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Wolves weekly media notes - March 29th 2023
2023-03-29

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.

MOST OF THE NUMBERS ARE GOOD
While the Sudbury Wolves are certainly not about to comment on their playoff preferences (of opponents), the numbers certainly speak for themselves: the Peterborough Petes finished the season 19 points back of the Barrie Colts and 25 behind the North Bay Battalion – the two teams the Wolves seemed most likely to face in the first round of the playoffs just a couple of weeks ago.

And where Sudbury sported a losing season record in the head to head matchups with both Barrie (1-5-2-0) and North Bay (1-5-1-1), the Pack actually claimed victory in three of their four meetings this year with the Petes.

Still, this marks the fifth time in history that the Wolves and Petes have faced each other in post-season play and Sudbury has yet to emerge victorious at the end of a series against Peterborough.

BIDDING BYE-BYE IN BACK TO BACK YEARS
In both 1978-1979 and 1979-1980, the Sudbury Wolves found themselves eliminated by the Peterborough Petes. The first time around, a local crew that included three players who topped the 100-point plateau in the form of Mike Foligno, Dave MacQueen and Dale Hunter could not overcome a Petes’ team coached by Gary Green that featured Sudbury native Jim Weimer on the blue-line.

A year later, with Foligno and MacQueen graduated but sophomore Mike Allison leading the team in scoring, the local OHLers were up against coach Mike Keenan and company, as the Petes capped off a three year run of consecutive league titles. Sudbury dropped the 1979 series eight points to two, managing one additional victory the following year. Sudbury then went on to miss the playoffs in eight of the next nine seasons of play.

RIGHT DOWN TO THE WIRE WITH HOME ICE THE DIFFERENCE
It took the Wolves the full seven games to eliminate the Newmarket Royals in the opening round of the 1992-1993 OHL playoffs, with Sudbury coach Glenn Merkosky’s squad then going the distance again against Peterborough. The problem was the Petes had home ice advantage and neither team would lose by less than two on the road, let alone steal a win.

Derek Armstrong, Rod Hinks and Jamie Matthews led the Wolves attack that year while the Petes countered with the likes of Mike Harding, Jason Dawe and David Roche – with former Wolves coach Cory Stillman also part of that team.

RECENT MEMORIES NOT AS GOOD
The most recent post-season matchup between the teams was not a good one for the locals, swept in four straight games in 2005-2006 by scores of 3-1, 6-1, 4-2 and 4-3, in overtime. A Wolves team that included Nick Foligno, Marc Staal, Benoit Pouliot and Adam McQuaid and was still one year away from a magical run to the finals would be eliminated on a series winning overtime tally from Patrick Kaleta.
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