Perhaps an older more experienced Peterborough Petes team loaded with on-paper talent could dispatch of the 2022-2023 Sudbury Wolves with relative ease, even if the latter were not making the job easier with glaring mistakes and undisciplined play.
At this rate, however, we will never know.
The visiting Petes grabbed a stranglehold three games to none lead in their first round playoff series with the local OHLers, netting a pair of short-handed goals and another on the power play en route to a 5-3 win in the first post-season action that the Old Barn on Elgin has seen since 2019.
Once again, it would be hard to complain about the start of each encounter, from a Sudbury perspective as the Wolves opened the scoring for the third straight game with David Goyette jumping all over the rebound of a shot from the point from Djibril Toure just 2:44 in.
Avery Hayes scored his first of two goals about five minutes later when he was awarded a penalty shot as the Wolves surrendered one of two clear-cut breakaways while enjoying a man advantage.
Kocha Delic restored the Sudbury lead before the end of the frame, redirecting a quickly released shot from Quentin Musty near the boards and the blueline.
From there, Peterborough took control, converting on a two on one (you guessed it - while playing a man short), as J.R. Avon pulled the trigger and then grabbed their first lead on the power play courtesy of the first goal of the playoffs for Connor Lockhart.Owen Beck made it 4-2 six minutes into the third and Hayes sealed it with an empty-net goal, though the Wolves countered with one final strike from Marc Boudreau with 26 seconds remaining on the clock.
The teams are back at it again tonight, the Wolves looking to prolong their season by at least one more game, something that is not likely to happen unless they can better avoid their own self-inflicted errors in play and judgement against a Peterborough team that honestly does not need a whole lot of help.