Off to a rough start, the Sudbury Wolves fell in their first game of Round Two Friday night, handing over a 8-5 final to the Ottawa 67s at the TD Place Arena.
Wolves goal scorers were David Levin, Blake Murray, Cole Candella, Adam Ruzicka and Owen Gilhula, with final shots on goal 44-28 in favour of Ottawa. The 67s on the other hand, extended their undefeated playoff season with shots from Kevin Bahl and Sam Bitten, as well as hat-tricks from Tye Felhaber and Lucas Chiodo.
Facing off for the first time since Nov. 15, both teams took some time in the first period to get a feel for their series opponent. Ottawa's Chiodo broke that anticipation halfway through the period, missing the first, but scoring his second shot against Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
With three minutes remaining, Wolves' Bulitka fed a cross-crease pass to Levin who cashed-in on a powerplay, giving the team a clean slate heading into second. The 67s outshot the Wolves 10-8 in the first period.
Now with a feel for their opponents, the 67s came alive in second. Bahl got the scoring started early, establishing Ottawa's lead 49 seconds into the period. Not long after, Felhaber notched two of his own at 11:02 and 16:05 into second.
Less than a minute later, Bitten scored Ottawa's fifth goal of the game and fourth of the period, leaving the Wolves trailing by four. Near the end of the period, Jonathan Lemaire replaced Luukkonen between the pipes. The 67s held a 26-14 shot advantage heading into third.
Wolves' Murray kicked-off the action-packed third period 31 seconds in, scoring his fourth of the playoffs off a clean feed from Quinton Byfield. Five minutes later, Candella capitalzed on a rebound to cut the 67s lead by two.
Not 14 seconds after this celebration, a pass from Mitchell Hoelscher, allowed Chiodo to restore the 67s three-goal lead. The Wolves were not going down without a fight, delivering two more goals by Ruzicka and Gilhula, their firsts of the post-season.
Despite efforts, Chiodo completed his hat-trick at 9:15, closing out Game One with a 8-5 final for Ottawa.
The Sudbury Wolves return to the TD Place Arena for Game Two Sunday, at 2 p.m. After which point, they will return to the Sudbury Arena to face off against the 67s in Game Three and Game Four of the OHL Playoffs second round.