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12/30/2009: MANITOBA - 2 @ LAKEHEAD - 8

WOLVES DEFEAT BISONS TO SECURE VARSITY CUP

Mike Bennett
Thursday, December 31, 2009

Shandor Alphonso must love his new Thunderwolves teammates. The fifth-year senior joined freshmen recruits Matt Caria and Matt Dias on the starting forward line and made the most of the situation scoring two goals and adding an assist in helping the CIS No. 10 Lakehead Thunderwolves defeat the No. 7 Manitoba Bisons 8-2 to secure the TbayTel Varsity Cup Challenge win, Wednesday night at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay. The series, played in honour of the late Jim Johnson, former president of Thunderwolves Hockey pitted the last two Varsity Cup winners against each other in two evenings of CIS nonconference play.

Caria added a goal of his own with Ryan McDonald, Arron Alphonso, Adam Sergerie, Mark Soares and Brennan Menard also scoring in a dominant offensive effort for Lakehead.

Patrick Flynn and Kyle Howarth tallied for Manitoba in their loss.

Lakehead came out guns blazing after the opening faceoff, building a 2-0 lead within the opening five minutes on tallies from Shandor Alphonso and McDonald, the latter coming on the powerplay. Caria and Baird assisted on the opening goal, with Dias and Sergerie credited with helpers on McDonald’s finish.

Flynn responded for Manitoba, wiring a slap shot past a screened Kyle Moir to draw the Bisons back within one. Greg Beller and Chris Benias assisted.

From there, the Wolves emphatically retook control when Arron Alphonso scored at 10:56 on feeds from Soares and Scott Dobben. Barely a minute later it was 4-1 when Sergerie fired the puck past Bisons netminder Jesse Dechert with help from Mitch Maunu. That was the last shot Dechert would face on the night as he was replaced by Steve Christie after stopping just two of six shots on goal.

After Lakehead withstood an aggressive Manitoba team during the opening minutes of the second period, Soares extended the Wolves’ lead at 7:11 when he and Dobben teamed up on shorthanded two-on-one rush. Four minutes later Caria went top shelf to make it 6-1 after scooping up a juicy rebound from in close. Shandor and Maunu earned the assists on the score. 

Shandor scored his second of the evening on a breakaway, sprung by a rink-wide pass from brother Arron. Bryan Wilson got the second assist on the goal that came at 15:41.

In the third period, freshman Menard closed Lakehead’s scoring six minutes in after going hard to the net and banging home his first goal with the Thunderwolves.

Manitoba’s final goal came at 11:31 when Howarth’s wrist shot found the bottom left side of the net, assisted by Benias. 

Goalie Kyle Moir made 33 stops for Lakehead, who despite the lopsided margin of victory were narrowly outshot 35-34 by the Bisons.

Prior the Thunderwolves showdown with Manitoba, the visiting Lansing Capital Center Pride defeated the Thunder Bay Major Midget Kings 4-1, avenging their loss the night before to the hosts.

SCORING SUMMARY
PERIOD 1:
1. 02:59 Lakehead, Shandor Alphonso (Matt Caria, Ryan Baird) 2. 05:09 Lakehead, Ryan McDonald (Matt Dias, Adam Sergerie) PP 3. 07:14 Manitoba, Beller (Benias ) 4. 10:56 Lakehead, Arron Alphonso (Mark Soares, Scott Dobben) 5. 12:04 Lakehead, Adam Sergerie (Mitch Maunu)
Penalties: 03:45 Manitoba, Flynn (HS)16:29 Lakehead, Matt Caria (HS)
PERIOD 2:
6. 07:11 Lakehead, Mark Soares (Scott Dobben) SH 7. 11:17 Lakehead, Matt Caria (Shandor Alphonso, Mitch Maunu) 8. 15:41 Lakehead, Shandor Alphonso (Arron Alphonso, Bryan Wilson) SH
Penalties: 00:00 Manitoba, Mealy (Slewfoot Tripping)04:36 Lakehead, Matt Dias (RO)06:13 Lakehead, Ryan McDonald (CC)06:13 Manitoba, Howarth (RO)06:58 Lakehead, Bryan Wilson (SL)11:42 Lakehead, Mitch Maunu (RO)14:12 Lakehead, Brennan Menard (CC)
PERIOD 3:
9. 06:06 Lakehead, Brennan Menard (unassisted) 10. 06:06 Lakehead, Brennan Menard (Devin Welsh, Andy Hyvarinen) 11. 06:06 Lakehead, Devin Welsh (Andy Hyvarinen) 12. 11:32 Manitoba, Howarth (Benias )
Penalties: 06:49 Lakehead, Arron Alphonso (INT)07:39 Manitoba, Mealy (SL)10:22 Manitoba, Lockerby (HS)10:22 Lakehead, Andy Hyvarinen (HS)16:35 Manitoba, Erb (TR)
Lakehead: Kyle Moir, 33 saves made, 2 goals against.Manitoba: Deckett, 2 saves made, 4 goals against.Manitoba: Christie, 24 saves made, 4 goals against.