Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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2/22/2006: WESTERN ONTARIO - 3 @ LAKEHEAD - 4 OT


Mike Aylward
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tobias Whelan’s goal at 8:44 of the first overtime gave the Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s hockey a thrilling 4-3 OT win over the No. 4 Western Mustangs Wednesday night in Game One of their OUA Quarter Final series at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  The game was filled with action, strong goaltending, a disallowed goal, a penalty shot, dinged posts and crossbars, as well as a host of many other subplots that made the game even more exciting. 

Mike “Action Man” Wehrstedt made a fantastic return after more than a month off due to his second injury of the season and scored two crucial goals for the Wolves while Shandor Alphonso notched Lakehead’s other goal.  Lakehead Captain Joel Scherban added two assists.  Matt Manias, Sal Peralta, and Ryan Waldner scored for the Stangs.  Goaltenders Grant McCune of Lakehead and Scott Dickie of Western both made a number of fine saves on the night.  Lakehead outshot Western 37-36 in the closely contested game. 

Lakehead Head Coach Pete Belliveau said the game was a battle.  “Both teams worked really hard and both netminders played excellent hockey.  We know this series is far from over as the playoff history between these two teams show.  Our guys played with a lot of heart, there’s more character on this team than you can shake a stick at, and there are a lot of seniors on this team that don’t want their careers to be over so we’ll head to London for more thrilling playoff hockey.”

Western jumped out to an early lead at 1:22 of the first when Mannias fired a long shot from just inside the Lakehead blue line that fooled Lakehead’s McCune.  Wehrstedt replied at 6:46 when he fired a one-timer from the slot past Dickie after being fed a perfect cross crease pass from Scherban.  The other assist went to Drew Kivell.  Western took a 2-1 lead on Peralta’s goal and he was set up by great passes from Mike Rice and Chris Eady.  Alphonso tied it again for the Wolves at 17:53 on a fantastic individual effort that saw him fight off a Western d-man and cut into the goal from a sharp angle and beat Dickie.  Play in the first was fairly even with the Stangs outshooting the Wolves 10-7.   

Western made it 3-2 on the powerplay when Waldner ripped a blast from the point that went in over the shoulder of a screened McCune.  Assists went to Craig Kennedy and Kevin Richardson.  Lakehead went on the offensive during the second but Dickie made a series of big saves to keep the Stangs lead intact.  Lakehead outshot Western 16-8 in the second.

The third period was again pretty even with both teams getting chances and both netminders making big stops.  However, Lakehead’s Wehrstedt jumped on a loose puck in front of Dickie and lifted it over the Western goalie and in just under the crossbar at 5:40; converting on the hard corner work of Scherban and the other assist went to Mike Jacobsen.  Neither team could beat their opponent’s goalie and regulation play ended at 3-3.  Lakehead outshot Western 10-8 in the third.  

OT began and it was the Stangs who went on the attack, keeping Lakehead mostly pinned in their end for the first four minutes.  A wild scramble ensued in front of Lakehead’s McCune and a Western forward jumped on the loose puck and fired it into the Wolves net just after a Lakehead player crashed into the net and the puck went in, under, and out under the back of the Lakehead goal.  The referee instantly disallowed the seeming goal as he saw the net off its moorings before the puck went in and awarded Western a penalty shot at 4:06.  (The rules state that a penalty shot can be awarded if a net is knocked off it moorings in the last two minutes of a game or in OT)  The game was on the line with Lakehead’s hopes resting on the shoulders of goaltender Grant McCune.  The Mustangs chose excellent player Ryan Hare to take the penalty shot and Hare skated in on McCune, made a fake to the right and fired a shot that McCune trapped with his chest pad.

The Sta

1. 01:22 Western Ontario, Manias (unassisted) 2. 06:46 Lakehead, Michael Wehrstedt (Joel Scherban, Drew Kivell) 3. 12:05 Western Ontario, Peralta (Rice , Eade ) 4. 19:53 Lakehead, Shandor Alphonso (Jason Lange)
Penalties: 09:13 Western Ontario, Boucher (Brd)12:52 Western Ontario, Rowan (SL)15:08 Lakehead, Andrew Brown (HS)
5. 04:30 Western Ontario, Waldner (Kennedy , Richardson ) PP
Penalties: 04:07 Lakehead, Erik Lodge (HKG)08:30 Lakehead, Brad Priestlay (RO/MISC)08:30 Lakehead, Joel Scherban (RO)08:30 Western Ontario, Bannan (RO/MISC)08:30 Western Ontario, Eade (RO/SL)12:51 Western Ontario, Scully (SL)17:27 Lakehead, Mark Robinson (HKG)
6. 05:32 Lakehead, Michael Wehrstedt (Joel Scherban, Mike Jacobsen)
Penalties: 01:56 Lakehead, Tobias Whelan (SL)07:42 Lakehead, Dan Speer (INT)07:52 Western Ontario, Chamberlain (SL)
7. 08:44 Lakehead, Tobias Whelan (Dan Speer, Shandor Alphonso)
Penalties: none
Lakehead: Grant McCune, 33 saves made, 3 goals against.Western Ontario: Dickie, 33 saves made, 4 goals against.Referees: Doug Gale (referee), Doug Gale, Doug Gale,