The Sudbury Wolves climbed back from a two-goal deficit to overcome the Oshawa Generals and take a decisive 5-2 win in their home opener Friday night. Shane Bulitka had a career-high game tallying four points, including a goal and three assists.
Goals from the Wolves came from Jack Thompson, Bulitka, Quinton Byfield, Kirill Nizhnikov, and David Levin on the empty net. Byfield recorded a two-point night, after a goal and an assist, while Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played in his first OHL game and picked up his first win.
It was the Generals capitalizing off power play goals that allowed the visitors to take a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. Jack Studnicka opened the scoring as he released a one-timer that beat Luukkonen. Just over a minute later, Kyle MacLean scored after he accepted a nice pass from Danil Antropov in front of the net.
Five minutes into the second period, Thompson scored his first OHL goal with a slap-shot from the blueline. Bulitka and Eric Eschweiler added helpers on the rookie’s goal. With under three minutes remaining in the period, Bulitka cashed in on the man-advantage to tie the game at two. At the five second mark, Byfield made a nice move at the blue line before giving the Wolves their first lead of the game.
It was full steam ahead in the third period as the Wolves stuck to their systems and held off the Generals. Gens veteran, Serron Noel, thought he tied the game at three but after further review, the entry into the zone was deemed offside and the goal was called off. Strong play from Nizhnikov led to his first goal of the season, giving the Wolves a 4-2 lead. With time winding down, Levin mailed in the game with an empty net goal.
The Wolves picked up all three stars with Byfield as first, Luukkonen as second, and Bulitka as first.
The Wolves return to action on Sunday, as they close out home opener weekend with a re-match against the Barrie Colts. All fans are reminded that puck drop is a new 3:05pm start. Sunday’s game is sponsored by Your Independent Grocers. Great seats are still available at greatersudbury.ca/tickets or in person at the Sudbury Arena Box Office. The Arena Box Office is closed Saturday, but will reopen Sunday at Noon. However, new this season, online tickets purchased from your home computer or mobile device are now the same price as Box Office. Skip the line, get your tickets early, online, scan your phone or print your tickets at home and come cheer on your Sudbury Wolves this season!