THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Thunderwolves drew first blood at 1:35 of the opening period on a goal by #24 Kelin Ainsworth, assisted by #11 Cody Alcock and #3 Justin Sefton.
The TWolves started #1 Justin McDonald in goal, and in tonights line up are missing top sniper #8 Billy Jenkins who went down last weekend with an ankle injury.
The first period got off to a fast start with hard end to end action. However the Thunderwolves seemed to catch the penalty fever.
The early lead was short-lived however.
Things turned bad for Lakehead later in the opening period when the Bisons scored four goals in under five minutes.
Kamerin Nault struck first on a Manitoba power play at 13:14, and less than a minute later Jonah Wasylak beat Wolves’ starting goalie Justin McDonald to put the Bisons ahead by one.
Shaq Merasty added two goals just 39 seconds apart to give Manitoba a 4-1 lead heading into the intermission.
Early in the second period, the UM Bisons continued to push, a wrap-around led to the 5th goal. Nick Zajac put the puck behind McDonald.
Some precision passing during a double penalty almost but the Bisons up by more, but some solid backstopping the Wolves kept the Bisons off the scoresheet. Through seven minutes into the period, the Wolves only managed one shot on net.
The Thunderwolves however pulled MacDonald at the seven minute mark of the period and put Riley Corbin between the pipes.
The move appears to have stopped the hemoraging and despite the strong play of the hometown Wolves, the Bisons held their lead. The Thunderwolves through the second period only managed a pair of shots on net.
Heading into the third period, the Wolves has a very large mountain to climb. The Bisons tonight don’t appear to be a team that sat on the bus for nine hours to get to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg.
The Thunderwolves’ Tyler Anton capitalized on a power play opportunity late in the game, with Ainsworth and Matt Alexander getting the assists to round out the scoring.
Shots on goal for the night were 40-21 in favor of the Bisons.
The Thunderwolves pressed hard through the period scoring a pair of goals and putting on a full court press in the dying seconds to send a message to the Bisons that the Wolves have some howl left for Saturday night.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
- Shaq Merasty, Manitoba
- Cody Alcock, Lakehead
- Kamerin Nault, Manitoba
(With Files from Lakehead Thunderwolves Hockey)