THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Lakehead Thunderwolves will host the Western Mustangs to close out the regular season this Friday and Saturday at the Fort William Gardens, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 PM both nights.
Lakehead: 11-13-2 OUA (8th place West Division), 13-17-2 overall (6-10-2 home, 7-7 away).
Western: 8-16-2 OUA (9th place West Division), 11-18-2 overall (8-8-1 home, 3-10-1 away).
Last Time Out
Lakehead is coming off a three-game road trip that started out with a 7-2 loss at Ryerson last Thursday night. The Wolves came from behind to defeat Waterloo 4-3 on Friday evening, but fell 2-1 to the Warriors in the Saturday afternoon rematch.
No team has more victories over Lakehead than does Western, as the Wolves are 26-42-1 all-time versus the Mustangs.
The two squads last met in London in November of 2015, with Western taking both games by scores of 7-5 and 5-3.
Lakehead has already qualified for a post-season berth, as the Thunderwolves can drop to no lower than eighth place in the OUA West Division regardless of this weekend’s outcomes. But with two wins and some help, Lakehead could move up to as high as fifth-place and a more favorable first-round playoff opponent, so these are very important games for the Wolves.
About the Mustangs
Based in London, Ontario, Western has been a perennial powerhouse in Canadian University hockey under longtime bench boss Clarke Singer, but will miss the playoffs this year for the first time in decades.
Most of Western’s woes have come on the road, as the Mustangs have won only 3 out of 14 games away from Thompson Arena this season. Western has also allowed more goals than any team in the West Division, which is very unlike the Mustangs of years past.
Forwards Robert Polesello and Matt Marantz lead the Mustangs’ attack, and defenceman Jonathan Laser is also an offensive threat.
Greg Dodds has been one of the top goalies in the OUA for several years, but his numbers have dropped along with the Mustangs’ won-loss record this season.
NCF Jersey Auction Friday
The Thunderwolves will be wearing special “one time only” jerseys on Friday night and fans can bid on them at a silent auction table in the lobby of the Gardens. Now in its tenth year, this initiative has so far has raised over $19,000 in net proceeds in support of the Northern Cancer fund.
Senior night Saturday
Lakehead will pay tribute just two senior players this year when Cody Alcock and Carson Dubchak are honored in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday night.