Wolves Fall 3-2 to Bulldogs
The Sudbury Wolves welcomed the Eastern Conference leading Hamilton Bulldogs for the first of two times on Friday night at the Sudbury Arena. Friday’s match-up also marked the annual Teddy Bear Toss game, as the Macauley Carson made it rain in the second period off of a goal from Drake Pilon and Shane Bultika. In an interesting ending, the Bulldogs scored a goal in the final minutes of the third to skate away with a 3-2 final.
The game also marked the return of Wolves former bench boss, Dave Matsos, who received a warm welcome from fans during a stoppage of play in the first period. It was Matsos’ new team who opened the scoring as Matthew Strome netted a power play goal to put the Bulldogs up by one. The Bulldogs added another goal in the period, this one from Will Bitten to extend their lead to 2-0.
Teddy bears flew in the second after Carson knocked home a goal on a three-on-one with Darian Pilon and Bulitka. Fans threw 2004 teddy bears and stuffed animals onto the ice, all of which will be donated to The Salvation Army. The goal cut the Bulldogs lead to 2-1. The Wolves thought they tied the game in the final minutes of the second period off of a goal from Troy Lajeunesse, but after the referees reviewed the play, they deemed it going in off of Lajeunesse’s hand and called it back. After the second period, the Wolves trailed 2-1.
In an unusual series of events, Bulitka scored but the play wasn’t called down and it continued until Dmitry Sokolov scored on Kaden Fulcher during the same stoppage in play. After the referees reviewed the series of events, they deemed Bulitka his goal but took away Sokolov’s as they turned the clocks back to 6:52. With just over two minutes remaining in the period, Brandon Saigeon capitalized on a clearing attempt by putting the puck in the back of the net. The Bulldogs went on to win by a 3-2 final, with shots on net 37-22 in favour of the Bulldogs.
Bultika put up a multi-point night with a goal and an assist earning him the third star of the game. After a 34 save performance, Mario Culina earned himself the first star of the night.
The Wolves will travel to Mississauga for their final game before the Christmas break on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Fans can follow the Wolves on the road in a number of different ways this season. Fans can listen to the live play by play on the radio at 96.7 CKLU or mixlr.com/sudburywolves on the Sudbury Wolves App.