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


Mike Aylward
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The No. 4 Lakehead Thunderwolves defeated the No. 2 Western Mustangs 3-1 Wednesday night in a thrilling OUA Far West Division Finals match before a raucous full house of 3710 fans at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  The win gives Lakehead a 1-0 lead in the series which now heads to London on Friday.  Lakehead got offense from their defense as goals came from D-men Matt Kenny and Erik Lodge while forward Jason Lange tallied the other marker.  Western Captain Justin Davis scored for the Mustangs.  Lakehead goaltender Grant McCune made some very timely saves for the Thunderwolves to preserve the win. 

Lakehead jumped out to an early lead at 1:18 when Bryan Duce fired the puck from the low slot and his shot deflected up and over Western goaltender Mike D'Alessandro.  The Wolves Matt Kenny jumped on the loose puck and knocked it in.  A goal to Lakehead was disallowed at 7:03 when it was ruled that there had been a minor penalty called against the Thunderwolves just before the goal.   Lakehead goaltender Grant McCune flashed the quick glove to deny Western's Chris Rowan at 8:32.  Lakehead's Chris Shaffer fired a low rocket that just missed the Western goal at 9:38.  McCune came up with a big save off Western's Ryan Hare at 12:26.  A giveaway by Lakehead D-man Kris Callaway behind the Lakehead net led to Western's Justin Davis blasting it in the top right corner past Grant McCune at 17:20.  The assists went to Matt Bannan and Mike Stathopoulos.   Lakehead's Chris Shaffer then busted in on a breakaway but backhanded his shot wide at 17:00.  Lakehead outshot Western 13-10 in the first.

The Mustangs applied early pressure in the second.  Grant McCune made a good stick poke save to stop Western's Ryan Held at 3:00.  The Mustangs Jamie Chamberlain then blasted a rocket that rang the Lakehead post right after.  Lakehead's line of Jeff Richards, Joel Scherban, and Chris Shaffer put on the pressure at the five minute mark and were rewarded at 5:25 when Lakehead D-man Erik Lodge's pass across the crease deflected off a Western D-man's skate and past D'Alessandro into the Western goal.  Assists went to Joel Scherban and Chris Shaffer.  The goal energized the Wolves and they began to pressure the Mustangs.  Lakehead's Richards fired a quick backhander that hit the Mustangs top right post.  Lakehead was pressing and then two Western penalties put the Stangs in a hole.  The Wolves capitalized quickly.  Mike Jacobsen fired a shot that hit the post and bounced out to Bryan Duce who took a whack at it and as the puck bounced around in front of the Western goal, Jason Lange jumped on it and knocked it in at 12:44.  The period ended with Lakehead's Shaffer busting across the Western crease but not being able to beat D'Alessandro.  Shots in the second were 14-13 Lakehead.

The Wolves came out hard and Austin Wycisk just missed at the 2:00 mark when he cut across the Western crease.  Lakehead went on the poweplay and Jeff Richards just missed the open right side of the Mustangs goal.  Right after the penalty elapsed, D'Alessandro made a great screened glove save off a point blast by Lakehead's Mike Jacobsen.  Western went on the powerplay but it was Richards who almost scored when he cut against the grain and fired a quick snapshot that just missed.  Western's Justin Davis rang the right Lakehead post at 9:00 after breaking in on a two-on-one.  Tempers began to flare at 12:51 and a skirmish broke out between Western's Tim Zafiris and Lakehead's Robert Hillier.  The Wolves went on the powerplay with five minutes remaining and Western's D'Alessandro came up with two good stops.  Lakehead's Grant McCune made a great save with 12 seconds left when he reacted quickly to deflected shot by Western's Jeff Martin.  Shots on goal were 8-4 Lakehead in the third and 35-27 in the game. 

The Molson's Three Stars, as c

1. 01:18 Lakehead, Matt Kenny (Bryan Duce) 2. 17:20 Western Ontario, Justin Davis (Matt Bannan , Mike Stathopolous )
Penalties: 03:00 Lakehead, Hugo Lehoux (minor)08:00 Lakehead, Craig Priestlay (minor)
3. 05:25 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (Joel Scherban, Chris Shaffer) 4. 12:44 Lakehead, Jason Lange (Mike Jacobsen, Bryan Duce) PP
Penalties: 06:00 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (minor)10:00 Lakehead, Steve Rawski (minor)18:29 Lakehead, Steve Rawski (interference)
No Scoring

Penalties: 06:00 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (minor)
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 26 saves made, 1 goals against.Western Ontario: Dalessandro, 32 saves made, 3 goals against.Referees: xx (referee), xx, xx,