Led by the stellar goaltending of Alex Dupuis, The Lakehead Thunderwolves defeated the Brock Badgers 3-2 in overtime Friday night in front of a raucous crowd of 3,116 at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, ON.
Brock controlled the play early on, and took advantage of the Wolves penalty trouble when the Badgers Thomas Stajan put one past Dupuis on the Brock power play at 15:34 of the opening frame. Brock outshot Lakehead 12-6 in the first, but Dupuis solid play kept the score to only 1-0 in favor of the Badgers heading into the second period.
The Thunderwolves started to get their legs going in the middle stanza, and tied the game at 1-1 when Ryan Magill beat Brock netminder Dalton McGrath at 6:51 of the second. Assists on the goal went to Mike Quesnele and Jake Carrick. Lakehead continued to apply more pressure, but McGrath stood his ground in the Badgers net. He stymied Lakeheads Matt Caria with a brilliant pad save on a one-timer from the slot, and then Caria just missed the net on a breakaway later in the period. Dupuis continued to make big saves at the other end as well, and the period ended with the teams deadlocked at 1 goal apiece. Shots on goal in the period were 13-12 in favor of the Wolves.
Lakehead went ahead 2-1 at 1:51 of the third period when Keith Grondin finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play after being set up by Adam Sergerie and Thomas Frazee. The Badgers began to control the play as the period went on, and looked like they might tie it up when Stajan broke in alone, but Dupuis stopped him cold. Brock knotted the score at 2-2 with another power play goal at 10:29 when Kaine Geldart stuffed it past Dupuis after several whacks at the puck from in close. Less than two minutes later, Dupuis made a spectacular stick save off Brocks Matt Abercrombie, and continued to make one big stop after another as the Badgers buzzed around the Lakehead goal. Wolves forward Andrew Wilkins even got in the act, making a timely stick save on a wrap-around attempt by a Badger forward while Dupuis was caught out of position. But Dupuis was like Horatio at the Bridge in the Wolves goal for the rest of the period, and despite being outshot 18-6 by the Badgers, the score remained 2-2 at the end of regulation time.
The Wolves had a power play opportunity early in the overtime period, but were unable to convert with the 4-on-3 man advantage. Shortly after, Dupuis made a huge glove save off of Brocks Dan Dooley, and it appeared as though the game might be headed for a shoot-out. But with 58 seconds left in overtime, Lakeheads Thomas Frazee powered his way past a Brock defender on a one-on-one and slipped the puck under McGraths leg pad to give the Wolves the 3-2 win.
Lakehead outshot Brock 4-1 in the overtime period, but the Badgers held the shots on goal advantage for the game by a margin of 43-29.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
1.Alex Dupuis, Lakehead
2.Thomas Frazee, Lakehead
3.Dalton McGrath, Brock
The two teams will be back in action Saturday night at 7:30 at the Fort William Gardens.