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Wolves weekly media notes - March 16th 2023

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.

With six regular season games remaining, the Sudbury Wolves can finally focus on simply trying to catch the teams ahead of them. Locked into seventh place in the Eastern Conference and benefitting from an eight point lead over the Oshawa Generals, the fact is that the local juniors have a far better chance of catching the teams ahead of them – Mississauga Steelheads, in particular, two points up – than they have of being overtaken by the Gennies

Last week at this time, the Woofers were looking to continue the sequence that had seen the visitors capture all of the first three games in their northern rivalry versus the Soo Greyhounds. Sudbury accomplished that with room to spare as the likes of Marc Boudreau (G + 3A), David Goyette (G + 3A), Quentin Musty (2G + A) and Nicholas Yearwood (3A) all went off on the Hounds as part of a 9-2 Wolves triumph last Saturday in the Lock City.

The Greyhounds are in Sudbury on Wednesday night, reeling of late, having won just one of their last eight games. Sault Ste Marie now sports the third worst record in the league (18-30-9-6) but are likely to draft behind only the Niagara Ice Dogs and Erie Otters come time for the OHL Entry Draft in April (though the Kingston Frontenacs – two points ahead – and Oshawa (+3) are also still in play)

A win on Friday night at home versus the Peterborough Petes would make it four straight seasons in which the Wolves have taken the head to head series, a stretch which has seen the local OHLers post a record of 10-3 against their friends from the Lift Lock City. Back on October 16th, Sudbury registered a 4-3 overtime win at home with the game-winning marker coming courtesy of the very first OHL career goal for rookie Nathan Villeneuve.

A month later, the Wolves were led by the names we so often see at the top of their scoring charts: Evan Konyen, with a pair, joined by Quentin Musty, David Goyette, Alex Pharand and Nick DeGrazia as Sudbury downs Peterborough 6-4 on the road. Their rematch at the same venue a few weeks back featured a 45-save performance from Petes’ netminder Michael Simpson, blanking the Wolves 4-0.

The Wolves close out the weekend against a North Bay team that could not be playing a whole lot better defensively than they have been of late. The numbers are eye-popping: the Troops have surrendered one goal against in their last five games. No – not one goal per game – but one goal, in total, to go along with four shutouts.

The Wolves were the last team to score more than once in a game against the Battalion, and that came in a 5-2 loss back on March 2nd. While the Wolves have significantly improved defensively since the arrival of head coach Derek MacKenzie, this is simply a whole other level that North Bay has attained, with Sudbury sure to need one of their best performances of the year in order to steal one on the road on Sunday afternoon.

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