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Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019
Very impressive tournament performance for Minor Midget Wolves
by Randy Pascal

For at least the past few years, the 2003-born "AAA" hockey talent in Sudbury and area has been touted as among the deepest in recent memory. Over the weekend, the local team justified these claims.

The Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves advanced all the way through to the semi-finals of the Toronto Titans Minor Midget Early Bird Prospect Tournament, posting a record of 5-2 and losing only to the powerhouse that is the tournament champion Don Mills Flyers.

The local OHL draft eligible crew hit the ground running, posting a 4-1 win Thursday evening, as a two-goal performance by Ethan Marois helped Sudbury slip past the London Jr Knights. Devon Savignac and Zacharie Giroux added one goal each, with Chase Stillman chipping in with a pair of helpers.

A 5-1 loss to Don Mills did little to dampen the spirit of the local squad, at least in part due to the fact that the Wolves trailed the Flyers by just one goal (2-1), with six minutes to play, before the GTA reps finally pulled away.

Cameron Walker found the back of the net for coach Mardy St Jacques and company. The Minor Midget Wolves survived a wild affair Friday evening, counting the final three goals of the game in registering an 8-5 triumph over the York Simcoe Express.

Giroux picked up a pair of goals to show the way for a balanced Sudbury attack that also included snipes from Walker, Bradley Brunet, Marco Vigna, Savignac and Josh Kavanagh. Needing a win to secure a berth in the playoff round, the Wolves were nothing if not workmanlike in blanking the Kingston Jr Frontenacs 3-0, as Jake Marois backstopped the victory with a shutout.

Cameron Walker, Teegan Dumont and Chris Innis accounted for the offense as the Wolves scored once in each period. It was a very similar M.O. to open the "Sweet Sixteen", as Sudbury stopped the North York Rangers 3-1 in a game that featured but two minor penalties.

Chase Stillman opened the scoring in the first, converting on a pass from Devon Savignac, before North York countered, early in the second. Teegan Dumont restored the one goal advantage for Sudbury minutes later and Zacharie Giroux iced the contest, hitting the empty-net in the final minute of play.

An absolute classic on Sunday morning as the Minor Midget Wolves encounter former teammate Oliver Smith and the Mississauga Rebels. Another quiet affair, with just eight minutes in penalties as Josh Kavanagh snaps a scoreless tie with 5:20 to play, vaulting Sudbury into the final four with a 1-0 win.

Jake Marois recorded his second straight shutout, while Chase Stillman earned the only assist on the only goal of the game. Unfortunately, a weekend of tremendous hockey had left the Sudbury lads with a near-empty tank as they faced Don Mills for a second time.

Mitchell Martin tied the contest at one with 4:25 remaining in the first, before the Flyers took the lead for good, adding two more goals in the final five minutes of the middle frame and pouring it on in the third.

Cole Eichler scored twice for the winners, with Alex Christopoulos, Roman Schmidt, Brandt Clarke, Shane Wright and Stevie Lie all adding singles for the roster that will undoubtedly populate much of the first few rounds of the OHL draft next April.

The Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves are back in action on the home front, welcoming the North Bay Trappers to town in what could well be a battle of the top two entries in the Great North Midget League this year.

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