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9/26/2003: BRITISH COLUMBIA - 4 @ LAKEHEAD - 5

LAKEHEAD OUTLASTS UBC 5-4

Mike Aylward
Friday, September 26, 2003

The Lakehead Thunderwolves opened their 2003-2004 season with a hard fought 5-4 non-conference win over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds before 3275 fans at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.   A gritty hardworking UBC squad gave the Thunderwolves all they could handle in a tough checking match.

Lakehead's rink rust showed early UBC came out hard in the first period and took the play to the Thunderwolves.  Lakehead had a few good chances early but UBC goalie Robert Filc was up to the task making some good stops.  The Thunderbirds John Kress rang the post on a hard slapshot at the 3:30 mark and UBC carried the play through the halfway mark until Tyler Kuntz gave the Tbirds the 1-0 lead at 12:13, assisted by James Bullock and Dustin Paul.  Lakehead rookie Kris Calloway tied the score at 14:44, set up nicely by Peter Cava and Jounni Kuokkanen.  Tyler Williamson quickly made it 2-1 Lakehad at 15:00 when he took a hard wrister from the point that beat UBC's Filc.  The assist went to Wyatt Tunnicliffe.   Lakehead applied some heavy pressure at the end of the period on the powerplay, but Filc kept the Wolves at bay.  Lakehead outshot UBC 13-11 in the first.

Jeff Richards put the Thunderwolves up 3-1 very quickly when he knocked in a puck in front of Filc at the 38 second mark, setup by Erik Lodge and Joel Scherban.  UBC's Filc robbed Lakehead's Austin Wycisk on a breakaway at the 10:00 mark.  Lakehead goalie Grant McCune countered by robbing UBC's Dustin Paul at 12:44 when Paul broke in alone.  UBC's Mathew Reid made it 3-2 when he beat McCune between the legs with a hard low shot from the left slot.    The second saw the teams begin to hit more as they began to grow more familiar with each other.  Lakehead outshot UBC 11-6 in the second period.

UBC came out hard in the third and had the majority of the early scoring chances.  However, Filc was forced to come up big when he robbed Lakehead's Kuokkanen with a great sprawling breakaway glove save.  UBC tied it at 3-3 when Derek Dinelle scored at 6:08.  Dinelle was set up by a nice long pass by Robert Petrie that caught the Lakehead defense a little flatfooted  UBC took a 4-3 lead at 8:48 when Petrie scored from the slot, set up by John Kress.  Lakehead then came back, applying a lot of pressure during the midway section of the period.

UBC's Filc kept the puck out until 11:39 when Mike Jacobsen beat him with a hard low shot that was set up by a beautiful pass from Craig Priestlay.  The other assist went to Jeff Adduono.  Lakehead kept up the pressure and took the 5-4 lead at 15:52 on the best goal of the game.  Lakehead defenseman Erik Lodge lobbed a high lob pass to center ice to a streaking Peter Cava who broke in alone on Filc and beat him with blistering shot in the top left corner.   Lakehead then drew a minor penalty in the last two minutes of the game and UBC turned on the pressure, pulling the goalie, but Lakehead goalie McCune was solid making a few good saves to end the game.
Lakehead outshot UBC 16-15 in the third and 40-32 in the match.

Lakehead Head Coach Pete Belliveau was happy with his team's effort against a hard checking UBC side.  "It was a character game for our team.  We were obviously rusty out there but when UBC went up 4-3, that's when we started to play better hockey.  UBC played a good, tough, grinding game and it was a very good challenge for us in our first game of the season."

The Molson's Three Stars, as selected by TBT Sports Director Bryan Wyatt, were:
1) Peter Cava:  Lakehead
2) Robert Petrie:  UBC
3) Kris Calloway: Lakehead

The two teams faceoff again Saturday night at 7:30 at the Fort William Gardens in the second game of their two-game series.