The Sudbury Wolves cleared the first of two contests against the Sarnia Sting this season, with a 5-4 victory at Progressive Auto Sales Arena Saturday.
Sudbury Wolves' Blake Murray was named first star of the game, followed by third star Quinton Byfield.
Sudbury netminder Mitchell Weeks and Sarnia's Ethan Langevin made things especially difficult for the teams in the first period, launching them into a shot-for-shot battle that nearly brought them to second.
Wolves' David Levin brought a stop to this with 32 seconds remaining in play, scoring his 20th goal of the season during a power play with assists from Metaj Pekar and Byfield.
Pekar returned to the net 22 seconds later, to deliver his 18th goal of the season during the very same power play, with help from Byfield and Murray.
Things got a little rough in the first period, resulting in four minutes of penalty calls for the Wolves' interference with a goalie and delay of game. Sarnia, on the other hand, spent six minutes behind glass in the period for high-sticking and delay of game.
Sudbury slid into the second period up two, outshooting their hosts 13-7 in the first 20 minutes.
Sting responded with two back-to-back goals of their own in the second period, both of which were delivered by second-season OHL-er Jacob Perreault, with assists by Ryan McGregor.
The teams moved into the final frame knotted at two points each. Shots on goal were 6-5 in favour of Sarnia.
Third period got off to a shaky start for the Wolves' but it didn't take long for them to regain their rhythm.
Sarnia's Theo Hill pushed his team ahead with his eighth goal of the season at 4:25, with assists from Colton Jammerer and Brayden Guy. Sparking a big response from the boys in blue.
Sudbury's Emmett Serensits delivered his first goal of the season one minute and 25 seconds later, with help from Owen Robinson.
He was followed to the net 9 minutes in by NHL Carolina Hurricanes prospect Murray, who pushed Sudbury ahead by one with help from teammate Byfield.
Byfield returned during a power play at 11:12 to deliver the team's game-winning goal and his 26th of the season, with assists from Murray and Pekar.
The Sting netted one more goal by Brayden Guy, assisted by Peter Stratis, with a little less than three minutes in play. But it was too little, too late, for the buzz-boys.
The game was called at a 5-4 final in Sudbury's favour.
Sting outshot the Wolves 20-11 in the final frame and 33-29 in total.
The teams have one final faceoff Feb. 14 at Sudbury Arena, for the Sting to even the score.
Next up for the pack is a trip down Highway 17, to take on the North Bay Battalion for the team's fifth matchup of the season.
The Sudbury Wolves sit first in the Central Division, second in the Eastern Conference and fourth overall, with 22 victories and 20 defeats.
North Bay Battalion is fifth in the Central Division, last in the Eastern Conference and last in the league overall, with 10 wins and 30 losses.