The injury bug is back on the Sudbury Wolves bench. As the team heads into another three-in-three weekend against Eastern Conference rivals, it will be without the services of veteran forwards Michael Kantor, Josh Leivo and Chad Thibodeau.
Kantor, 20, suffered a serious facial injury when he blocked a slap-shot in the final second of the Wolves’ 2-1 victory over the Erie Otters on Sunday afternoon in Sudbury. Kantor did everything he could to block the shot and preserve the team's victory, but an errant point shot struck the Wolves’ leader in the lower jaw area. The power forward is expected to be out of the Wolves’ lineup for the next four to six weeks.
Leivo, 19, suffered an injury in the Nov. 24 game against the Niagara IceDogs and has been out of the Wolves’ lineup ever since. The Pack's leading scorer has been an offensive dynamo for the team and has recorded 27 points in 26 games. The Wolves had hoped that the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect would return to the lineup this week, but that will unfortunately not be the case.
Thibodeau, 19, suffered a lower body injury after colliding with an Owen Sound Attack defenceman on Friday night in Sudbury. Thibodeau has been a versatile player for the Wolves this season, shifting from forward to defence as needed. The Sault Ste. Marie native will be assessed by team doctors this week.
In an effort to address the shortage of forwards, the Wolves have called-up 19-year-old forward Jake Ryan from the Stratford Cullitons Jr. B team. Ryan was one of the Wolves’ leading scorers in pre-season action and played two games in the regular season before being returned to the Cullitons in early October. Ryan presently sits fifth in team scoring with 20 points in 19 games including nine goals.
The Wolves have also called-up forward Peter Poulin-Roy from the Abitibi Eskimos. The 18-year-old right winger is having an excellent season in the NOJHL since being acquired from the Trenton Golden Hawks in October. Poulin-Roy is a native of Sudbury and was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 OHL draft by the Wolves. He currently sits in second place in team scoring with 22 points in 15 games including 10 goals.
Wolves’ defenceman Mackenzie Braid, 19, is hoping to make his return to the Wolves’ lineup this weekend after missing the past six weeks with a serious injury requiring surgery. The Toronto native will be examined by team doctors this week, looking for medical clearance.
The Wolves host a weekend-double-header as the Mississauga Steelheads make their first appearance in Sudbury this season on Friday night at 7:35 p.m., with the Peterborough Petes Saturday at 7:05 p.m.