the pressure on the Wolves as the duo developed plenty of chemistry, previously playing together in Mississauga. Unable to outplay Saginaw, the Wolves could not complete the tie before the end of period.
It was a stronger second period for the Wolves who outshot the Spirit 26-4 with total shots on goal being 41-18 in favour of Sudbury. Midway through the period Reagan O’Grady and Ryan O’Bonsawin exchanged some words and broke out into a small pushing match, however, no penalties were called. Approaching the end of period, Shane Bulitka found an opportunity that led to a short-handed breakaway on the power play, but could not produce as Spirit net minder Ivan Prosvetov made the stop.
In a tight third period, the Wolves saw a nice tic-tac-toe play from the Pilon twins and Macauley Carson but unfortunately could not get the puck past Ivan Prosvetov. The Wolves then stayed on top of Saginaw’s top players and were able to shut them out to keep the score at 1-0 in favour of the Spirit up until the final minute and a half of the game. In a last stitch of effort to tie the game, Cory Stillman signaled Jake McGrath to the Wolves bench for the extra man advantage. With the Wolves net empty, Ryan McLeod scored his first goal as a member of the Saginaw Spirit to seal the victory for Saginaw.
The Wolves will look to get back in the win column when they visit the Barrie Colts for a rare Thursday night match-up at 7:30pm before returning to home ice on Friday when they welcome Central Division rivals, the Mississauga Steelheads at 7:05pm. The Wolves will also welcome back goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen as he returns with a gold medal from the World Juniors held in Vancouver, BC. Fans can follow the action by tuning in to CKLU 96.7 or listening to mixlr.com/sudburywolves.