Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram



Mike Aylward
Sunday, March 07, 2004

Erik Lodge's goal at 12:40 of the fourth overtime gave the No. 4 Lakehead Thunderwolves an epic 5-4 win over the No. 2 Western Mustangs Saturday night in an incredible overtime battle at the Thompson Arena in London, Ont.  The goal came about as Western was called for tripping and Lodge let a blast go that beat Western goalie Mike D'Alessandro.  The Thunderwolves outshot the Mustangs 86-53 in the marathon.  With the win, Lakehead takes the OUA Far West Division Final two games to one and puts the Thunderwolves into the Queen's Cup Tournament next weekend in London, with the Cup being hosted by the Mustangs.  The game started at 7:35 p.m. EST and finished at 12:26 EST, with the players battling on the ice for an astounding 122 minutes and 40 seconds.  Not one person in the large crowd of over a 1000 left the arena, and then gave both teams a standing ovation after the epic battle.  This was the second year in a row that Lakehead has beaten Western for the OUA Far West Championship in overtime in London.       

Goaltenders Grant McCune of Lakehead and Mike D'Alessandro of Western were the big stories of this game as they turned aside countless dangerous scoring opportunities to keep their teams in the game, and keep the eternal game going.  D'Alessandro turned aside 81 of 86 Lakehead shots for an incredible 94.15% Save Percentage while Grant McCune turned away 49 of 53 Western shots for a 92.45% Save Percentage.  The dangerous Jeff Richards was another factor as the OUA Far West MVP led the Wolves with two goals and two assists, Chris Shaffer notched a goal and two assists, and Joel Scherban scored a goal and an assist.  Western's markers came from Jamie Chamberlain, Chris Haskett, Brad Yeo, and Mike Stathopoulos.

Lakehead Coach Pete Belliveau said it was a great example of CIS hockey at its finest.  "It was a hell of a game.  This was the biggest win in our team's short history!  Talk about character, they had a powerplay opportunity in the fourth overtime and we fought it off, and then we got a powerplay chance and got the winner.  It's a shame somebody has to lose a game like this as both teams showed incredible heart out there and put on a real show for the fans in London!"

Western is guaranteed at least one game as host for the Queen's Cup and will first play Toronto, the division champion with the lowest qualifying record, next Friday night.  Then the Queen's Cup becomes a four-team knockout tourney beginning Saturday with the two finalists booking a ticket to the CIS National Championships in Fredericton later in March. 

Lakehead came out hard in the first period and came close early.  Western goalie Mike D'Alessandro made three good stops in succession off Lakehead's Joel Scherban, Chris Shaffer and Austin Wycisk.  Western's Captain Justin Davis then used his speed to get around the Wolves defense and fired a hard shot that was gloved nicely by Lakehead netminder Grant McCune.  The Wolves kept up the pressure and were rewarded at 6:14 when Richards fired a hard wrist shot that beat D'Alessandro high.  The assist went to Shaffer.  Richards followed up soon after with a rocket that beat D'Alessandro at 8:06, assisted by Shaffer and Mike Jacobsen.  The Wolves went on the powerplay and D'Alessandro made a great stop to deny Richards his hat trick.  The Mustangs started to generate some offense in the last five minutes forcing McCune to make some stops.  Western then went on the powerplay, and Jamie Chamberlain scored at 17:01 when he deflected a hard point shot by Jamie Sokolski past Lakehead's McCune.  The other assist went to Jeff Martin.  Lakehead outshot Western 17-8 in the first.

Western came out hard early and struck for two goals from Chris Haskett and Brad Yeo in the first three minutes.  D'Alessandro and McCune made good saves throughout the period until the<

1. 06:14 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Chris Shaffer) 2. 08:04 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Chris Shaffer, Mike Jacobsen) 3. 17:01 Western Ontario, Jamie Chamberlain (Sololski , Martin ) PP
Penalties: 02:00 Lakehead, Matt Kenny (minor)06:00 Lakehead, Hugo Lehoux (double minor)15:00 Western Ontario, Benedetti (minor)
4. 01:17 Western Ontario, Chris Haskett (unassisted) 5. 02:30 Western Ontario, Brad Yeo (unassisted) 6. 19:35 Lakehead, Joel Scherban (Jeff Richards) 7. 19:56 Lakehead, Chris Shaffer (unassisted)
Penalties: 06:00 Lakehead, Murray Magill (minor)16:00 Western Ontario, Chamberlain (minor)
8. 03:18 Western Ontario, Stathopolous (Sokolski )
Penalties: 02:00 Western Ontario, Rowan (minor)08:00 Lakehead, Shawn Perring (minor)16:00 Western Ontario, Sokolsky (Double minor)
9. 62:40 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (Jeff Richards, Joel Scherban) PP
Penalties: 03:00 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (minor)
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 49 saves made, 4 goals against.