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12/30/2004: LAKEHEAD - 4 @ MANITOBA - 3

BELL VARSITY CUP DAY 3: LAKEHEAD EDGES MANITOBA TO GET TO BELL FINAL

Mike Aylward
Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Bell Varsity Cup Day 3 night game saw the No. 3 Lakehead Thunderwolves skate past the No. 6 Manitoba Bisons by a 4-3 score before 2370 fans at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  Lakehead's scoring came from Francis Walker, Brad Priestlay, Steve Rawski, and Tobias Whelan.  Paul Deniset, Aaron Starr, and Warren McCutcheon replied for the Bisons.  Manitoba outshot Lakehead 46-30 on the night.  Manitoba was 1-7 on the powerplay and Lakehead was 2-7.      

Lakehead's Jeff Richards opened the game by letting a quick wrist shot fly that was handled nicely by Manitoba goalie Krister Toews.  Lakehead went on an early powerplay and Toews errantly passed it behind his net to Lakehead's Murray Magill who flipped it in front of the net to Francis Walker who buried it at 2:19.  The other assist went to Tobias Whelan.  Lakehead quickly made it 2-0 when Brad Priestlay beat Toews with a good move and scored on the backhand at 3:10.  Assists went to Dene Poulin and Andrew Brown.  Manitoba then put on the pressure and Chris Whitley had to make two stops in the Lakehead net.  Lakehead was called on a minor and the Bisons went on the powerplay.  Whitley made two saves and the advantage was over.  Lakehead went back on the powerplay at the halfway mark but killed it off successfully.  However the Bisons were called for two more successive minors.  Lakehead came close on a couple of occasions but Toews came up with the saves.  Sides returned to even and Manitoba's Chris Falloon was sprung on a breakaway at 16:00 and Falloon nailed the right Lakehead post.  The Bisons were called for another minor with 1:25 left but Lakehead couldn't do anything with the opportunity.  Lakehead outshot Manitoba 11-6 in the first.   

Manitoba's Everett had a short breakaway in the early going of the second but Lakehead's Steve Rawski caught him from behind and knocked the puck away.  Lakehead's Tobias Whelan then fired a good wrist shot from the right side that was gloved easily by Manitoba's Toews.  The Bisons' Paul Deniset jumped on a loose puck during a goalmouth scramble in front of the Lakehead goal and fired it past Lakehead's Whitley at 2:58.  The assists went to Rob Smith and Kevin Saurette.  Lakehead came close a minute later when Rawski fired a wrist shot that Toews bobbled but the puck deflected just wide.  The Wolves' Erik Lodge then fired a wrist shot that was deflected down by a Bisons' d-man and Toews had to make a quick reaction save.   Manitoba's Warren McCutcheon fought through the Lakehead check and got a good shot up close on Whitley but the Wolves' netminder flashed the glove for the save.  Manitoba went on the powerplay at 9:04 and Whitley made a great save off the Bisons' Andrew Kaminsky.  Lakehead then followed with their own powerplay and the Bisons were caught with too many men and went two men down for 44 seconds.  Manitoba killed off the first but Lakehead's Rawski jumped on a rebound and fired it low stickside past Toews at 13:38, assisted by Francis Walker.  Manitoba's David MacDonald just missed with a tip in soon after.  Lakehead's Andrew Brown then carried the puck in and crashed the Bisons' goal and Toews made a great save but Tobias Whelan blasted the rebound into the top right corner at 14:46.  A Lakehead defensive lapse left Manitoba's Chris Falloon breaking down all alone with Paul Deniset on his right.  Falloon faked the shot and passed the puck across the crease to Deniset but Lakehead's Whitley slid across to deny the Bisons' Captain what seemed a sure goal.  Shots were 19-13 Manitoba in the second. 

Play was even in the early going of the third.  Manitoba's Travis Eagles had a great chance when his shot was kicked back to him by Whitley and Eagles shot the rebound off the post.  Lakehead's Tobias Whelan then sped up the ice and just missed over a diving Toews.   Play stayed in the

SCORING SUMMARY
PERIOD 1:
1. 02:19 Lakehead, Francis Walker (Murray Magill, Tobias Whelan) PP 2. 03:10 Lakehead, Brad Priestlay (Dene Poulin, Andrew Brown)
Penalties: 00:32 Manitoba, R.Smith (Rough)06:56 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (Slash)09:42 Manitoba, Nevill (Charge)11:49 Manitoba, Deniset (Cross Check)13:55 Manitoba, Kaminsky (Hooking)18:35 Manitoba, R.Smith (Rough)
PERIOD 2:
3. 02:58 Manitoba, Deniset (Smith , Saurette ) 4. 13:38 Lakehead, Steve Rawski (Francis Walker) PP 5. 14:46 Lakehead, Tobias Whelan (Andrew Brown)
Penalties: 08:40 Manitoba, Bear (Hooking)08:40 Lakehead, Mark Robinson (Unsportsmanlike)09:04 Lakehead, Dene Poulin (Hooking)10:54 Manitoba, McCutcheon (Rough)12:06 Manitoba, Brglez (Too Many Men)
PERIOD 3:
6. 06:28 Manitoba, Starr (MacDonlad ) 7. 19:39 Manitoba, McCutcheon (Little , Cameron ) PP
Penalties: 09:27 Manitoba, Cameron (Rough)10:57 Lakehead, Andrew Brown (Slash)12:06 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (Boarding)13:50 Lakehead, Jeff Richards (Slashing)13:50 Manitoba, Cameron (Slashing)15:42 Lakehead, Chris Shaffer (High Stick)18:40 Lakehead, Sean Stefanski (Rough)19:05 Lakehead, Peter Cava (Rough/10 min Misconduct)19:09 Manitoba, Kaminsky (Slashing)
Lakehead: Chris Whitley, 43 saves made, 3 goals against.Manitoba: Toews, 26 saves made, 4 goals against.Referees: Grant Sherred (referee), Eric Vastamaki, Kevin Ritchie,