The Sudbury Wolves received some unfortunate medical news today when they learned that veteran forwards MICHAEL KANTOR, JOSH LEIVO and CHAD THIBODEAU will be out of the Wolves’ line-up as the team heads into another 3-in-3 weekend against Eastern Conference rivals.
KANTOR, 20, suffered a serious facial injury when he blocked a slap-shot in the final second of the Wolves’ 2-1 victory over the Erie Otters on Sunday afternoon in Sudbury. Kantor did everything he could to block the shot and preserve the Wolves’ victory but an errant point shot struck the Wolves’ leader in the lower jaw area. The power forward is expected to be out of the Wolves’ line-up for the next 4-6 weeks.
LEIVO, 19, suffered an injury in the Niagara IceDogs game on November 24th and has been out of the Wolves’ line-up ever since. The Wolves’ leading scorer has been an offensive dynamo for the team and has recorded 27 points in 26 games on the offensively-challenged squad. The Wolves had hoped that the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect would return to the line-up this week but that will unfortunately not be the case.
THIBODEAU, 19, suffered a lower body injury after colliding with a Owen Sound Attack defenceman on Friday night in Sudbury. Thibodeau has been a very versatile player for the Wolves this season shifting from forward to defence as needed. The Sault Ste. Marie native will be assessed by team doctors this week. Both players are tough, rugged forwards whose physical presence will be missed.
In an effort to address the shortage of forwards, the Wolves have called-up 19-year-old forward JAKE RYAN from the Stratford Cullitons Jr. B team. Ryan was one of the Wolves’ leading scorers in pre-season action and played two games in the regular season before being returned to the Cullitons in early October. RYAN, 5’10”, 195 lbs., is a native of New Liskeard, Ontario and split last season with the Cullitons and the Abitibi Eskimos of the NOJHL. Ryan presently sits fifth in team scoring with 20 points in 19 games including 9 goals. Ryan brings a physical style of play to the Wolves’ line-up as he leads the Cullitons in penalty minutes with 61.
The Wolves have also called-up forward PETER POULIN-ROY from the Abitibi Eskimos. The 18-year-old right winger is having an excellent season in the NOJHL since being acquired from the Trenton Golden Hawks in October. Poulin-Roy, 5’11”, 190 lbs, is a native of Sudbury and was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 OHL draft by the Wolves. Poulin-Roy currently sits in second place in team scoring with 22 points in 15 games including 10 goals so far.
Wolves’ defenceman MACKENZIE BRAID, 19, is hoping to make his return to the Wolves’ line-up this weekend after missing the past six weeks with a serious injury requiring surgery. The Toronto native is a smooth-skating defenceman that plays with a physical edge. Braid, 6’1”, 170 lbs, will be examined by team doctors this week and based on receiving medical clearance is hopeful to return to the Wolves’ line-up on the weekend.
The reconstructed Wolves will play in Barrie on Thursday when the Wolves visit the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Wolves return home for a weekend-double-header as the Mississauga Steelheads make their first appearance in Sudbury this season on Friday night at 7:35. On Saturday, the Wolves will host the Peterborough Petes for the first time this season. Saturday’s start time is 7:05 p.m.