The Sudbury Wolves ran into an impressive Dynamo Shinnik team from Belarus on Sunday and dropped a 5-1 decision to the Belarus team in the opening game of the tournament.
KEVIN RAINE gave the Wolves an early 1-0 lead on the power play when he one-timed a hard-shot from the point. Dominik Kubalik and Dominik Kahun assisted on the goal as the two skilled import players marked their return to the Wolves' line-up for the first time. The goal was scored at the 8 minute mark of the first period.
The lead was short-lived however as Dynamo scored less than five minutes later, also on the power play. The two teams battled to a 1-1 draw after the first period. Dynamo outshot the Wolves 16-8 in the first period.
The Wolves showed some pre-season rust in the second period with a number of ill-advised turnovers and some undisciplined penalties to allow Dynamo to score early and take a commanding 3-1 lead with a 5 on 3 power play chance. The second period ended 3-1 after two periods. Shots were 15-4 in favour of Dynamo.
The Wolves played much better in the 3rd period and outshot Dynamo by a count of 15-8, but Dynamo added two additional markers on deflections off of Wolves' defencemen to seal the 5-1 victory.
FRANKY PALAZZESE made a number of quality saves to keep the Wolves in the game and a number of Wolves' forwards missed some glorious scoring opportunities including RAY HUETHER, NATHAN PANCEL, DOMINIK KAHUN, NICK BAPTISTE and EVAN de HAAN. Final shots on goal were 39-20 in favour of Belarus.
The defending champion Sudbury Wolves will now face the top junior club team from Finland. The Finns won their first game of the tournament over Sweden. With only two round-robin games remaining, the Wolves face a must-win situation in order to maintain their chances of advancing to the semi-finals.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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