As part of my role as team statistician for the Sudbury Wolves, my job description includes the preparation of weekly media notes, featuring various tidbits of information regarding upcoming games.
While these notes have generally been confined to circulating among media types and club officials, it seemed likely that fans of the local OHL team might also have an interest in the odds and ends that I might come across on a weekly basis.WOLVES ENJOY A TASTE OF THE WILD, WILD WEST
The Sudbury Wolves embark on another three in three this coming weekend: three games in as many days – which is not terribly unusual for the northern crew. Furthermore, the fact that the Pack is facing three Western Conference foes over the course of the weekend is not even all that unique.
What does present a bit of an unusual twist is the added detail of this three-game set with the West being split between home and the road. The Wolves close out their season series’ with the Windsor Spitfires Friday night at home, doing the same with both the Owen Sound Attack and Guelph Storm over the ensuing day and a half on the road.COME OUT ON FRIDAY FOR ALL THE WRIGHT REASONS
Even as highly touted prospect Shane Wright fell to fourth overall at the NHL Entry Draft last June, eventually joined on the list of Seattle Krakken selections by Sudbury Wolves’ sniper David Goyette, few in the Nickel City expected to have another chance to see the Burlington native back in action at the Sudbury Arena.
After dressing with the Krakken for just eight games in the first few months of the 2022-2023 NHL season, Wright joined Team Canada at the World Juniors, capturing gold before being returned to junior hockey, traded within days from the Kingston Frontenacs to the “all in” Windsor Spitfires.
In just six games with the Spits, Wright has put up 11 points (5G-6A). Long before his arrival in Windsor this month, the Spitfires edged the Wolves 5-4 in Sudbury’s third game of the year as the visitors battled back from a 4-0 deficit on a pair of goals from Goyette and singles by Kocha Delic (currently injured) and Djibril Touré.
From December 30th through to January 21st, the Spitfires were victorious in nine of ten outings – though they surrendered no less than 16 goals in their last two games: an 8-7 win over the Barrie Colts and a 9-5 loss to the Oshawa Generals. Windsor is in North Bay on Thursday before continuing west to Sudbury, closing out their road swing with a visit to Sault Ste Marie on Sunday afternoon.THE EBB AND FLOW OF THE OWEN SOUND ATTACK
The Sudbury Wolves will be looking to snap an eight game losing skid while occupying the visiting dressing room at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre on Saturday, last having tasted victory in Owen Sound on October 23rd (2011), edging the Attack 2-1 in a shootout.
Owen Sound trails only the London Knights in the Midwest Division, boasting a record of 23-15-4-1. The Attack have picked up points in five of their last six games (4-1-0-1); prior to this latest run, the team had a 10-game stretch where their mark was just 2-7-0-1. In fact, this back and forth was evident in the only encounter between these teams to date, with Sudbury jumping out to a 2-0 lead and Owen Sound countering with three unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes for the win.
Veteran Colby Barlow is now at 33 goals on the season, just one back of league leader Matthew Maggio of Windsor.THE STORM WORK ON BUTTONING DOWN THE HATCHES
When the Guelph Storm came to Sudbury back on November 11th, they had allowed the second most goals against in the league. The Wolves took full advantage, receiving goals from six different players (Nolan Collins, David Goyette, Evan Konyen, Andre Anania, Quentin Musty, Djibril Touré), doubling the visitors 6-3.
The Storm (19-19-4-1) have still allowed the second most goals in the league (181 – Niagara leads the way with 202 – Wolves sit in middle of the pack at 164), but have definitely made headway. In posting a record of 6-3-1-0 in their last ten games, Guelph have allowed three goals or less in seven of those encounters.
The Wolves have now won five of their last six games against Guelph; but despite leaving Guelph with victories in their pockets on five of their last six visits, the locals still are well below the .500 mark all-time against the Storm (which at one time was the Toronto Marlboros franchise – 1972-1989 – and then the Dukes of Hamilton – 1989 – 1991 before eventually settling in Guelph as the Storm for the 1991-1992 season).
Quirky stat – during those last five wins in Guelph, the Wolves scored exactly four goals – each and every time