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Wolves crush Spirit

BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW [email protected] The Sudbury Wolves blasted the Saginaw Spirit 6-3 yesterday to gain two crucial points in the race for a play off spot.

The Sudbury Wolves blasted the Saginaw Spirit 6-3 yesterday to gain two crucial points in the race for a play off spot.

Goalie Kevin Beech turned away 38 of 41 shots fired his way, including several key saves in the first five minutes of the second period.

Captain Zack Stortini scored two goals and Sean Langdon continued his hot play by chalking up three assists to lead the offensive charge.

By making ground on teams above them, head coach and general manager Mike Foligno was pleased with the big win.

"We're happy and we did a lot of good things out there," said Foligno.

"Sometimes when you have a three or four goal lead you tend to protect it too much and you sit back a little bit and I thought we did that in the third period.

There's still some things we have to work on as a team, but overall when you get the number of goals we scored tonight and we get some contributions from different players it's a good feeling amongst the team."

Foligno had plenty of praise for his troops.

"Zack got a couple of big goals," said Foligno. "He was right in front of that net most of the time or hovering in or out of there.

Â?It's a credit to all the players tonight for realizing we needed this win and it gives us a chance to keep moving up in the standings. The top of the pack isn't that far from the bottom of the pack."

Foligno was thrilled with Beech's play.

"He played really well, especially on the penalty kills," said Foligno. "I thought he did a tremendous job early in the game and gave us a chance to stay in it and keep that one goal lead intact."

Sudbury opened the scoring in the first period when Kyle Lamb zoomed in from the blue line, took a slot pass from Stortini and hammered the puck past Spirit goalie Mike Brown at 8:26 on the power play.

It was Sudbury's second power play goal in 38 opportunities.

With the Wolves in penalty trouble early in the second period, Beech was called upon to make some big saves to keep the Spirit from tying the game.

The rangy goalie made a flurry of saves including a huge desperation toe save on a Paul Bissonnette shot from in close.

Then the Wolves exploded for three goals in three minutes and 17 seconds.
First, Stortini fought off a defender and wired a shot to the top shelf at 6:10 to make it 2-0.

Then Chanse Fitzpatrick raced into the Spirit zone and unloaded a cannon from the top of the circle that beat Brown to make it 3-0 at 8:07.

With the Wolves swarming the Spirit net, Stortini redirected a pass from Langdon to make it 4-0 at 9:27.

The Spirit managed to stop the bleeding late in the period when Patrick McNeill picked up a loose puck and threw it by Beech at 17:48.

The third period saw both teams score four goals in total.

The Spirit's Justin McCutcheon scored on a power play at 11:58 to bring the Spirit to within two of the Wolves, but it would be as close as they would get.

Bobby Chaumont and Ryan Hastings both scored in a span of 52 seconds to make it 6-2 and salt the game away.

The Spirit got one more goal from Tom Pyatt, but it was too little, too late as the Wolves celebrated a 6-3 win.

Stortini knew the win was big for the team.

"We're in a play off hunt right now and it was a huge win for us," said Stortini.

"Every point we get is really important for us."

Langdon was glad to contribute to the win with three assists and is hoping to turn his game around after a slow start.

"My play is something I want to turn around," said Langdon. "I had a slow start and it was something I didn't expect or want to happen.

Â?The guys around me are playing really well. It makes the difference when you're playing with good teammates."

Beech feels his confidence rising after recording his second career win.
"I am getting more confident because I am coming out of the crease more to cut down angles," said Beech.

"My defencemen are playing great in front of me and it helps a lot. We have two tough games next week end, so it's good to get this win and give confidence to the whole team."

The Wolves next home game is Sunday, Dec. 28 against the Kitchener Rangers, the defending Memorial Cup Champions.

Game time is 2 pm.


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