THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead Thunderwolves found themselves in an early hole that they were unable to climb out of and fell 4-1 to the UQTR Patriotes in front of a crowd of 1,746 at the Fort William Gardens on Saturday night.
Jason Lavellee put UQTR on the board just 4:31 into the game when he converted on a breakaway chance by deking Lakehead goalie Nic Renyard and backhanding the puck to the top shelf.
Raphael Maheux scored for the Patriotes on a delayed penalty call at 9:17 and then Mathieu Lemay added a power play marker at 16:51 after a point shot made its way through traffic to find the back of the net, giving UQTR a 3-0 lead at the end of the first.
The Thunderwolves came out much stronger in the second and Scott Gall got the lone goal for Lakehead midway through the period when he finished off a mad scramble in front of UQTR goalie Alexandre Belanger. Dillon Donnelly and Dylan Butler were credited with the assists.
The hard play of the Wolves was demonstrated as the team fought back from a 15-5 deficit in shots on goal to a 24-22 deficit after the second period. The UQTR goaltender continued for the second game of the series to play strong in net.
Lakehead started the third period with a 5-on-3 power play for a minute-and-a-half, but Belanger held the Wolves at bay.
Renyard was tested by the Patriotes on several occasions in the final frame but was also very sharp at the other end of the ice.
Lakehead pulled Renyard for an extra attacker in the waning moments of the game, but Devin St. Hilaire scored an empty-netter with 51 seconds remaining to ice the game for the Patriotes.
On the night, Lakehead was 0-for-7 on the power play, while UQTR went 1-for-3.
Total shots on goal in the game were 34-32 in favor of the Patriotes.
The Molson Three Stars of the Game were:
- Alexandre Belanger, UQTR
- Nic Renyard, Lakehead
- Scott Gall, Lakehead
The loss drops Lakehead’s OUA record to 0-3-1 (2-5-1 overall). The Wolves will look to get into the win column when they hit the road for a pair of games against the Waterloo Warriors next weekend.
Files from John Payatta – Images by NetNewsLedger.