Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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1/3/2003: ALBERTA - 2 @ LAKEHEAD - 5


Mike Aylward
Friday, January 03, 2003

The No. 7 Lakehead Thunderwolves defeated the No. 1 Alberta Golden Bears 5-2 in a thrilling non-conference game before 2792 fans at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  The Thunderwolves were lead by the incredible goaltending of Grant McCune, by team Captain Joel Scherban who recorded a goal and an assist, and by Chris Shaffer who set up two Lakehead tallies.  Ryan Wade and Wade Burt scored for the Golden Bears while defenseman Chris Ovington played a strong game.  The game was a clean fast-skating affair, with few penalties.

Lakehead jumped into the early lead at the 29 second mark on a goal by Bryan Duce.  Duce received a lovely pass from Jeff Richards, beat the Alberta defenseman, broke in alone on Alberta goaltender Clayton Pool and blasted the puck in under Pool's glove hand.  Lakehead's McCune robbed Alberta's Justin Wallin who broke in alone at the 1:00 mark.  Alberta's Chris Ovington made a great diving poke check to foil Jeff Richard's breakaway attempt at 3:30.  Alberta tied the score on a lovely goal by Wade Burt at 3:44, set up with great tic-tac-toe passes from Tyler Shybunka and Blair St. Martin.  Lakehead's McCune made a great point-blank save off Alberta's Darcy Smith at 17:20.  Alberta looked the fresher of the two teams in the first, controlling most of the play and generating more scoring chances.  Alberta outshot Lakehead 11-6 in the first.

Lakehead came out fired up at the beginning of the second.  Robert Hillier made it 2-1 Lakehead at 2:03, when he banged in a rebound off a point shot by Craig Priestlay.  The other assist went to Mark Robinson.  Erik Lodge made it 3-1 27 seconds later, when his weak shot from the point trickled through the legs of Pool, with assists going to Chris Shaffer and Joel Scherban.  Scherban made it 4-1 at 5:44 with a powerplay goal set up by a lovely cross crease pass from Jeff Richards.  The other assist went to Chris Shaffer.  Alberta picked up its play at about the 8:00 mark, but that's when the game became the Grant McCune Show.  He first made an incredible sliding stacked pad save off Alberta's Ovington at 8:35.  Then McCune robbed Justin Wallin again with his lightning glove at 11:00.  Finally, the Lakehead netminder dove across the crease to bat away a sure goal fired by Scott Henkelman from the slot at 17:49.  Alberta outshot Lakehead 15-9 in the second.

The third period saw more of the McCune Show.  But, Alberta's Ryan Wade beat a screened McCune with a low shot through the keeper's legs at 3:20, assisted by Brad Tutschek.  Lakehead replied quickly at 4:24 when Robert Hillier stole the puck from an Alberta defenseman who carried the puck in front of his own net.  Hillier quickly turned and fired it past Alberta's Pool.   McCune then made a great glove save, while screened, off a blast from Alberta's Burt at 7:10.  Alberta's Pool made a great stacked pad save of his own at 8:00, robbing Lakehead's Chris Shaffer.  McCune made more good saves to keep the Golden Bears from making the score any closer than the 5-2 final.  Alberta outshot Lakehead 13-6 in the third and 39-21 for the game.

The Three Stars, as chosen by David Trifunov of the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, were:
1) Grant McCune - Lakehead
2) Joel Scherban - Lakehead
3) Robert Hillier - Lakehead

Lakehead Head Coach Pete Belliveau was very happy with his team's performance.  "It was an unbelievable effort from our guys, considering how many injuries we got during the Bell Canada Varsity Cup tournament.  Lange, Piccinin, and Kenny are out and Richards is not 100 percent.  We stuck to our game plan and Grant McCune played an incredible game.  We know tomorrow will be tougher.  Alberta will have their game faces on and it will be like playoff hockey."

My Twolves Shoutouts go to the team as a whole for working hard, and to Mark Robinson for playing an incredible two-way hockey game.

The two teams take to the ice again Saturday night at 7:30 E.S.T. at t

1. 00:29 Lakehead, Bryan Duce (Jeff Richards) 2. 03:44 Alberta, Wade Burt (Tyler Shybunka , Blair St. Martin )
Penalties: 07:31 Alberta, Tyler Shybunka (Holding)08:52 Lakehead, Bryan Duce (Interference)11:43 Lakehead, Shawn Perring (Cross Checking)
3. 02:03 Lakehead, Mark Robinson (Craig Priestlay) 4. 02:30 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (Joel Scherban, Chris Shaffer) 5. 05:44 Lakehead, Joel Scherban (Jeff Richards, Chris Shaffer) PP
Penalties: 05:25 Alberta, Scott Henkelman (Holding the stick)07:41 Lakehead, Tyler Williamson (Hooking)19:19 Alberta, Scott Henkelman (Interference)20:00 Alberta, Ryan Wade (roughing)
6. 03:20 Alberta, Ryan Wade (Brad Tutschek )
Penalties: 05:35 Lakehead, Hugo Lehoux (Hooking)07:45 Alberta, Ryan Wade (Goaltender Interference)
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 37 saves made, 2 goals against.Alberta: Clayton Pool, 16 saves made, 5 goals against.Referees: Brewer (referee), xx, xx,