The Sudbury Wolves lost 5-2 to the Oshawa Generals on the road Friday, but remain first in the central division.
Sudbury's two goals were scored by Quinton Byfield (2:37 in the first period) and Isaak Phillips (8:58 in the second period).
The Generals' Nico Gross scored on the Wolves' net just two-and-a-half minutes into the game.
Sudbury answered quickly. Exactly 10 seconds later, presumptive second-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft – Byfield – took a shot that Generals goalie Jordan Kooy got a piece of, but managed to squeak past the goal line.
Later in the period it seemed as though the Wolves would take the lead. Sudbury’s Owen Robinson got the puck at the end of a Wolves’ passing play and was left with a wide open net. He fired a shot that he hit the post and deflected out.
The Gens took the lead next. Allan McShane showcased his playmaking talent drawing two Nickel City defenders to him and dropped a pass to Phillip Tomasino, cutting into the Wolves zone.
Tomasino sent it west to Ty Tullio, who fired an initial shot that was stopped, but showed his tenacity sticking with it.
The Wolves' Macauley Carson tried to keep it out, but Tullio’s will won out in the end, 24th goal of the season. The goal was reviewed to see if Tomasino had contact with Wolves' goalie Mitchell Weeks, but the goal stood. 2-1 Oshawa.
Tullio was hoping to get his 25th of the year shortly after, finishing off a passing play from Lleyton Moore and McShane, he blasted a shot just through the crease.
Sudbury outshot Oshawa 16-10, but the Gens were ahead on the scoreboard 2-1.
In the second period, Oshawa's Brett Neumann stole the puck from a Wolves defender that was being pressured by Oshawa Captain MacLean.
Neumann wristed number 35 of the year past Wolves netminder Weeks.
Oshawa captain MacLean picked up the puck from a botched Wolves’ pass in the Gens zone. MacLean kicked in the afterburner, racing up the ice with Ryan Stepien on a 2-on-1.
The captain opted to shoot and that was the right call. It was a snipe to the short side, that sent Weeks to the bench in favour of Wolves goalie Christian Purboo. 4-1 Oshawa.
At 8:58 in the second period, Sudbury defenseman Isaak Phillips capitalized with a wrist shot through Kooy’s five-hole.
The period ended 4-2 for Oshawa, being outshot 25-19 by the Wolves.
The physicality ramped up in the final period. Oshawa's Dawson McKinney took a hit from behind from Sudbury's Chase Stillman.
Ryan Gagnier stood up for his linemate and started throwing hands at Stillman.
Another fight took place in the final quarter of the period. Oshawa's David Jesus hit Sudbury's Brett Jacklin, Jacklin got up and went straight for Jesus.
Oshawa's Tullio looked hungry throughout the period, nearly besting Wolves goalie Purboo with a shot in the second half of the period.
He followed that up by controlling play in the Nickel City zone and started a rush up the ice. He zig-zagged through the Wolves D, then dropped a pass to Moore who fired a wrister stopped by Purboo.
The Generals' Oliver Suni hustled the puck up the ice on a 3-on-1 with Jacob Winterton and Brett Harrison. Suni dropped it to Winterton who fired his sixth of the season past Purboo. 5-2.
The final shots on goal were 41-28 for Sudbury, but the Generals came away with the victory.
The Sudbury Wolves have two more games this weekend, playing the Barrie Colts on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m., and a rare Sunday evening game at home tomorrow (game time is 7:05 p.m.).