GUELPH – The Lakehead Thunderwolves ended their two-game road trip with a loss at Guelph as the Gryphons rolled to a decisive 5-1 victory at the Gryphon Centre on Saturday night.
The Gryphons came out flying in the first period to stake an early lead and never let up throughout the contest.
Marc Stevens drew first blood 5:20 into the game when he flipped a rebound over Wolves’ goalie Devin Green, who was laid out on the ice after making a nice initial save. J.P. Villeneuve’s backhander from the edge of the crease put the Gryphons ahead by two at the 13:53 mark.
Later on a Guelph power play, Josh McFadden fired a hard slap shot from the right hash past Green’s blocker side with one tick left on the clock to put the Gryphons up 3-0 heading into the second.
The Thunderwolves shook that off and got on the scoreboard early in the middle stanza when Sam Schutt tapped the puck behind Guelph netminder Andrew Masters from the blue paint after a terrific set up by Daniel Del Paggio.
Villeneuve got his second goal of the game when he broke in alone on Green and beat him through the five-hole to restore Guelph’s three-goal cushion at 9:07.
Aided by Lakehead’s penalty trouble, the Gryphons dominated the third period and controlled the play for the most part. Guelph’s power play was very effective and the Gryphons created several good scoring opportunities that were thwarted by Green.
Guelph’s final goal of the game came on the power play midway through the final frame when Scott Simmonds one-timer from the slot sailed past Green on the glove side.
For the night, Lakehead was 0-for-5 with the man-advantage while Guelph went 2-for-5.
Total shots on goal in the contest favoured the Gryphons by a margin of 39-21.
The loss drops the Wolves’ OUA record to 8-9-2 (11-12-2 overall) and into a three-way tie with Western and Windsor for sixth place in the West Division.
The Thunderwolves will look to get back in the win column next weekend when they host the Western Mustangs for a two-game series at the Fort William Gardens.