The Sudbury Wolves fell in a very close battle Friday night to the high-flying London Knights who currently sit second in the league with 63 points. The Wolves proved their potential, outshooting the Knights and keeping the game within one goal throughout the entire game up until the final minutes. With a couple of unlucky bounces and a couple of tough calls, the Wolves dropped a 5-3 decision to the Knights after Kevin Hancock captured the win with the last goal scored on an empty net. Final shots on goal were 36-30 in favour of Sudbury. Wolves goal scorers were Adam Ruzicka with two while Drake Pilon scored the third. Adam Ruzicka was named third star of the game with two goals and David Levin was named second star with two assists.
The Wolves put up quite the fight against the top team in the league outshooting the Knights 20-11 in the opening frame. Edmonton Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard gave the Knights a 1-0 lead at 8:37 in the first period with a tricky goal that went in on a scramble in front of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Adam Ruzicka followed up by beating Raaymakers low on the glove side off a long pass from David Levin. The Knights were quick to jump on the Wolves and took back their lead when Liam Foudy hammered the puck off the back bar past Luukkonen on a three-on-one. Knights led 2-1 after 20 minutes.
The Knights came out strong in the second period when Alec Regula scored just over 3 minutes in to extend London’s lead by one. Adam Ruzicka and Drake Pilon were on their “A”game each putting one into the back of the net past Raaymakers to make it a tie game at 3 goals a piece. With a few minutes remaining in the second period, the Knights were able to regain their lead when Kevin Hancock redirected in a shot past Luukkonen. The Wolves were within one by the end of the second period.
Despite solid pressure from the Knights in the third period, the Wolves held their own but unfortunately were unable to tie up before the end of game. In an attempt to tie up the game late in the third, the Wolves pulled Luukkonen for the extra man. The result however, was not one that they hoped for as it led to an extra goal for the Knights forcing the pack to surrender the match by a 5-3 final.
The Wolves will return to action on Sunday to wrap up the double header weekend when they welcome their Central Division rivals, the Soo Greyhounds for Game 3 of the Bell Challenge Cup series. Sunday’s game is set to start at 3:05pm and will be sponsored by the Lexington Hotel where one lucky fan will win a free night’s stay and dinner. Sunday’s game also marked the first in-game bilingual experience for fans brought to you by L’ACFO. Tickets are on-sale now at the Sudbury Arena Box Office and online at greatersudbury.ca/tickets.