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Home Opener brings first loss for Wolves against Ice Dogs

Photo by Kayla Perry

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By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief

The Sudbury Wolves home opener last night saw the Wolves defeated 8-1 by the Niagara Ice Dogs.

The Ice Dogs started the game strong, with defencemen Vince Dunn firing a shot past Tory Timpano for the first goal of the night, 1:14 minutes into the first period. This would set the tone for the entire game, in which the Ice Dogs would maintain a strong lead and continually fire shots against the Wolves.

The remainder of the first period saw three more goals for the Ice Dogs, scored by Blake Siebenaler, Josh Ho-Sang, and Ice Dogs captain Anthony DiFruscia, respectively, making the score 4-0 for the Dogs.

The shots on net also favoured the Ice Dogs at the end of the first, reading 19-4 in favour of Niagara.

The second period carried the same tone as the first, with Niagara outshooting Sudbury 3-1 in the first few minutes resulting in the fifth goal of the night for Niagara, scored by rookie Nick Pastorious 2:24 minutes into the period.

However, the Wolves would return with their first goal of the season in a powerplay, delivered by first overall pick in this past year’s OHL Priority Selection, David Levin, making the score to 5-1.

The goal was also notably Levin’s first of his OHL career, and would be the last of the second period, with shots on the board at the end of the second tallying 30-16, favouring Niagara.

As the third opened, Ice Dogs player Jordan Maletta scored 54 seconds into the period, making the score 6-1. The final two goals of the game would be delivered by Ice Dogs teammates Ryan Mantha and Matt Gillard, respectively, to find the closing score of the Ice Dogs win 8-1.

The final shots on the board were 46-25, with a drastic rise in the Wolves’ shots per period from the first.

Wolves Head Coach David Matsos expressed his disappointment with his team’s first game of the season.

“I’m embarrassed, this is not the way we have taught our guys to play. That was the message at the end of it all was ‘are you embarrassed? Because I certainly am.’ You can’t play good teams like that and circle away from hits and not stop on loose pucks. We played a horrible game of hockey today,” Mastos told the media after the game.

The Ice Dogs have previously been ranked as the top OHL team, while the Wolves are opening the season with younger players as a whole.

Following the loss, the Wolves will not have much time to recover, as they’ll play again at home on Sept. 27 against the Mississauga Steelheads.