Wolves good for what ails Hounds

December 3, 2015

Sudbury Wolves provided a healing remedy for the Soo Greyhounds on Wednesday night.

Having lost four games in succession, the Greyhounds were able to take advantage of a Sudbury squad that has the second-worst record in the 20-team Ontario Hockey League.

While the Hounds have had their struggles offensively, defensively and in goal, they pale in comparison to what has been ailing the Wolves.

To be sure, a few things stood out from watching last night’s game.

While the Wolves have a big team they look really slow — and were a step behind the Greyhounds throughout the one-sided match, which the home team won by a ridiculously-easy 10-3 margin.

And if the Greyhounds have been getting so-so goal-tending from their duo of Brandon Halverson and Joseph Raaymakers, the Wolves got “oh-no” net-minding from the porous pair of Zack Bowman and Matthew Menna last night.

Really, of the 10 goals that starter Bowman and reliever Menna allowed last night, at least five were of the soft variety.

Sadly, these are not good times for the Wolves, who are 0-10-3 in their last 13 outings and 5-19-3 on the season — this after finishing last overall in the OHL in 2014-2015 with a record of 12-54-2.

One has to feel for the recent decline in fortunes of the Wolves, who have good people in the organization from chairman of the board Mark Burgess to president Blaine Smith to head coach David Matsos.

There is a new general manager who oversees hockey operations for the Wolves in Barclay Branch, better known as the son of OHL commissioner David Branch.

The younger Branch has been trying to put some howl in the Wolves with a series of trades, though he may have erred in releasing former Greyhound forward Charley Graaskamp, who has 8 goals in 19 outings for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League since Sudbury cut him loose three games into this season.

Only one Sudbury player — rookie Dmitry Sokolov — has more goals than Graaskamp this season.

At any rate, all may not be well with the Greyhounds and their 10-13-3 record. But the Hounds are rebuilding after going for it all last season — only to fall well short.

The Wolves, on the other hand, appear headed for a second-straight playoff miss in a league where 16 of 20 teams qualify for the post-season.

Back to the Hounds, they have a chance to climb closer to the .500 mark with two more home games on the slate this week.

On Saturday, the Hounds play host to the reeling Oshawa Generals, who are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. A tougher task looms on Sunday when the Hounds are home to the North Bay Battalion, winners of three straight games.

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