A pair of goals in the third period was the difference as the Wadena-Deer Creek boys' hockey team opened its season in Ely Saturday afternoon.
Ely/Northeast Range broke a 4-4 tie by scoring twice in a three minute span to claim the 6-4 victory.
"(We) lost a tough battle," said Wolverines' first-year head coach Kyle Davis. "It was 4-4 with five minutes left and we had multiple scoring chances and just couldn't get it past the goalie."
W-DC outshot the Timberwolves 43-31.
Freshman Max Phillips scored twice to lead the Wolverines. Sophomores Jake Dykhoff and Preston Warren also scored for Wadena-Deer Creek.
Juniors Joe and Jon Wenzel recorded two goals apiece to pace Ely/Northeast Range.
Mark Killoran stopped 39 of the 43 shots he faced to get the win. Senior Reid Miller started between the pipes for W-DC and made 25 saves.