The Sudbury Wolves dominated the Hamilton Bulldogs on their way to a convincing 3-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs in OHL action on Sunday, February 26, 2023.
The Bulldogs got off to a quick start when they opened the scoring less than three minutes in to the opening period. Bulldogs RW Nick Lardis capitalized on a neutral zone turnover, drove hard to the net and roofed the puck past Wolves goalie Kevyn Brassard for the 1-0 lead. The Wolves responded 32 seconds later after a scrum in front of the Bulldogs net where the puck barely crossed the goal line but after video review, the goal was disallowed, preserving the Bulldogs early lead.
Two minutes later, the Bulldogs had to play defence as they went on the penalty kill after defenceman Ranvir Gill-Shane was called for holding. Hamilton killed off the minor penalty with ease then the teams settled in, battling in the neutral zone through the middle stages of the first period. The Bulldogs got a few scoring chances off the rush while the Wolves dominated the time spent in the offensive zone, spending long stretches on the attack in the Bulldogs end.
Sudbury continued their strong play in the latter stages of the period, continuing to pressure Hamilton in their own zone. At 5:42, the Wolves knotted things at one goal apiece after sustained pressure in Hamilton’s zone. Sudbury continued to take it to the Dogs in their own end, taking the lead 40 seconds later when forward Nicholas Yearwood tipped a point shot past Bulldogs goalie Tristan Malboeuf, giving the Wolves a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Hamilton had a good opportunity to tie things at two when they started the second stanza on the powerplay but couldn’t capitalize with the man advantage. The Wolves quickly responded when forward Kocha Delic scored on a breakaway three seconds after the penalty expired to open up a 3-1 lead. Hamilton then ran into penalty trouble, getting called for three consecutive minor penalties through the middle stages of the second period, but killed all three off with ease. The Bulldogs then went on the attack, helped out by two more powerplays, but couldn’t close the gap. Even with the powerplay opportunities, the Bulldogs were outshot 8-2 in the second period and down 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Both teams came out slowly to start the final frame but the Wolves continued to push the pace, spending long stretches in the Bulldogs zone through the opening four minutes. Hamilton then had a great opportunity to get back in the game when they were awarded four consecutive powerplays, including a five-on-three for 49 seconds, but couldn’t muster much offence. The Bulldogs finished the game 0 for 8 with the man advantage.
With the game drawing to a close, the Bulldogs pulled Malboeuf for the extra attacker with 3:12 remaining but still couldn’t gain consistent offensive zone pressure and when the final horn sounded, the Wolves held on for the 3-1 victory, outshooting the Bulldogs, 25-15.