THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead Thunderwolves held off a feisty RMC squad and came away with a 4-3 victory over the Paladins before a crowd of 2.148 at the Fort William Gardens on Friday night.
Lakehead cashed in on a power play opportunity when Caleb Boman fired a wrister from the top of the circle that beat Paladins’ goalie Brad Van Schubert low on the glove side midway through the first, with Josh Laframboise and Jordan King assisting on the only goal of the period.
Dexter Kuczek scored from the edge of the crease early in the second with Dylan Butler and Callum Fryer assisting, giving the Wolves a 2-0 lead that held up until the end of the period thanks to some big saves by Lakehead netminder Devin Green.
RMC’s Andrew MacDonald caught a rebound off the back boards just nine seconds into the third to get the Paladins on the score sheet, but King replied for Lakehead on a goalmouth scramble 28 seconds later with Laframboise and King getting the helpers.
Johnathon Masters’ slap shot from the point on another Lakehead power play gave the Wolves a seemingly comfortable 4-1 lead at the 1:33 mark of the final frame, with Boman and King collecting the assists.
The Paladins did not go away quietly, however, and a deflection by Rhett Wilcox while RMC held the man-advantage cut the Wolves lead to 4-2 at the 5:28 mark.
RMC’s MacDonald got his second goal of the game on a shorty by beating Green top shelf with a wicked backhander at 17:02 to narrow the gap to 4-3.
The Wolves tightened up defensively the rest of the way and held on to take the win.
In the penalty-filled affair, Lakehead went 2-for-7 on the power play while RMC went 1-for-9.
Total shots on goal in the game were 38-32 in favour of the Thunderwolves.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
1 Jordan King, Lakehead
2 Dexter Kuczek, Lakehead
3 Alex MacDonald, RMC
The win improves Lakehead’s OUA record to 3-2 and to 7-3 overall.
The Wolves will look for a weekend sweep when they take on the Paladins again tonight beginning at 7:00 p.m.