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Wolves' blank Bulldogs earning Luukkonen another franchise record

Hamilton Bulldogs shutout 4-0 on home ice
Wolves' Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen sets the team's single season record for shutouts, earning his sixth of the year with a 4-0 victory against the Hamilton Bulldogs (File).

The Sudbury Wolves travelled South Saturday night, for the first of two back-to-back games against the Hamilton Bulldogs. 

Making an impressive 41 saves, Wolves' Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen set the team's single season record for shutouts helping the pack earn a 4-0 victory against the Bulldogs. With a record of six shutouts, this also ties him for the career record of former Wolves' Mike Smith, Patrick Ehelechner and Franky Palazzese. 

Wolves offence put on a show Saturday night; with three assists by Cole Candella, one goal, two assists by Adam Ruzicka and heavy handed goals by Peter Stratis, Ryan O'Bonsawin and Nolan Hutcheson. Luukkonen, Ruzicka and Candella were named first, second and third stars of the night respectively. Final shots on goal were 41-20 in favour of Hamilton. 

Stratis opened up scoring for the pack just over two minutes into the opening frame, firing a wrist shot on the power play to give Sudbury an early lead. Hamilton outshot the Wolves 16-9 in the first period, but that wasn't enough to get past the force of Luukkonen between the pipes. 

Early into second, O'Bonsawin sent in a wrist-shot at the face-off dot to extend Sudbury's lead to two. Ruzicka was quick to follow suit, burying a rebound to bring the Wolves to four. Despite outshooting the Wolves again in second, Hamilton trailed 3-0 heading into the final frame. 

Hamilton was not going down without a fight; sending Zachary Roy to the bench for an extra attacker with only minutes left in play. This was just the opening Hutcheson needed, guiding the puck into the empty net to secure a 4-0 final for Sudbury.

The Wolves host the Bulldogs rematch Friday, Mar. 15 at 7:05 p.m. for the final home game of the regular season.