|Thunderwolves corral Mustangs in O.T., playoffs begin Wednesday|
|John Payetta - Sunday, February 12, 2017|
For the second night in a row, the Lakehead Thunderwolves corralled the Western Mustangs 6-5 in a barn burner that had to be settled in overtime to the delight of the 2234 fans at the Fort William Gardens.
Lakehead stormed out to an early 3-0 lead, ignited by Cody Alcock’s rocket that beat Western goalie Lucas Peressini top shelf 3:42 into the game.
Carson Dubchak went high to the glove side from the slot on a Lakehead power play at 9:02, and then Brennen Dubchak knocked home a rebound two minutes later.
Trevor Warnaar got the Mustangs on the board by scoring from the doorstep at 17:18 to close the gap to 3-1 heading into the second.
Jake Ringuette put the Wolves up 4-1 early in the middle frame on a shot from the point while Lakehead held the man-advantage.
Western’s Ray Huether scored twice just over a minute apart to quickly narrow the margin to 4-3. His first was a screened shot the eluded Lakehead netminder Devin Green at 5:21, and his second came on a Mustangs’ 5-on-3 power play when he was allowed to walk in and fire the puck high on Green’s glove side.
Huether completed his natural hat trick at 7:23 of the third period to even the score, and then struck for a fourth time by redirecting a cross-crease pass behind Green to give Western a 5-4 lead with 8:48 remaining in regulation.
Patrick Murphy responded a minute later on a Lakehead power play with a slap shot from the top of the circle that knotted the score at 5-5, sending the game into extra time.
Carson Dubchak sped down the right side and fired a wrist shot past Peressini high on the short side 3:18 into the first overtime session to seal the deal for the Thunderwolves.
On the night, the Wolves were 3-for-9 on the power play, while the Mustangs went 1-for-3.
Total shots on goal in the game were 35-31 for Western.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
1. Carson Dubchak, Lakehead
Lakehead finishes the OUA regular season with a record of 13-13-2, good for seventh place in the West Division.
The Thunderwolves will meet the second-place York Lions in the best-of-three OUA West Division quarter-finals, with game #1 to be played on Wednesday night in Thunder Bay. The series will then shift to Toronto where York will host Lakehead for game #2 on Saturday night, and if necessary, game #3 on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets for game #1 will be on sale at the Fort William Gardens box office on Monday morning.
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