By John Payetta
Guelph – SPORTS – The Lakehead Thunderwolves opened a three-game road trip with a 3-0 shutout victory over Guelph at the Gryphon Centre on Thursday night.
The Thunderwolves completely dominated Guelph in the first period and put the Gryphons in a deep hole with three unanswered goals.
Dylan Butler opened the scoring 8:09 into the contest when he picked up a bouncing puck in the slot and fired a wrister past Guelph netminder Evan Cormier while the Wolves were on the power play.
Two minutes later, Daniel Del Paggio took a feed from Scott Gall and sped down the left wing and beat Cormier high on the short side with a great shot from the face-off circle.
Guelph messed up a line change in the final minute of the period, giving Tomas Soustal a breakaway opportunity. Cormier made a nice pad save on Soustal’s backhand, but Sam Schutt was in the right position to knock home the rebound.
Andrew Masters replaced Cormier in the Gryphons’ net to start the second and was sharp enough to keep Lakehead off the scoreboard for the rest of the night, as the final two periods turned into a goaltending duel.
Guelph regrouped and created some good scoring chances in the middle frame, but Wolves’ goalie Nic Renyard came up with several key saves to keep the Gryphons from gaining any momentum.
Guelph turned up the heat in the third period but Renyard continued to frustrate the Gryphons with his outstanding play, turning aside all 18 shots he faced in the final stanza.
Total shots on goal in the game were 42-36 for Guelph.
The Thunderwolves went 1-for-4 on the power play for the night, while the Gryphons were 0-for-5.
The victory, Lakehead’s fifth in a row on the road, moves the Wolves up into a second-place tie with Brock in the OUA West Division with a conference record of 8-4 (12-5 overall).
The Thunderwolves will look to continue that streak when they take on the Laurier Golden Hawks tomorrow night.