Lakehead Thunderwolves defeat York Lions 7-3



THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves came out on top against the York Lions in OUA Hockey action at the Fort William Gardens. The final score was 7-3. A large crowd of fans cheered on the T-Wolves to the solid victory.

First Period Action

Lakehead got off to an early lead with a goal by #14 Luke Judson. Assisting on the goal were #84 Matt Caria and #25Mike Hammond. Then at 17:53 Keith Grondin was given a double minor for spearing. The Thunderwolves have been doing a great job of killing off the penalty with solid puck control.

With a minute left in the penalty, the Thunderwolves cleared the puck into the York end. As York came back, they have started to gain control of the puck and have had a few good scoring opportunities.

Play through the first half of the opening period has been face-paced. However neither team has managed many scoring opportunities since the early goal by the T-Wolves. The Lions got a good chance to score after a give-away pass but the T-wolves goaltender Alex Dupris held his ground.

The T-Wolves got off a fantastic opportunity after a little sloppy puck handling and managed a two-on-one rush. A pretty backhanded pass almost led to a super goal but the Lions net-minder was on top of his game.

Score remains 1-0 for the Lakehead squad.

With 1:08 left in the period, the Lions got off a shot and popped it behind the Wolves goaltender. The goal was scored by #9 MacKenzie Manz got off the unassisted goal.

Shots on Goal after the first period: Thunderwolves 6 – York Lions 4.

Second Period Action

The T-wolves came out flying in the second, and with 31 seconds of play popped the puck behind the Lion’s net-minder. Goal scored by #10 Andrew Wilkens his first of the season, and was assisted by #57 Carsen Dubchak and #21 Adam Serqurie.

#22 Chris De la Lande got a penalty at 1:20 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The T-Wolves were able to keep the Lions at bay and kill off the penalty.

#14 of the Wolves, Luke Judson got through the Lions defense on a great drive by was just wide of the net. The Thunderwolves have been maintaining good control of the puck, which is keeping the Lions off of the scoreboard. That solid pressure put the Wolves back into the Lion’s net putting the rushes forward for the third goal. The goal was scored by #61 Keith Growdin, his fifth of the season and assisted by #96 and #84 Matt Caria at 5:02.

Second Period Action – photo by Danyelle Waboose

The Lions are starting to look a little flustered. The flurry of action has the T-Wolves growing in confidence bolstered by the large home town crowd.

The Wolves are making crisp passing and fast line-changes through the period keeping fresh legs on the ice. The Wolves got another two-one-one that led to a shot over the head of the Lion’s net minder. Halfway through the second period, shots were 14 for the Thunderwolves and 7 for the Lions.

The Lions are pressing and started some rough-housing – that led to #16 being sent off to the sin bin. Cross-checking was called as the T-Wolves head to the power-play. A goal here could start putting this game in the box. #14 Luke Judson received a brutal hit behind the Lions net. No penalty was called.

#71 Messer of the Lions was snagged by the referee and sent to the penalty box putting the Wolves on the Power Play again. Messier was charged with kneeing. 54 seconds into the penalty, the Wolves charged the zone, leading to a solid battle that resulted in the puck being shoved behind the Lion’s net-minder. Goal was scored by #97ThomasFrazee, and assisted by #14 Luke Judson and #25 Mike Hammond. Goal was scored at 15:48.

The Lions got off a screen shot that found its way behind the T-wolves goaltender at the 18:14 mark of the period. The goal led to what could be a hamstring pull on the Thunderwolves goaltender as he was assisted off the ice by the training staff.

Goal was scored by #16 Chad and assisted by #11 Michael Santini.

The Thunderwolves continue to flood into the Lions zone with either two-on-ones or breakaways. It is likely that the Lion’s coach is going to be talking about this during the intermission. With 29.5 seconds left in the period, the Wolves jumped up to a four goal margin on a neat goal – #16 Trevor Gamache scored as he was falling backwards – the puck was lifted up and over the Lion’s net-minder in an alley-oop.

Shots on goal after two periods: Thunderwolves 22 and the Lions 10.

5-2 Thunderwolves lead after two.

Third Period Action

The Thunderwolves are headed to the penalty box as #8 was tagged for two minutes for interference. The power-play ended fast as #20 of the Lions was caught in the zone for two minutes of holding the stick.

Playing four on four the T-wolves almost scored right away but were held off the scoresheet. The Thunderwolves are starting to throw the body into the game, and hitting the Lions hard with some solid checking.

