THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Lakehead Thunderwolves close out the regular season this weekend with home games versus two different opponents. The Wolves will host the Waterloo Warriors on Friday evening before taking on the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m. at the Fort William Gardens on both nights.
Lakehead is coming off a three-game road trip where it collected three valuable points. After falling 5-4 at Ryerson last Thursday, the Wolves rebounded with a 4-1 win at Windsor on Friday night. Lakehead finished up the weekend with a 3-2 overtime loss at Western on Saturday.
The seventh-place Thunderwolves have secured a berth in the postseason, but where they will be seeded is still to be determined. Lakehead could finish as high as fifth place or as low as eighth pending the outcomes of this weekend’s games. The top eight teams in the ten-team OUA West Division qualify for the playoffs, and all ten teams are still in the hunt.
While Waterloo (presently in last place) is battling just to get into the postseason, Laurier (currently in fifth) is hoping to finish in the top four and gain home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, so both of Lakehead’s opponents have plenty of motivation.
Lakehead holds the edge in the all-time series over both Waterloo (36-23-2) and Laurier (33-25-0). Earlier this season, the Wolves recorded a pair of wins at Waterloo by scores of 5-1 and 3-2 but were swept at Laurier by margins of 8-3 and 2-1.
The Second Wave
Lakehead’s line of Dylan Butler, Scott Gall and Brennen Dubchak are still the team’s top three point-getters, but the newly-formed unit of Daniel Del Paggio, Billy Jenkins and Sam Schutt has been very effective as of late, giving Lakehead’s opposition something extra to worry about.