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No mercy for Wolves

By Keith Lacey The hockey season is a long and winding road for the Sudbury Wolves.
By Keith Lacey

The hockey season is a long and winding road for the Sudbury Wolves.

The 2002-03 OHL regular season schedule has been unveiled and once again, the Wolves will be forced, due to geography and an unwillingness to give up Friday night home games, to play three games in three days or less on 10 separate occasions.

On each of these occasions, the Wolves will play at home Friday night and then hit the road for games Saturday and Sunday in opposing teamsÂ? buildings.

Â?Friday night is hockey night in Sudbury and it has been for many, many years and weÂ?re simply not willing to give that up,Â? said Wolves head coach and general manager Bert Templeton.

Last year, the Wolves had to play three games in three days on 11 occasions.

Despite having one of the youngest teams in the league, the Wolves actually managed to do better in the Sunday road games than during the middle game on Saturdays, said Templeton.

With as many as 15 players returning this season, Templeton says the team wonÂ?t be able to use the tough schedule as an excuse.

Â?We canÂ?t change geography,Â? he said.

Last year, the organization as a whole made a commitment to go with a core of young players, said Templeton.

While the team struggled badly at times, the goal to reach the playoffs was attained and by the post-season the Wolves were playing very well and gave the Barrie Colts, who went onto the OHL final, a real battle in the first round, he said.

The Wolves often played with a dozen rookies last season, but those players learned how difficult it is to play on the road. Templeton expects to have a very competitive team this season.

The Wolves have sold 1,800 season ticket packages so far with a goal of 3,000, said Wolves marketing director Curtis Hall.

Today is final day to take advantage of reduced summer special rates. For season ticket information, phone the Wolves office at 705-675-3941.