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11/28/2003: LAKEHEAD - 1 @ WINDSOR - 4

LAKEHEAD UPSET BY WINDSOR 4-1

Mike Aylward
Friday, November 28, 2003

The No. 3 Lakehead Thunderwolves were upset 4-1 by divisional rival Windsor Lancers at the Adie Knox Herman Arena in Windsor on Friday night.  The loss drops Lakehead's record to 8-2 in OUA play and 12-3 overall.  The win raises Windsor's record to 4-7 in OUA action and 4-12 overall.  This was Windsor's first victory over the Thunderwolves in 14 games over the three seasons that Lakehead has been in the OUA.  The loss puts Lakehead into a tie for first place with the Western Mustangs in the OUA Far West Division, with both teams sporting identical 8-2 conference records.


Windsor played a very tight checking style that kept a flat looking Lakehead offense in check.  Another key factor was the stellar goaltending of Windsor rookie netminder Jay Ewasiuk, who played an excellent game keeping the nation's leading offense off the scoreboard.  Ewasiuk turned aside 46 Lakehead shots in the game while Lakehead netminder Grant McCune stoopped 16 Lancer shots.  Windsor rookie Jordi Preston was also impressive, playing a strong overall game.  Jason Melo, Ryan Bresden, Mike Budrewicz, and B.J. Gaylord did the scoring for the Lancers.  Matt Kenny replied for the Thunderwolves.

Another factor contributing to victory was Windsor's winning the batle of the special teams.  The Lancers scored one powerplay goal on three chances, while succesfully killing off seven Lakehead powerplay opportunities. 


The Lancers came out fast in the first and set the tone for the style of play through most of the period.  Windsor's Jason Melo jumped on a loose puck caused by a Lakehead turnover and beat Lakehead goaltender Grant McCune at 2:09.  The assists went to Ty Magatiaux and B.J. Gaylord.  The Thunderwolves then put on some pressure but Windsor netminder Jay Ewasiuk came up with a couple of good saves.  Windsor also had some good chances on a subsequent powerplay.  Ryan Bresden made it 2-0 at 13:09, after the puck bounced off his chest past Lakehead's McCune.  Shots in the first period were 7 apiece. 


The second period was similar to the first, with Windsor playing a tight defensive style, and happy to dump the puck down at any sign of Lakehead pressure.  It was only at the midway point that the Thunderwolves' potent offense showed some signs of life.  Goaltender Ewasiuk robbed Lakehead's Mike Wehrstedt to keep the Wolves off the scoreboard.  An apparent goal by Lakehead's Jason Lange was waved off as the referee ruled the play had been blown dead.  


Lakehead came out really hard in the third, desperate to score, and peppered goaltender Ewasiuk but the Lancer netminder came up with a string of great stops.  Windsor then almost made it 3-0 but Lakehead's McCune's came up with an excellent pad save.  Soon after, Windsor Captain Mike Budrewicz made it 3-0 when he beat a screened McCune with a shot from the point.  Lakehead again went on the offensive, trying to beat Ewasiuk but Lakehead couldn't put the puck past the rookie.  Windsor's Gaylord made it 4-0 at 18:44 on the powerplay, with the assist going to Kyle Trudell.  Lakehead's Matt Kenny broke Ewasiuk's shutout at 19:23 to make the final 4-1.  Final shots on goal were 47-20 in favour of Lakehead.

Lakehead Head Coach Pete Belliveau said his team ran into a great goaltender Friday night.  "I think we played well enough to win but their goaltender was excellent, he really shut us down.  Full credit to the Lancers, they played possessed and really wanted to win; blocking shots, hitting, and hustling for the full 60 minutes.  We'll have to regroup and get ready for a tough Toronto team tomorrow and Sunday."


Friday's game was the first of a three game weekend road trip for the Thunderwolves, as they head to Toronto Saturday morning to tackle the Varsity Blues on Saturday and Sunday nights.  Both games vs. the Blues will face off at 7:30 EST at the University of Toronto's Varsity Arena.