The Sudbury Wolves opened up their weekly schedule on Jan. 23 with a hard-fought 5-4 overtime loss to the Soo Greyhounds in Game 5 of the Bell Challenge Cup.
With the loss, the Soo Greyhounds reclaimed the Bell Challenge Cup for the 2012-13 season as the Sudbury Wolves proved victorious in the 2011-12 campaign.
With the overtime loss, the Wolves home regulation unbeaten streak extended to 11 games where they have amassed an impressive 7-0-3-1 record.
The Wolves opened the scoring at the 7:56 mark of the first frame when rookie forward Dominik Kubalik made a move on a breakaway to beat Greyhounds' rookie netminder Justin Nichols.
The rookies would continue to provide offence for the Wolves in the first, as Matt Schmalz buried a rebound less than two minutes later to extend the Wolves lead to 2-0.
The Greyhounds didn't go away quietly in the first, though, getting on the board shortly after on the power play when Collin Miller fired a bullet that beat Wolves' netminder Franky Palazzese upstairs.
The Wolves went on to restore their two-goal lead on the power play at the 13:29 mark of the period when Mathew Campagna fired a shot from the slot that beat Nichols. The goal sent the Wolves to the dressing room with a 3-1 lead after one period of play.
The Wolves outshot the Greyhounds by a 12-10 margin in the action-packed first period.
It took only 55 seconds for the Greyhounds to get on the board in the second frame, as Darnell Nurse scored to pull the Hounds within one.
Just under five minutes later, Andrew Fritsch scored the Greyhounds' second power-play goal of the evening as he executed a wrap-around to tie up the game at three.
The remainder of the frame remained scoreless and the Northern rivals headed to the dressing room deadlocked at three after two periods of play.
The Wolves again outshot the Greyhounds, this time by an 18-14 margin in the second frame.
Nick Cousins completed the Greyhounds' comeback at the six-minutes mark of the third when he found the back of the net on a give-and-go with Sergey Tolchinsky.
The goal gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the evening with 14 minutes to play in regulation.
Charlie Dodero 2gave Wolves fans a ray of hope with 5:02 to play in the third, when he beat Nichols to tie the game at four.
The teams remained tied and the game went into overtime.
Despite Dodero's late heroics, the Greyhounds proved victorious, as Tolinchsky beat Palazzese 1:21 into the extra frame to seal the game and the 2012-13 Bell Challenge Cup.
The Wolves will be back in action at home on Jan. 25 when the Oshawa Generals come to town for a 7:35 p.m. contest.
The General’s attack is led up front by Team Canada World Junior star Boone Jenner (Columbus, second round) who has posted 55 points in 36 games this season.
The Generals' lineup also boasts NHL top prospects Tyler Biggs (Toronto, first round) and Lucas Lessio (Phoenix, second round) who has recently returned to the Generals lineup after missing the first 33 games of the season with an injury.