If the Greater Sudbury Cubs can limit it to just one bad game a month, head coach Darryl Moxam and his staff will have little to complain about.
Squeezed between a pair of victories over the French River Rapids, the first of which did not come easily at all, was a 8-1 shellacking the Cubs endured at the hands of the Powassan Voodoos this week.
The end result is a record of 6-1-0-0 to date in January and a still healthy 11-point lead atop the NOJHL standings, with Sudbury sitting at 33-6-2-0 (68), comfortably ahead of the second place Soo Thunderbirds (27-10-2-1).
Thursday night at home, the Cubs sat deadlocked in a 1-1 tie with the 6-31-1-1 Rapids before breaking out for three goals in the third period to secure a 4-1 victory. Cole Crowder netted his second goal of the game at 8:31 of the final stanza, on the power play, to give Sudbury some breathing room after Graeme Siren scored what would stand as the game-winning goal.
Pierson Sobush rounding things off with Josh Russell answering in a losing cause. Matthew Perdue turned aside 42 shots between the pipes for French River while Noah Beaulne picked up the win for Sudbury while making 25 saves.
As assistant coach and GM Dave Clancy confessed on Sunday before leaving for French River, his team "simply did not get off the bus" Friday night in Powassan, trailing 2-0 after twenty minutes of play and 6-0 at the end of two.
Mitch Wilkie and Nicholas Liotino scored two goals each for the Voodoos, with solo markers from Michael MacLean, Chase Thompson, Conor O'Brien and Chase Strychaluk while a third period strike from Nolan Newton spoiled the shutout bid of Daniel Dirracolo.
Sudbury netminder Noah Metivier was pulled after surrendering the first five goals but was back on track Sunday in Noelville, making 13 saves in a 6-0 win over French River.
Brendan Biedermann enjoyed a four-point performance (2G-2A), with Cole Crowder, call-up Carson Crane, Kaden Laverdière and Cameron Walker also pulling the trigger.
The Cubs will close off the opening month of 2023 with a two game set, welcoming the Soo Eagles (17-17-3-1) to the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex on Thursday and then travelling west to face the Soo Thunderbirds on Saturday.