The T-wolves got tagged in an iffy penalty when #84 Matt Caria was sent off for tripping at 8:18. The penalty trouble continued as #27 James Delory was sent off for crosschecking. Playing down two men, the Wolves have formed a solid box around their goaltender – for older fans of hockey, Howie Meeker would be proud. The Wolves killed off both penalties easily.

With eight minutes left in the period, play continues at a fast pace. #25 Mike Hammond of the Wolves nearly put the game away with a great shot on net. The York goalie has played well in the third period.

The Lions are not willing to give up. At 14:10 they put their third of the night behind the Thunderwolves goaltender Alex Dupris.

With three minutes and fifty four seconds left, the Thunderwolves likely have put the game away on a pretty goal by #25 Mike Hammond assisted by #84 Matt Caria and #14 Luke Judson.

At the 17:07 mark, the Lions were put completely behind the eight-ball with penalty problems as #71 was sent to the box for slashing.

To put the game on complete ice, the Thunderwolves scored on the power-play with 19.8 seconds left. The goal was the result of a lot of solid puck handling controlling the puck in the Lion’s zone. Goal was scored by #57 Carson Dubchak. Assisting on the goal was #22 Chris de la Lande.

A very solid performance by the Thunderwolves.

For Saturday’s game, Lakehead Thunderwolves and sponsor Play it Again Sports are teaming up to help support the Thunder Bay Disaster Relief efforts. Play it Again Sports will have a table in the lobby of the Fort William Gardens Saturday night, and anyone making a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund get a free skate sharpening and will be eligible to win $1,000 worth of new hockey equipment.

The Provincial Government will effectively triple every dollar raised for this cause. Play It Again Sports has donated $1,500 for Saturday’s contest, so with the province’s contribution, $4,500 has already been raised before the game has even started. Mike Fonso, Co-owner of Play it Again Sports, said “We’re just trying to do our small part in helping these families and business receive the necessary funding to assist them in these difficult times.”

Disaster relief fund

Jason Mallon, Executive Director of Lakehead Thunderwolves Hockey, said “The Thunderwolves Hockey team is a community-based program that would not be here today without the support of the people of Thunder Bay. We hope the money raised this Saturday night will help the Disaster Relief Fund achieve its goals.”

Wayne Fletcher, Chair of the Disaster Relief Committee, said “The Thunderwolves are an exciting part of our community. It’s great that they continue not only to be great entertainment but also a strong member of our community by helping out those who have suffered due to the flood. This is contribution will help us restore our neighbors.”

3,153 fans were in attendance at tonight’s game.’s sports team tonight included Quinn Sprka and Danyelle Waboose.

With files from Lakehead Thunderwolves Hockey

Game Box

York 3 at Lakehead 7

1st Period-1, Lakehead, Judson 3 (Caria, Hammond), 1:26 (PP). 2, York, Micks 1 18:52. Penalties-Barss Yrk (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 0:22; Grondin Lake (spearing, spearing), 3:07.

2nd Period-3, Lakehead, Wilkins 1 (Dubchak, Sergerie), 0:31. 4, Lakehead, Grondin 2 (Frazee, Caria), 5:02. 5, Lakehead, Frazee 2 (Judson, Hammond), 15:48 (PP). 6, York, Hohmann 1 (Santini), 17:44. 7, Lakehead, Gamache 3 (Frazee), 19:31. Penalties-De La Lande Lake (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 1:20; Hohmann Yrk (cross checking), 11:44; Messier Yrk (kneeing), 14:53.

3rd Period-8, York, Messier 1 (de Gray, Lombardi), 13:10. 9, Lakehead, Hammond 2 (Caria, Judson), 16:07. 10, Lakehead, Dubchak 3 (De La Lande), 19:41. Penalties-Quesnele Lake (interference), 1:13; Sohor Yrk (holding opp. stick), 1:47; Caria Lake (tripping), 8:18; Delory Lake (cross checking), 8:30; Messier Yrk (slashing), 17:07.

Shots on Goal-York 5-5-7-17. Lakehead 6-14-10-30.
Power Play Opportunities-York 0 / 6; Lakehead 2 / 5.
Goalies-York, Perugini 0-0-0 (30 shots-23 saves). Lakehead, Dupuis 2-0-0 (10 shots-8 saves); Bosch 0-0-0 (7 shots-6 saves).
Referees-Darren Purnell.
Linesmen-Nigel Black, Adam Blando.

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