The Sudbury Wolves closed out the 2017-18 season in Oshawa on Sunday night with a fight to the finish, falling by a hard fought 4-2 final. Goals from the Wolves came from Nolan Hutcheson and Shane Bulitka.
The night marked the end of fantastic OHL careers for Captain Kyle Rhodes and Doug Blaisdell. Both players battled through to the final buzzer, with Blaisdell picked up an assist in his last game.
In a tight first period, each team found the back of the net once. Alan McShane opened the scoring at the midway point of the period as he beat Marshall Frappier to make it 1-0. Four minutes later, Nolan Hutcheson tied the game at one after he fired a one timer top shelf on Cole Ceci. Darian Pilon picked up the lone assist on the play. The Wolves outshot the Generals through the frame 15-12.
Shane Bulitka gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead from Alexey Lipanov and Doug Blaisdell in the second period. After Frappier was peppered with shots, Mitchell Hewitson finally found a way through to tie the game at 2. The goal came as Hewitson’s first OHL goal. Penalty trouble allowed the Generals to gain some momentum, and two quick goals from Domenico Commisso and Eric Henderson lifted the Generals to a 4-2 lead. After the Generals fourth goal, Jake McGrath entered the net for the Wolves.
Throughout the third period the Wolves pressured the Generals looking to tie the game at 4. Bulitka and Darian Pilon shared a quality scoring chance on a 2-1 but could not connect on the play. The Wolves outshot the Generals 16-11 through the frame but were held off the scoresheet. Final shots on net were 41-35 in favour of the Wolves.
Rhodes and Blaisdell spent the final minutes on the ice and were surrounded by their teammates after the final buzzer of the 2017-18 season sounded.
With the season coming to an end, the Sudbury Wolves would like to thank all members of the City of Greater Sudbury for their support throughout this season. Thank you to fans for coming out to every game to support the team, thank you to the billet families for taking in our players, thank you to the media for their support this season and thank you to the staff for all their hard work in making this season possible. Also, a special thank you to Wolves United 50/50 staff this season. We couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to another season of exciting Wolves Hockey in 2018-19!