The Lakehead Thunderwolves dropped game one of the best-of-three OUA West Division quarter-finals 7-2 at the Columbia Ice Fields in Waterloo, Ontario Wednesday night.
Waterloos Blake Chartier opened the scoring when he beat Lakehead goalie Alex Dupuis on the power play at 10:07 of the first period, but Lakeheads Jay Gilbert evened the score with a power play goal of his own after being set up by Matt Caria and Adam Sergerie at the 15:53 mark.
Special teams continued to be a factor when Ryan Magill put the puck past Waterloo netminder Keaton Hartigan at 1:20 of the second period on an unassisted effort with Lakehead playing short-handed. The Wolves lead was short-lived however, as Andy Smith replied just 20 seconds later with Waterloo still on the power play to tie the game at 2-2 and spark an offensive explosion for the Warriors. Less than a minute later, Brett Mackie potted an even-strength marker for Waterloo and the Warriors quickly regained the lead at 3-2.
The Wolves fortunes took a turn for the worse a few minutes later when Lakehead's Matt Caria took a match penalty for checking to the head and was ejected from the game. Waterloo's Kirt Kill made Lakehead pay on the ensuing five-minute power play when he banged in a rebound at the midway point of the middle frame, making it 4-2 for the Warriors.
Matt Amadio extended Waterloos lead to 5-2 when he scored on a two-on-one opportunity at 13:57, and then Kirt Hill finished off the Warriors second period scoring outburst by blasting the puck past Dupuis at 18:09 to make it 6-2 for Waterloo heading into the final stanza.
The Warriors widened the gap midway through the third when Kain Allicock snuck a rebound past Jeff Bosch, who had replaced Dupuis in the Lakehead goal at the start of the period. Waterloo played smart defensive hockey for the rest of night and the game ended with a 7-2 Warriors victory.
The series now shifts to Lakehead for game two on Friday night, where the Wolves will be facing elimination. If necessary, game three will be played Saturday night at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.