The Sudbury Wolves bounced back in a big way with a 7-0 win over the North Bay Battalion Thursday. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 19 saves to pick up his league leading 5th shutout of the season, while the Wolves showed their balanced offensive, getting goals from seven different players including Adam Ruzicka, Blake Murray, Darian Pilon, Anthony DeMeo, Jack Thompson, Owen Robinson, and Shane Bulitka.
It didn’t take the Wolves long to get into this game as Macauley Carson fed Blake Murray in the high-slot where he made no mistake and put home his 19th of the season only 3:57 into the first period. The hot start continued as Darian Pilon scored less than 90 seconds later to put the Wolves up 2-0. Darian’s 12th of the season was assisted by his brother, Drake Pilon. The Wolves took over the game and dominated the remainder of the period. Wolves newcomer Adam Ruzicka added to the Wolves lead, sneaking one short side on Christian Propp from the left circle. The goal was Ruzicka’s 16th of the season and was assisted by Darian Pilon and Cole Candella. Propp made his best save of the period on Quinton Byfield who had a great opportunity to make it 4-0. The score however remained 3-0 in favour of the Wolves after 20 minutes with Sudbury holding a 20-4 shot advantage.
The second period was more evenly matched, but the goals continued to come for the Wolfpack. Just under three minutes into the second, Isaak Phillips picked up the puck in the slot and made a nice drive to the net. His shot dropped in behind Propp and Owen Robinson was there to pot his 4th of the season. Sudbury’s powerplay took over from here as Theo Calvas headed to the box for slashing. Not long into the powerplay, Byfield fed a cross-ice pass over to Blake Murray who deflected it over to Jack Thompson for the tap-in. The goal was Thompson’s 3rd of the season and gave him goals in back-to-back games. Luukkonen made his best stop of the game to close out the third period as Brandon Coe broke through the Sudbury defense and almost got the Battalion on the board. After 40 minutes, the Wolves led 5-0 with a 32-15 shot advantage.
In the final frame, the Wolves powerplay continued to fire on all cylinders. Schlueting headed to the box for slashing and the Wolves didn’t take long to get on the board. Bulitka cut through two Battalion defenseman and wired home his 12th of the season. Assists went to Macauley Carson and Adam Ruzicka on the play. Four minutes later the Wolves powerplay struck again as Burghardt sat for slashing. Drake Pilon and Anthony DeMeo broke in on a 2-on-1 and Pilon set up DeMeo for the open net tally. The Wolves closed out the period without allowing another goal and pick up the 7-0 victory.
Wolves hockey action returns to the Sudbury Arena this Friday as the Wolves host their Eastern Conference rivals, the Peterborough Petes, at 7:05pm. The Peterborough Petes sit 5th in the Eastern Conference and trail the Wolves by 7 points in the standings. The Petes roster includes defenceman and San Jose Sharks prospect Ryan Merkley who leads the team with 49 points in just 41 games.
Fans can purchase tickets at greatersudbury.ca/tickets or sudburywolves.com and in person at the Sudbury Arena Box Office.