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11/1/2003: LAKEHEAD - 3 @ WESTERN ONTARIO - 4

ZAFIRIS\'S LAST SECOND GOAL GIVES MUSTANGS 4-3 WIN OVER THUNDERWOLVES!

Mike Aylward
Saturday, November 01, 2003

Western's Tim Zafiris scored with one second left in the game to give the No. 4 Western Mustangs a wild 4-3 win over the No. 5 Lakehead Thunderwolves Saturday night at the Thompson Arena in London, Ontario.  Lakehead had won the first game of the two game series with a 3-2 victory on Friday night in London.  The loss puts the Thunderwolves' record at 3-0-1 in OUA play (7-0-2 overall) and raises the Mustangs OUA record to 2-0-1. 

Lakehead was led by Jeff Richards with a goal and an assist.  Other markers came from Mike Jacobsen and Jason Lange.  Western's scoring came from Zafiris, Ryan Held, Chris Berti, and Michael Rice.

The Mustangs came out fast in the opening period and jumped into an early lead at 1:09 when Ryan Held beat Lakehead's Grant McCune with a quick shot.  Western kept up the pressure through the early stages of the period and their tenacious forechecking kept the Thunderwolves off balance.  Lakehead went on the powerplay but it was Western who almost scored when Lakehead's Grant McCune had to come up with an incredible save to deny the Mustang's Chris Eade.  Lakehead speedster Jeff Richards tied the game at 15:24, knocking in a loose puck sitting on the line after Western's Mike D'Alessandro had stopped a point shot from Lakehead's Tyler Williamson.  Chris Berti then promptly replied for the Mustangs at 16:32, beating McCune with a hard shot from the slot.  The period featured two crunching hits; one by Lakehead's Steve Rawski on Western's Ryan Held and one by Western's Mike Sellan on Lakehead's Jeff Richards.  Lakehead outshot Western 12-8 in the first but it was the Mustangs who seemed the fresher team.

Lakehead came out hard in the second and had a good chance early when Robert Hillier slid the puck across the Western crease but his Lakehead linemates couldn't knock the puck in.   Western had some good chances during a powerplay, but couldn't beat Lakehead's McCune.  Lakehead's Mike Jacobsen tied the game at 5:45 when he blasted a rocket from the point during a Lakehead powerplay that cleanly beat Western's D'Alessandro.  The game got a little nasty in the middle part of the period with both teams taking penalties.  Play was very fast as both teams went back and forth, and both goaltenders were sharp.  Lakehead outshot Western 20-8 in the second.    

Action was fast and furious in the third with both teams storming the nets.  Western's Chris Berti then made a great move at 2:28 and took a hard shot that was handled neatly by Lakehead's McCune.  Western's Michael Rice gave the Mustangs a 3-2 lead at 4:46, when he fired a hard shot from the hashmarks that beat McCune.  Western's Mike Sellan then laid a massive bodycheck on Lakehead's Wyatt Tunnicliffe.  Jason Lange quickly tied it up at 9:46, flipping a high wrist shot past D'Alessandro glove side.  Right after the goal, Lakehead's McCune made a great sliding save robbing Western's Matt Bannan.  Both goaltenders made a series of good saves as the period neared the end, keeping the game tied at three. Tim Zafiris scored the game winner at 19:59 to put the game away for the Mustangs. 

Lakehead Head Coach Pete Belliveau said it was a great game and a great series.  "The fans in London were the winners this weekend as they saw two excellent hockey games.  Tonight the shoe was on the other foot.  We won late last night, they won late tonight.  We had our chances in the second period but we didn't capitalize and that came back to haunt us.  Western played well tonight, and all in all, we're happy with the split as we came out of their rink with two points.  Our series in Thunder Bay against them at the end of January now looms large for our divisional race."

The Thunderwolves travel to Chatham, Ontario Sunday morning to play the third match of their three game weekend against the Windsor

SCORING SUMMARY
PERIOD 1:
1. 01:09 Western Ontario, Ryan Held (Tim Zafiris , Chris Hasket ) 2. 15:24 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Tyler Williamson, Jouni Kuokkanen) 3. 16:32 Western Ontario, Chris Berti (Jamie Chamberlain , Brad Yeo )
Penalties: 02:36 Lakehead, Bench (Too Many Men)11:35 Western Ontario, Justin Davis (Interference)
PERIOD 2:
4. 05:46 Lakehead, Mike Jacobsen (Joel Scherban) PP
Penalties: 05:17 Western Ontario, Jamie Chamberlain (Tripping)11:47 Lakehead, Wyatt Tunnicliffe (Hooking)12:39 Western Ontario, Mike Rice (Roughing)14:11 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Roughing)17:09 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Roughing)20:00 Western Ontario, Chris Rowan (Elbowing)
PERIOD 3:
5. 04:46 Western Ontario, Mike Rice (Mike Stathopoulos ) 6. 09:46 Lakehead, Jason Lange (unassisted) 7. 19:59 Western Ontario, Tim Zafiris (Justin Davis , Mike Stathopoulos )
Penalties: 04:50 Western Ontario, Ryan Hare (Cross Checking)11:16 Lakehead, Hugo Lehoux (Cross Checking)
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 26 saves made, 4 goals against.Western Ontario: Mike DAllessandro, 39 saves made, 3 goals against.