Lakehead Thunderwolves Fall Behind Early

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Thunderwolves
Photo by James Mirabelli
Thunderwolves
Photo by James Mirabelli

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Lakehead Thunderwolves fell behind early and lost 8-5 to the Guelph Gryphons before the 2385 fans that braved the blizzard conditions to come out to the Fort William Gardens on Friday night.

The Gryphons came out flying and got four goals from four different players (Michael Stevens, MacKenzie Nichol, Zach McFadden and Nick Boyer) in the first eight minutes of the game.

McFadden put another past Lakehead goalie Devin Green at 8:39 to give Guelph a 5-0 lead and the situation looked dire for the home team. But the Wolves steadied themselves and held the Gryphons off the scoreboard for the remainder of the first period.

Justin McDonald replaced Green in the Lakehead net to start the second period, but was beaten by Robert Lepine at the midway point to put Guelph up by six.

Cody Alcock finally got Lakehead on the board at 14:40 of the middle frame and the stuffed animals rained down from the stands as this was the annual teddy bear toss game. That seemed to ignite both the crowd and the Wolves, and Kelin Ainsworth got a short-handed marker a few minutes later to cut the Gryphons’ lead to 6-2 after 40 minutes of play.

Grant Valiquette ripped the puck past Guelph netminder Scott Stajcer 2:31 into the third to make things interesting, and then Linden Springer rang one off the post and into the cage at 9:12 to narrow the gap to 6-4, and the Gryphons had to be feeling the pressure.

They responded to that pressure quickly with a goal by Seth Swenson 38 second later, and then Boyer added another at 11:44 to put Guelph up 8-4.

Tyler Anton got one back for the Wolves at 13:21 to round out the scoring.

For the night, Lakehead went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Guelph was 1-for-5.

Total shots on goal were 34-28 for the Gryphons.

The Molson three stars of the game were:

  1. Nick Boyer, Guelph
  2. Kelin Ainsworth, Lakehead
  3. Seth Swenson, Guelph

The loss ends the Wolves’ three-game winning streak and drops their OUA record to 6-5-1 (6-9-1 overall).

Lakehead will look to get back on track when these same two teams face off again on Saturday night.

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