Sometimes the puck luck is on your side.
The Wolves first and final goals came off some home ice bounces as they found a way to pull out a win late against the North Bay Battialon 4-3.
Holding the lead for most of the game the Wolves allowed the number one ranked power play to go to work in third period which led to two goals.
The Battalion led 3-2 when Owen Gilhula, who has had a tough start to the season, went hard to the net scoring the tying goal on a rebound created by a Nolan Hutcheson breakaway.
In the final minute of the period with the Wolves on the power play, Drake Pilon’s pass in front of the net hit a leg of a Battalion player, went right back to Pilon who had an open net for the winner.
“Just knowing for sure just on the bench, coach turns around and said ‘hey guys, we know how to win, we’re winning this year so don’t get down and we’re going to win this game. Just keep playing the way you are and good things are going to happen we just have stay out of the box.’ We ended up capitalizing when they took a penalty,” said Pilon.
In a Central Division race that is heating up as the season goes along, these two points, which are essentially four point games are key.
“It’s huge, just letting them know that we’re a better team than them, we’re going to beat them every time. And if we can beat them six out of eight times at least, that should guarantee at least a really good chance of making the playoffs and even just moving up in the standings against them because they’re a division team,” said Pilon.
Zack Malik scored his first of the season, in his second game back, the second goal of the game for Sudbury.
“Yeah, it’s been a while, so I am really happy with this one. Obviously I took some time to score my first one, but yeah I’m happy with that and I’m happy with our win tonight,” said Malik.
It was Malik’s first career OHL goal in his 34th game.
He missed the first month and a half of the season recovering from off-season surgery and is starting to get up to speed.
“I’m saying it was a long time that I played my last game right, so I still have just two games but I feel really good out there and obviously I’m not getting that much ice time yet. I need to get into game shape but it’s coming and I think that it’s going to be as soon as possible,” said Malik.
Back in net for the Wolves was Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen who stopped 34 of 37 shots.
The first goal of the game to Shane Bultika was batted in by a North Bay defender who was trying to stop a centering pass and ended up knocking it into his own net.
It’s a different locker room in Sudbury and a team that is finding ways to win, rather than finding ways to lose.
“All it is really is not just panicking and trying to change the way we would play. Last year we would get in a rut where we would get in a lull and we wouldn’t know how to react, we’d started playing downhill and selfish hockey," said Pilon.
"This year we just kind of stay with our system, just kind of work together and good things are happening,”
Sudbury heads out on the road to face London and Sarnia this upcoming weekend.