The Sudbury Wolves continued their recent surge in the Central Division on Jan. 11 as they came away with a hard fought 2-0 win over their divisional rivals, the Mississauga Steelheads.
Newcomer Franky Palazzese was outstanding in net in his Wolves debut as he came away with a shutout stopping all 27 shots he faced.
With the win, the Wolves extended their regulation unbeaten streak to 11 games where they have posted an 8-0-2-1 record.
The first period would produce nothing for both squads, as the teams would head to the dressing room tied at zero after one period of play. The Wolves would hold the edge in shots after the first by an 8 to 3 margin.
The game would remain scoreless until the 12:35 mark of the second frame when Dominik Kubalik scored a power-play goal off of a cross-crease pass from Brody Silk to put the home team up by one.
Nick Baptiste would go on to score the Wolves' second power-play goal of the period four minutes later after he received a cross-ice pass from Mathew Campagna on a two-on-one break.
With Campagna's point on the play, he extended his league leading point streak to 17 games. The Steelheads would outshoot the Wolves by a 14 to 9 margin in the second frame.
Despite a strong effort in the third period from the Steelheads they could not solve the Wolves’ new netminder, who stopped all 10 shots he faced in the frame to complete the shutout.
The Sudbury Wolves made it six in a row Jan. 12 after they travelled to Peterborough and walked away with a 4-3 shoot-out victory.
The Wolves needed some late-game heroics as the Wolves trailed 3-2 with just over a minute remaining.
Baptiste made a great move at the Petes' blue-line and directed the puck at the net. Linemate Nathan Pancel tipped the shot and scored the big goal to send the game into overtime. It was Pancel's team-leading 20th goal of the season.
Pancel got things going for the Wolves in the first period as he scored on the power play to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. Campagna's assist improved his league-leading point streak to 18 games.
The Petes tied the game on the power play late in the period to send the teams to their dressing room tied at one.
Campagna scored the only goal in the second period on a pass from Pancel. Jeff Corbett made a great play at the Petes blue-line to keep the puck in before Pancel spotted a wide-open Campagna who made no mistake from the slot area.
The Petes scored twice in the third period to take a 3-2 lead before Pancel's late-game heroics with just over one minute left on the clock.
The Petes carried the play in overtime before Dominik Kahun and Palazzese won the game in the shootout for the Wolves.
Kahun scored the only shoot-out goal while Palazzese looked brilliant stopping all three Petes' shooters.
Shots on goal were 40-38 in favour of the Wolves. Campagna was named as the game's second star.
However, the season high six-game winning streak came to an end on Jan. 13 in Brampton as the Wolves dropped a 2-1 squeaker to the Battalion.
The loss also ended the Wolves 12-game point streak where they picked-up at least one point in their last 12 games.
Campagna's point streak also ended at 18 games — the league’s best so far this season.
Palazzese was stellar once again stopping 31 of 33 shots that he faced. The Mississauga native was at his acrobatic best in Brampton as he kept the Wolves in the game until the very end where the Wolves almost tied the contest in the dying seconds.
Palazzese wrapped-up a successful weekend in his Sudbury Wolves debut as he led the Wolves to a 2-1 win-loss record and recorded a goals against average of 1.67.
Newly-acquired forward Matt Schmalz scored the opening goal of the game for the Wolves in Brampton at the 13:49 mark of the first period on a feed from Kahun.
Newly-acquired defenceman Kevin Raine also earned an assist on the play.
The Battalion then took advantage of three consecutive penalties to the Wolves in the second frame and scored on a two-man advantage at the mid-way mark of the period to tie the game at 1-1 after two periods.
The Battalion scored the eventual winner at the 4:38 mark of the third period on a tipped-deflection in front of Palazzese. Despite a late rally by the Wolves, the score remained 2-1 for Brampton and the Wolves winning streak came to an end.
Despite the loss, the Wolves remain tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with the Battalion.
Palazzese was named the game’s third star.
The Battalion outshot the weary Wolves 33-15 overall as the Wolves were playing their third game in less than three days.
The Wolves will now look to rebound on Jan. 18 when they begin a five-game home-stand.
First up, the Wolves will host the first-place Barrie Colts at 7:35 p.m.. The Colts lineup features leading scorers Zack Hall, Steven Beyers and Anthony Camara.
On Jan. 20, the Wolves will welcome the return of Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado and Joel Vienneau and the Kitchener Rangers at 2:05 p.m. All three former Wolves will be making their final appearance at the Sudbury Arena as they complete their OHL careers this season.