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Sudbury Wolves beat Peterborough 3-2 in OT at home

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The Sudbury Wolves were back in action on home ice at the Greater Sudbury Community Arena for the club’s Minor Sports Night sponsored by CTV in their 3-2 win over the Peterborough Petes.

The Pack, who clinched an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) playoff sport earlier this week, was looking to impress the numerous youth amongst the nearly sold-out crowd with a win but did not get off to a good start.

“They’re electric. Our fans are probably the best in the league, if not the best,” said Wolves’ center Nathan Villeneuve, in a post-game press conference.

“They’re super loud and energetic, and it helps us get more energetic on the bench.”

Marcus Vandenberg was the starting goaltender for the Wolves while the Petes opened the game with Zach Bowen between the pipes.

The Petes’ Tommy Purdeller scored first at 7:53 in the first period, giving Peterborough a 1-0 lead.

The Petes would expand their lead to 2-0 after Wolf Caden Taylor scored the team’s second goal of the night with only 2:11 left in the first period.

Neither team was able to capitalize on opportunities during the scoreless second period.

“Villy (Villeneuve) was frustrated in the first period and in the second period, he missed a couple of breakaways, but that has been our team all year long,” said Wolves head coach Ken MacKenzie, in the post-game press event.

“It’s just be patient with these guys, don’t give anything else up and we’ll find a way to score goals.”

They scored their first goal a little more than halfway through the third period when at 10:28 Villeneuve put the puck in the back of the net – marking his 20th goal of the season, a feat only accomplished six other times in the past 30 years by the franchise, according to hockey historian Mike Commito.

Less than five minutes later, with only 5:49 left in regulation, the Wolves’ David Goyette scored on a power play to tie the game at 2-2.

The third period would end without any more goals from either team, meaning both the Wolves and the Petes would earn one point for the game while it headed to overtime to give them both a chance for a second point.

Villeneuve would score the game-winning goal for the Wolves – his second of the night – a little more than three minutes into the overtime period with an assist from Quentin Musty for a final score of 3-2.

“When I score, it’s kind of a blackout,” said Villeneuve when asked about the game-winning goal.

“Me, Musty and Marv played really well in the defensive zone and they didn’t really get any opportunities there. Once they made a mistake, we made them pay for it. It’s always good to score the goal, but my most important thing was playing well in the D zone.”

“I was happy for Nathan, scoring that one in overtime,” said MacKenzie.

“He had a real good game and so did a lot of the other guys.”

Goyette has a team-leading 34 goals for the Wolves this season after Friday night’s game and Vandenberg had 23 saves by the end of the contest.

“He (Vandenberg) has been unbelievable in the last couple of games,” said Villeneuve.

“It’s always nice to have a hot goalie like that and hopefully he stays hot for the rest of the year.”

The Wolves are now in first place in the Central Division – they are also tied for first place in the Eastern Conference and third place overall in the OHL with the Brantford Bulldogs.

The Pack now travel to Mississauga for a 4 p.m. game against the Steelheads on Sunday but will be back at home in Sudbury on Feb. 28 to face off against the Barrie Colts at 7:05 p.m.

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