The second victory might not have come quite as easily as the first, but in the end, the Sudbury Wolves were simply thankful to start their 2019-2020 home schedule off with a pair of wins, improving their season mark to 3-2-0-0 in the process.
Setting a new franchise record by scoring 11 games in their home opener, the Wolves ran roughshod over the North Bay Battalion on Friday night, defeating their rivals 11-3. Ironically, the previous record was also against North Bay, as Sudbury dumped the Centennials 8-5 in September of 1992.
No less than ten different goal scorers hit the mark for Sudbury, with only Owen Gilhula netting a pair, joined on the scoresheet by Quinton Byfield, Nolan Hutchison, David Levin, Blake Murray, Ethan Larmand, Isaak Phillips, Chase Stillman, Giordano Biondi, Macauley Carson and Jack Thompson, with Larmand, Stillman and Biondi all netting the first goal of their OHL careers.
Come Sunday afternoon, the Wolves had to battle from behind twice, spotting the Kitchener Rangers a 3-1 lead, early in period two, when head coach Cory Stillman pulled starting netminder Mitchell Weeks in favour of Chris Purboo, the former surrendering three goals on just 11 shots.
The change appeared to spark the homeside, as Byfield and Thompson drilled shots past Lucas Pfiel in a span of just 28 seconds, with the Wolves deadlocking the contest at 3-3 less than three minutes into the middle stanza.
That score remained unchanged until midway through the third when Francesco Pinelli took advantage of a glaring Sudbury giveaway, deep in their own zone, restoring the Kitchener advantage as time was winding down.
The Wolves would force overtime courtesy of Shane Bulitka, who jammed home a goalmouth scramble at the 17:33 mark, allowing the teams to play some three on three hockey, to no avail.
This contest would come down to a shootout, as both Byfield and Murray scored for Sudbury, while Purboo stopped two of the three Rangers he faced, closing the weekend in style.
It's another two-game weekend ahead for the Wolves, this time with a split as the team welcomes the Peterborough Petes to town Friday night before tangling with the Soo Greyhounds Saturday at the GFL Memorial Gardens.