Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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1/31/2004: WESTERN ONTARIO - 3 @ LAKEHEAD - 5


Mike Aylward
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Lakehead Captain Joel Scherban's and Thunderwolves leading scorer Jeff Richards each notched five points to lead their No. 3 Thunderwolves past the No. 2 Western Mustangs 5-3 Saturday night before another noisy sold-out crowd of 3710 fans at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  Scherban notched a goal and four assists while Jeff Richards added two goals and three assists.  The win raises Lakehead's OUA record to 14-3-2 (21-5-3 overall) and puts Western's to 16-3 (20-9-0 overall), giving the Mustangs a two point lead in the race for first in the OUA Far West Division.

The game started out fast with both teams flying up and down the ice, but not generating any dangerous early chances.  Lakehead's Jeff Richards electrified the crowd with a couple of early end to end rushes but couldn't finish them off.  Richards then crashed headlong into the boards at the Western end and went off briefly, but fortunately returned to the Lakehead bench soon after.  Lakehead's Leon Cooper just missed at 7:25, and Robert Hillier couldn't connect on the wide open rebound.  Lakehead the put on great pressure, but couldn't get the puck past Western's Mike D'Alessandro.  Lakehead's Grant McCune then made a nice save off a deflected point shot by Western's Matt Bannan.  D'Allesandro then made a good stop off a rocket by Lakehead's Chris Shaffer from the slot. 

Western's Matt Bannan made it 1-0 at 15:03 when his centering pass deflected past Lakehead's McCune.  Assists went to Zafiris and Brown.  Western's Mike Rice quickly made it 2-0 at 15:49 with an unassisted effort that quieted the noisy crowd and seemed to deflate the Wolves.  Lakehead netminder McCune made a great sliding save with 46 seconds left to rob Western's Jeff Martin who blasted a shot from the low slot.  Shots on goal were 9-6 Western in the first. 

The first five minutes of the second saw a lot of the action in the neutral zone as neither team could seem to get their offense going.  Western successfully killed off two minors early.  The Mustangs then had a little pressure and Captain Justin Davis got off a low wrist shot that was handled by Lakehead's McCune.  Lakehead's Richards put the Wolves back in the game at 8:56 when he broke in with Chris Shaffer on a 2 on 1.    Richards faked out the lone Western defender and fired a centering pass towards Shaffer that deflected off D'Alessandro and into the Western net.  Assists went to Shaffer and Joel Scherban.  The Mustangs went on the powerplay and swarmed the Lakehead net but couldn't put the puck past McCune.  The Wolves then countered with some pressure and D'Alessandro was up to the task in the Stangs goal.  The Thunderwolves then went on the powerplay and Mike Jacobsen made no mistake at 14:29 when he fired a high hard wrist shot from the point that beat a screened D'Alessandro.  The assists went to Scherban and Richards.  The Mustangs immediately followed with a powerplay of their own but couldn't break the Wolves pk defense.   Lakehead's Shaffer then missed a glorious opportunity when he missed a wide open Mustangs goal with two minutes left.  D'Alessandro made another fine save off a Shaffer shot from the low slot with one minute left.   Shaffer's then just missed with a deflection off a Kris Callaway shot.  The Thunderwolves buzzed the Mustangs goal but couldn't put the puck in as the period ended.  Lakehead outshot Western 9-6 in the second.

Lakehead started the third on the powerplay and both Jeff Richards and Matt Kenny came close.  The Mustangs immediately had a powerplay of their own but couldn't get anything going.  Western was called for a minor at 7:49 and Lakehead made them pay when Bryan Duce neatly deflected in a Joel Scherban point shot at 8:05.  The other assist went to Jeff Richards.  Western's Ryan Held had a good opportunity when the puck was kicked out by McCune, but Held couldn't reach the loose puck.  Held then fired a rocket blast into McCune's chest protector 30 seconds later

1. 15:03 Western Ontario, Bannan (Zafiris , Brown ) 2. 15:49 Western Ontario, Rice (unassisted)
Penalties: 11:13 Western Ontario, Rowan (slash)12:08 Lakehead, Jason Lange (Unsportsmanlike)
3. 08:56 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Chris Shaffer, Joel Scherban) 4. 14:29 Lakehead, Mike Jacobsen (Joel Scherban, Jeff Richards) PP
Penalties: 01:08 Western Ontario, stathopolous (hook)03:02 Western Ontario, Thompson (Trip)09:14 Lakehead, Murray Magill (hook)13:54 Western Ontario, Sokolsky (Interference)15:12 Lakehead, Murray Magill (slash)19:41 Western Ontario, Thompson (Slashing and roughing)20:00 Lakehead, Chris Shaffer (slash)
5. 08:05 Lakehead, Bryan Duce (Joel Scherban, Jeff Richards) PP 6. 14:34 Lakehead, Joel Scherban (Jeff Richards) SH 7. 19:21 Western Ontario, Held (Stathopoulos , Thompson ) 8. 19:58 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Joel Scherban, Kris Callaway) EN
Penalties: 04:00 Lakehead, Matt Kenny (goaltender interference)07:49 Western Ontario, Davies (hook)18:34 Western Ontario, Sokolsky (Roughing and 10 min misc.)19:07 Lakehead, Chris Shaffer (Interference)19:58 Western Ontario, Thompson (roughing)19:58 Western Ontario, Held (10 min misc.)20:00 Western Ontario, Zafiris (slash)
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 24 saves made, 3 goals against.Referees: G. Sherrard (referee), D. Gale, E. Vastamaki,