Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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2/14/2007: YORK - 2 @ LAKEHEAD - 3 OT


Mike Aylward
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mike Wehrstedt’s goal 13 seconds into the fourth overtime gave the Lakehead Thunderwolves a 3-2 win over the York Lions in an epic Game #1 of their OUA West first round playoff series Wednesday night at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  Lakehead now has a 1-0 lead with the series heading to Toronto for Game 2 on Saturday.  Game 3 will be played Sunday, if necessary.

Lakehead’s other goals came from Jordan Smith (his first for Lakehead) and Dan Speer while Janse Rain and Blair Grennier scored for the Lions.  The win keeps the Thunderwolves home playoff unbeaten streak alive at 14-0 in six seasons of OUA play.   Lakehead now has a 14-10-3-2 OUA record (17-17-3-2 overall); while York is 13-11-3-2 in OUA play and 15-18-3-2 overall.

York goalie Kevin Druce played an incredible game as Lakehead outshot York 87-56 in the 110 minute long plus struggle of wills.  Lakehead netminder Chris Whitley also played a very fine game.   Lakehead was 0-6 on the powerplay while York went 0-5.  

Neither team developed much offense for much of the first period though they both had some chances.  That changed at 14:54 when York’s Janse Rain beat Lakehead netminder Chris Whitley on a set up from Jerry Clarke.  Lakehead outshot York 11-9 in the first. 

The Wolves picked up their play in the second period and York netminder Kevin Druce made some good early saves.  Lakehead finally broke through on a fine individual effort by Dan Speer who bust up the right side and shoveled a backhander over Druce’s left shoulder at 12:30; assisted by Mark Soares.  York then put on some pressure during a powerplay and rang the post at 13:00.  Lakehead’s Whitley then made a good save to deny York’s Sean Langdon at 17:03 and then Druce in the Lions goal stoned the Wolves Steve Rawski at 17:35.  Lakehead outshot York 17-12 in the second.

The Wolves caught fire in the third and if not for the phenomenal play of Druce in the York goal the game would have ended in the third.  Lakehead, and the Lions on the ice, thought the Wolves had scored early into the period but the puck did not cross the line so the score stayed even at one.  Lakehead kept up the pressure and Tobias Whelan rang the post at the 9:00 mark when he couldn’t put the puck into an empty net over a sprawled Druce.  Druce followed with a series of good saves to deny the Wolves.

Lakehead’s Jordan Smith got his first goal of the season when he knocked in a rebound at 14:34; assisted by Andrew Brown and Mike Wehrtstedt.  Lakehead kept up the pressure for the next two minutes.  York had a good opportunity at 18:14 but Whitley stood tall in the Wolves goal.  The Lions pulled Druce in the final minute and put on the pressure and were rewarded when Blair Grennier beat a scrambling Chris Whitley at 19:50; assisted by Kyle Fearle.  Lakehead outshot York 21-9 in the third.

The first 10 minute OT saw the Lions have the majority of play but Whitley made some good early saves.  Play slowed in the middle part of the period and then York had a late flurry and Whitley had to react quickly to fall on a weird richochet off a point shot by York’s Rob Bonhomme.  York outshot Lakehead 6-2 in the first OT. 

Neither team go much going early in the second OT for the first four minutes but then Lakehead threw a flurry at the Lions at the 5:00 mark and Druce had to be sharp. Lakehead continued to have an edge in play until York came close at the 7:20 mark and then again at the 9:00 mark as Chris Whitley had to follow a bouncing meandering puck before trapping it well.  York came close at 10:45 and then Lakehead’s Dan Speer went back the other way and was stopped by York’s Druce.  Lakehead’s Brock McPherson just missed at 12:30.  Lakehead’s Whitley then stopped York’s Matt Passfield on a break at 13:30.  Action picked up and Lakehead’s Whelan fired wide and then Whitley made a chest save right after in the Wolves goal.  

Both teams had chances over the next few minutes bu

1. 14:54 York, Rain (Clarke )
Penalties: 09:49 Lakehead, Mark Robinson (HKG)15:48 York, Lanochkin (HKG)19:35 York, Langdon (HKG)
2. 12:30 Lakehead, Dan Speer (Mark Soares)
Penalties: 06:44 York, Van Allen (CTH/MISC)07:26 Lakehead, Dan Speer (BRD)08:55 Lakehead, Steve Rawski (CC)13:11 Lakehead, Drew Kivell (RO)13:27 York, Grespan (HS)
3. 14:34 Lakehead, Jordan Smith (Michael Wehrstedt, Andrew Brown) 4. 19:40 York, Grennier (Searle )
Penalties: 03:59 Lakehead, Jordan Smith (HKG)09:50 York, Van Allen (INT)
5. 00:13 Lakehead, Michael Wehrstedt (Brock McPherson)
Penalties: none
Lakehead: Chris Whitley, 54 saves made, 2 goals against.York: Kevin Druce, 84 saves made, 3 goals against.Referees: D.Gale (referee), D.Gale, D.Gale,