The Brantford Bulldogs skated to a shutout victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
The Wolves entered Saturday’s matchup wrapping up a three-game road trip while the Bulldogs were playing the middle part of their three-in-three but neither team looked fatigued with the Dogs and Wolves combining for 22 opening period shots. After a successful penalty kill with Matteo Drobac denying a series of Wolves chances, Lawson Sherk had the Bulldogs best opportunity of the period, racing from the box onto a Patrick Thomas feed only to have Nate Krawchuk deny the captain off the left wing. By the end of the opening period, Matteo Drobac had turned aside 12 Wolves chances looking to give his teammates a lift for the second straight game.
The middle frame was all Bulldogs, as they found the offensive groove to support their starting goaltender. At 7:13, a Djibril Toure clearing attempt bounced off Keiron Walton and landed for Masen Wray who scored his second of the season on a back bar beauty to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs doubled the lead through Luca Testa recording his eighth goal of the season sneaking one past Wolves goaltender Krawchuk as he collected the rebound of a Florian Xhekaj shot sweeping it into the open goal.
With tempers flaring Noah Roberts and Nathan Villenueve dropped the gloves for a spirited tilt and the Bulldogs again drew momentum from it. On the power-play at 18:45, Jorian Donovan set Patrick Thomas on the right half wall who found Nick Lardis with a beautiful cross-ice pass eluding a trio of Wolves killers for Lardis’ tenth of the season and a 3-0 Bulldogs lead they would hold to the locker room after 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs begin the final frame with a bit of a scary moment as Lawson Sherk beat Djibril Toure in a foot race to the puck on the end boards but was hit from behind by the Wolves defenceman causing Florian Xhekaj to drop the gloves with Toure and Sherk needing to be helped off, however the captain did return to the game.
After the Bulldogs escaped another Wolves man-advantage on the Florian Xhekaj instigator penalty, the Wolves fell into penalty trouble. With Nicholas Yearwood already in the box for cross-checking Nick Lardis, a scrum ensued in front of Nate Krawchuk’s goal. The result was Djibirl Toure dropping on the puck and concealing it with his glove, earning the Bulldogs a penalty shot. Before the shot could be taken, Andre Anania was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along with a ten-minute misconduct for arguing the penalty shot call. Cole Brown made it count for the Bulldogs, freezing Nate Krawchuk with a moment of brilliance and tucking the puck past the netminder for his third of the season at 9:24.
The Wolves looked to claw one back late as Dalibor Dvorsky converted a David Goyette net crash that was overturned upon coach’s challenge for Goyette interfering with Matteo Drobac. As the final horn sounded, Matteo Drobac turned aside all 23 he faced in his first shutout of the season and a 4-0 Brantford Bulldogs victory.