Wolves lay beating on Bulldogs

Sudbury Wolves players Chase Stillman, left, Quentin Musty and Evan Konyen celebrate a goal during OHL action against the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

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After nearly two weeks on the road, it was a happy homecoming for the Sudbury Wolves on Friday night, as they scored a decisive 8-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs at Sudbury Community Arena.

David Goyette had a hat trick, while Ethan Larmand scored twice and Chase Stillman, Quentin Musty and Evan Konyen had singles and Mitchell Weeks made a solid 28 saves for Sudbury, which ended a five-game skid and improved to 3-4-1-0 on the season.

“I thought we had a great game overall,” said Goyette, Sudbury’s first-round pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. “We put pressure on them all day and we were in their zone basically the whole game, so overall, it was a great effort by the team.

“I think coming off of that road trip, we wanted to win that one. This was a big game for us and I think we did a pretty good job.

“We had a tough road trip, but it was nice to come home and get back to playing in front of our fans. As a team, we kept grinding together and pushing it, because we knew it was coming, so it’s nice to have a big game like this and to get rewarded.”

Jorian Donovan and Avery Hayes scored and Tristan Malboeuf made 26 saves for Hamilton, which dropped its second straight game after a 4-0 start.

“It feels real good, I’m not going to lie to you,” said Sudbury head coach Craig Duncanson, whose team touched home ice for just the second time this season Friday night, after six straight games on the road. “The boys have battled hard and we haven’t been outclassed in any game, but unfortunately, we just didn’t get the results we thought we deserved until this point. I think they really put a solid game together in the third period in particular, they forechecked the full period and didn’t sit back and it was comforting to see.

“I thought they played like pros. They committed to shutting (Hamilton) down, didn’t give them anything in the third and capitalized on their mistakes. The guys worked hard.”

Two days after scoring his first OHL goal in Sault Ste. Marie, Goyette added another at 6:42 of the first, taking a drop from Nick DeGrazia and firing a quick shot past Malboeuf to open the scoring.

A rush by Wolves defenceman Liam Ross led to a chance for Konyen and a quick scramble before Stillman jammed home his fourth of the year at 8:30. Konyen and Ross were credited with the assists.

Musty added the second of his campaign, breaking out on a two on one after Konyen forced a turnover and burying a feed from his linemate to make it a three-goal game at 13:28.

Seconds after Sudbury’s Kosta Manikis came close from close range, Weeks was involved in a collision with teammate Ryan Smith and Hamilton’s Ryan Humphrey in the opposing crease. The Bulldogs celebrated for an instant when the puck crossed the line, but it was waved off quickly.

Weeks made some big stops in the period, including a quick pad save on the aforementioned Humphrey. Hamilton built a 12-11 shot lead by the end of the period.

Liam Ross, right, of the Sudbury Wolves, fires the puck past Colton Kammerer, of the Hamilton Bulldogs, during OHL action at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Konyen kept the offence flowing to begin the second, picking up a loose puck with a defender tied up and wiring a wrist shot past Malboeuf at 1:27. Musty and Stillman had the assists.

Larmand added a short-handed tally on another Sudbury two on one, converting on a cross-crease feed from Alex Assadourian 4:13 into the frame.

The Wolves showcased a solid penalty kill with Manikis in the dressing room, handed a match penalty for slewfooting, and Landon McCallum in the box, but Hamilton’s Donovan beat Weeks from the slot only seconds after returning to five on five, at the 5:31 mark.

Hayes was able to redirect a puck past the Sudbury goalie at 8:53 to get the visitors within three once more.

Sudbury had opportunities to widen that lead again, getting several good chances on a pair of power plays to end the period, but couldn’t get another past Malboeuf before the horn.

Shots were 24-19 in the Wolves’ favour after 40 minutes.

Sudbury struck early in the third, too, with Larmand getting one attempt during a scramble in front of Malboeuf, then another shot that beat the Hamilton netminder up high with just 44 seconds off the clock.

Moments after being denied on a one-timer, McCallum made a nice saucer feed to Goyette, who darted between the Hamilton defence to score his second of the night at 11:34. DeGrazia also assisted.

Goyette completed the hat trick with 2:23 left in regulation, scoring off a shot from a sharp angle that bounced into the goal. Musty and Stillman had the assists.

“I knew the first (goal) was coming, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, because obviously, there’s more to hockey than that,” said Goyette, a Hawkesbury, Ont. resident. “It was nice to score a goal and today, I kept rolling, put in the same effort and kept putting pressure on them.”

He likes his chemistry with linemates DeGrazia, who had two assists on Friday, and McCallum, who also recorded a helper. The trio also combined for three points in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Soo Greyhounds this past Wednesday.

“DeGrazia is a really fast skater and can bring a lot, pushing their D behind for me and Lando to have more space to play,” Goyette said. “Landon is a great playmaker, he sees the ice very well, so we bonded quickly together and I love playing with them.”

“It was just a matter of time,” Duncanson said, before his offensively talented squad was rewarded for its efforts.

“They never stopped getting chances, they never stopped working,” Sudbury’s head coach continued. “Any poker player will tell you they’re just playing the percentages and sooner or later, they’re going to go in.”

It was no surprise, he added, to see Goyette among those to break out in a big way, considering the freshman forward’s effort level these last several weeks.

“David’s a consummate professional,” Duncanson said. “He’s a world-class athlete with our national program and we couldn’t be more elated about the way he has played, regardless of winning or whether he gets points or he doesn’t.”

Ethan Larmand, right, of the Sudbury Wolves, and Jan Mysak, of the Hamilton Bulldogs, collide during OHL action at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

After a busy two weeks to open the season, the Wolves will get six-day break before visiting the Barrie Colts for the first time on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

They host the Oshawa Generals the following evening at 7:05 p.m., and the North Bay Battalion on Halloween at 2 p.m.

“We’ll take tonight as some real hard work that yielded some good fortune,” Duncanson said. “We can do that on most nights, we’ll still be playing here in the spring.

“We’ll go back to work on Monday. I think the guys have earned a day off and a little bit of R and R and we’ll have three full days of work before we go back to Barrie.”

bleeson@postmedia.com

Twitter: @ben_leeson

Nick Degrazia, right, of the Sudbury Wolves, and Chandler Romeo, of the Hamilton Bulldogs, battle for position during OHL action at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Chase Stillman, middle, of the Sudbury Wolves, attempts to skate between Nathan Staios, left, and Jonathan Melee, of the Hamilton Bulldogs, during OHL action at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Landon McCallum, of the Sudbury Wolves, Chases down the puck during OHL action against the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Andre Anania, right, of the Sudbury Wolves, fires the puck past Gavin White, of the Hamilton Bulldogs, during OHL action at the Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday October 22, 2021. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

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