Wolves get by Battalion in OT

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Kevin Baker doesn't really care right now if he gets some verbal abuse when he returns home after the hockey season. The Brampton native scored a pretty goal in overtime last night as the Sudbury Wolves beat the Brampton Battalion 3-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference quarter-final.

"It's nice to come home and there is some extra motivation," said Baker, who converted a two-on-one pass from Rafal Martynowski at 8:37 of extra time. "Playing in front of family and friends, you just try to build off that."

The Wolves were the only Ontario Hockey League club without an overtime win in the regular season, going 0-7-6.

If not for a controversial goal credited to Wolves rookie star Benoit Pouliot, the game, before 2,833 at the Brampton Centre, may have ended in regulation time. At 11:44 of the third period, after Wojtek Wolski had given Brampton a 2-1 lead, Pouliot appeared to glove the puck past Brampton goalie Daren Machesney. But Battalion coach Stan Butler, after seeing the replay following the match, refused to dump on referee Terry Hobor.

HARD TO TELL

"All I can say is from the bench I thought (the puck was gloved in), but having watched the video, you can't tell," a calm Butler said. "In fairness to the referee and linesmen, they are on the ice. Hobor is one of the better officials in the league, so what are you going to do?"

Forget about it, apparently. The Battalion was in the game after the first period only because of the stellar play of rookie netminder Daren Machesney, who stopped 16 shots before Jonathan D'Aversa scored from the slot with eight seconds left in the first period.

But Brampton took advantage of the work of Machesney, coming alive in the second period. Wolski, who had a strong evening, got Brampton on the board with a power-play goal in the final minute of the second. The Colorado Avalanche first-rounder then banged in pass from Tyler Harrison early in the third before Pouliot tied the game.

"I don't think it should have come to (overtime)," Wolski said. "We outplayed them in the third and I don't think we brought our best game. Playoffs are like this. It's a roller coaster, and whoever is mentally tough will come through."

Brampton, which had two overtime victories in Sudbury during the regular season, can jump back into the series tonight with a win in Game 2 in the Nickel City.

"The way I look at it is you have to win four games," Butler said. "We've lost the first game at home, it's over and we can't dwell on it. We have to bounce back."


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