Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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3/27/2010: ALBERTA - 5 @ LAKEHEAD - 3


Mike Bennett
Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 27, 2010

THUNDER BAY, Ont. (CIS) – The top-seeded Alberta Golden Bears outdueled the host and fourth-seeded Lakehead Thunderwolves in a power play battle, winning 5-3 in the sixth game of the CIS men’s hockey championship, Saturday night at the Fort William Gardens.

The Bears (2-0) notched four man advantage finishes to the Thunderwolves’ three, securing first place in Pool A over Lakehead (1-1) and punching their ticket to Sunday’s CIS championship game, 7:00 p.m. EST (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN) versus the third seed and Pool B-winning Saint Mary’s Huskies (2-0).   

Chad Klassen (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) led the way for Alberta with two goals while Brock McPherson (Brampton, Ontario) countered with two for Lakehead. 

Lakehead opened scoring with the Bears’ Ian McDonald (Edmonton) in the box as third-year defenseman Ryan Baird (Thunder Bay, Ontario) pinched in from the point to burying a cross-crease pass from Dan Speer (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

The ‘Wolves nearly added to their lead on a subsequent power play when Speer one-timed a centering pass but was stonewalled by Alberta goaltender Travis Yorkman (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). Dobben and Hogg each took shots from the doorstep, but again Yorkman shut the door.

“Lakehead came out firing,” said Klassen at a post-game media conference. “We were able to weather the storm and make some big saves.”

The Golden Bears got a chance of their own when an aggressive forecheck by third-year forward Eric Hunter (Oakbank, Alberta) produced a dangerous wraparound.

Alberta got their game-tying finish at 15:04 when first-year Sean Ringrose (Edmonton) capitalized on a 5-on-3 situation from the left side of the crease.

Penalties continued to mar the contest as defenseman Colin Joe (Edmonton) was sent to the locker room early after checking a prone Kris Hogg from behind late in the first. Pierre Szaszkiewicz served the two minute penalty but the Thunderwolves were unable to generate any big chances.

Ringrose made a strong bid for his second goal of the game, jumping into the rush after a quick line change but was stopped by Lakehead net minder Alex Dupuis (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

“I thought we had a great first period, especially the first ten minutes,” said Thunderwolves head coach Joel Scherban at a post-game media conference.  

The power play chances continued into the second period as Golden Bears fourth-year centre Ian McDonald collected a deflected puck to nearly beat Dupuis.

Alberta hit the mark at 4:53 on another man advantage when winger Klassen roofed a booming slap shot over the glove side shoulder of Dupuis to complete a nice transition play with assists from Ian Barteaux (Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta) and Derek Ryan (Spokane, Washington).

The Golden Bears controlled the puck for several minutes before centre Dale Mahovsky (Fort Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan) took a hooking penalty at 13:03.

One minute later it was a 2-2 hockey game when the Thunderwolves’ Brock McPherson gathered a tape-to-tape centering pass from Dobben and ripped it past a helpless Yonkman.

Despite a 21-5 shots disadvantage, Lakehead looked to escape the second with a tie, but Alberta’s power play unit stepped up for a third time as defenseman Kyle Fecho (Hanna, Alberta) beat both Dupuis and the clock, making it 3-2 for the top seed with only eight seconds remaining.

Lakehead opened the third period with a flurry of chances by Speer and Dobben while Alberta countered with a strong take to the crease by Ringrose.

After an uncharacteristic too many men penalty was assessed to a usually disciplined Golden Bears team, Alberta produced a dangerous shorthanded rush when Chad Klassen (Saskatoon) made a nifty drop pass and Ryan wristed the puck into the chest of Dupuis.

On another power play, Alberta scored at 9:10 as Klassen jumped on a juicy rebound and hit the gaping net from the left side. Dupuis appeared to have a good beat on Ryan’s point shot on the play but the puck was redirected late, leading to the tough rebound.

After the two squads combined for six consecutive power play goals, Alberta’s McDonald finally notched the first even-strength tally of the night at 12:37 to push the lead to three goals.

The Thunderwolves stepped up the pressure late as Soares took a diving shot to challenge Yonkman whose rebound bounced onto the stick of Speer for another chance.

McPherson put home the final goal of the game at 15:13 with a power play roof job to close scoring at 5-3.

Alberta won the shots battle 41-26 with the Bears’ Yonkman making 23 stops for the victory.

His counterpart Dupuis stopped 36 shots in the loss.

“We had quite a few chances,” said Scherban. “We didn’t have a lot of shots, but we had chances. We didn’t score and against a team like Alberta, if you do get chances, you have to score. And the power-plays obviously won them the game tonight.”

The Golden Bears’ CIS top ranked power play was unstoppable in their victory as they converted four of their seven man advantage while Lakehead’s power play unit manufactured three goals on seven opportunities.

Alberta will chase their fourteenth CIS title in program history on Sunday and first since 2007-08. Of their championship opponents Saint Mary’s, Klassen said: “They’re pretty well-rounded and we bring a lot of the same things; it should be a good match up tomorrow.”


1. 02:58 Lakehead, Ryan Baird (Dan Speer, Matt Caria) PP 2. 15:04 Alberta, Ringrose (Hunter , Joe ) PP
Penalties: 02:33 Alberta, MacDonald (HKG)06:22 Alberta, Ashton (INT)12:48 Alberta, Gimblett (USC)12:48 Lakehead, Kris Hogg (USC)13:18 Lakehead, Jordan Smith (HKG)14:43 Lakehead, Mark Soares (TR)16:04 Alberta, Joe (CFB/GM)
3. 04:53 Alberta, Klassen (Barteaux , Ryan ) PP 4. 14:06 Lakehead, Brock McPherson (Scott Dobben) PP 5. 19:53 Alberta, Fecho (Hunter , Gimblett ) PP
Penalties: 00:11 Lakehead, Jordan Smith (HKG)04:37 Alberta, Zulyniak (HKG)07:11 Lakehead, Pierre Marc Guilbault (SL)13:03 Alberta, Mahovsky (HKG)18:24 Lakehead, Dan Speer (HKG)
6. 09:10 Alberta, Klassen (Ringrose , MacDonald ) PP 7. 12:37 Alberta, MacDonald (Gardner ) 8. 15:13 Lakehead, Brock McPherson (Andy Zulyniak ) PP
Penalties: 06:16 Alberta, Bench (TMM)08:31 Lakehead, Pierre Marc Guilbault (SL)13:17 Alberta, Klassen (SL)15:50 Alberta, Gimblett (CC)
Lakehead: Alex Dupuis, 36 saves made, 5 goals against.Alberta: Yonkman, 23 saves made, 3 goals against.