A late penalty shot goal by Michael Pezzetta put the Sudbury Wolves ahead, and they didn’t look back. They took a back-and-forth affair with the Ottawa 67’s 7-5, riding three third period goals to the victory.
The loss puts Ottawa five points behind Sudbury for seventh in the OHL’s eastern conference standings.
There were points in the game where head coach and general manager Jeff Brown was left shaking his head, but he also saw stretches of brilliance in a game where the 67’s outshot the Wolves 40-38.
“There were stretches there tonight where we just completely dominated them,” he said. “We’d cycle it down low and make all the smart plays, but we just didn’t score then guys start cheating and it unravels quickly.”
The 67’s controlled the play for the majority of the first period with extended time in the attacking zone, and it paid off with five minutes to go. Nolan Gardiner skated the puck into the zone, and dropped it back to Ben Evans. The 16-year-old then changed the angle and sent a laser beam of a wrister into the top left corner of the goal for a 1-0 Ottawa lead.
The second period featured a plethora of goals, and the Wolves would end up on top. First, Travis Barron opened the period’s scoring by deflecting in a Jared Steege shot.
But the Wolves found a quick response and got themselves back into the game. Dimitry Sokolov had an unassisted marker 18 seconds after Barron’s goal, then Shane Bulitka fired home a breakaway goal at 10:35 to continue the barrage of scoring. Patrick Sanvido took the lead for the Wolves three minutes later, and it was 3-2 off three unanswered goals.
Ottawa then came back and tied it up again, with Artur Tyanulin bringing the TD Place fans to their feet with yet another dazzling goal. He pulled the puck in close with a toe drag move and slid the puck over the pad of Jake McGrath in the Sudbury net.
The goals didn’t stop in the third period, with Ottawa storming out to a 5-4 lead within the first minute of puck drop. Goals came from David Pearce and Patrick White.
As they did in the second, the Wolves had another response. At 7:05, Pezzetta fought through a check, got a rebound in traffic in front and tied the game at five. Two minutes later, Pezzetta was awarded his penalty shot for being hauled down on a breakaway and he made no mistake, burying the go-ahead goal for the Wolves.
Dimitry Sokolov then gave his team some insurance, going toe-to-toe with Artur Tyanulin’s highlight reel goal. He undressed Ryan Orban and roofed a bankhander into the top meshing of the net, making the score 7-5 Sudbury. That stood as the final score, and handed the 67’s their fourth straight loss.
Ottawa now sees a five-day break in their schedule before hitting the road for the first time since Jan. 22 to face the Oshawa Generals and the Hamilton Bulldogs on the weekend.
They’ll return home on Family Day for a special Monday matinee versus the formidable London Knights.
Tickets for all Ottawa 67’s home games are available at Ottawa67s.com, calling 613.232.6767 X1, or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. All minor hockey players part of the 67’s Prospect Program presented by Enercare get in for FREE. For more information on the 67’s Prospect Program click here.
Click here for the complete 2016-17 Ottawa 67’s schedule.