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.TRULY THE START OF THE HOME STRETCH TO THE PLAYOFFS
By the time the weekend ends, the Sudbury Wolves will have less than 20 games remaining in their 2022-2023 regular season schedule. And with less than ten points separating the six Eastern Conference teams squeezed between fourth place and ninth place, it’s safe to say that each and every one of the upcoming three game sets will carry an increasing amount of importance.
TRYING HARD NOT TO GET STUNG
Coach Derek MacKenzie and company open this next sequence at home on Friday, with the Sarnia Sting making their one and only appearance in Sudbury – and first since Valentine’s Day, 2020, when the Wolves broke their hearts with a 5-3 win. In fact, from January (2003) through until December (2013), the Woofers racked up 11 straight wins against Sarnia when facing their Western Conference foes in northern Ontario.
The Pack rides a much more modest two game winning streak versus the Sting in Sudbury into this matchup, but having dropped their one and only meeting to date this year. Back on October 28th, the Sting received a three-goal effort from 2021 first round pick Angus MacDonell, tripling the visitors 6-2.
And while Sudbury will avoid facing MacDonell in this contest (he has since been traded to the Mississauga Steelheads), they will have to contend with old friends Ethan Dal Mastro and Luca Del Bel Belluz, both of whom were sent to Sarnia in trade deadline deals with Missy.A SHUTOUT OF THE STEELHEADS LEADS INTO THE REMATCH
Ironically, it is in fact the Steelheads that the Wolves will visit the next afternoon at 4:00 p.m., with the locals coming off a 4-0 shutout performance from rookie netminder Nate Krawchuk when these teams most recently went toe to toe in Sudbury last Friday. That win helped to slow down a Mississauga squad that has won six of their last eight outings, rebounding last weekend with a 4-3 triumph against the Greyhounds in Sault Ste Marie.
The Wolves would be just fine if the sixth and final game of the season series between these teams stayed true to the pattern that has been seen to date, with Sudbury taking the first two games (6-2 and 8-4), Mississauga pulling even with back to back victories (4-3 and 7-2), and the nickel city lads looking to close things off with two wins in a row (4-0 and ?).HEAD TO HEAD WITH GENNIES COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE-MAKER
The Oshawa Generals currently trail the Sudbury Wolves by a single point in the standings – and they have a game in hand. When the dust settles on regular season play on Sunday, March 26th, the four game head to head set between these two Eastern Conference rivals could well be the difference.
With victories of 7-1 (Dec 18th in Oshawa) and 6-4 (Jan 6th in Sudbury) to date, the Wolves should hopefully have some momentum to build on. And while Kocha Delic remains sidelined with an injury this weekend (four goals in 7-1 win), the remainder of the top line has returned (Quentin Musty & David Goyette), with the talented tandem combining for a whopping 13 points in their two match-ups with the Generals to date.