The Lakehead Thunderwolves defeated Toronto 3-1 in front of a boisterous crowd of 2,591 at the Fort William Gardens on Saturday night, giving the Wolves a weekend sweep over the Varsity Blues.
Toronto's Corey Jackson scored the only goal of the first period on a screened shot from the point that Lakehead netminder Devin Green never saw. That would be the only one he would miss all night.
The game was very physical right off the hop, with plenty of hard hits dished out by both sides. That kept the fans in the game, but they got a little antsy waiting for Lakehead to score its first goal - their cue to throw stuffed toys on the ice in the annual teddy bear toss game.
Cooper Leitch gave the crowd what it wanted with 2:33 left in the second period when he rifled the puck past Toronto netminder Frederic Foulem from the left face-off circle, beating him on the short side.
If the first two periods were evenly played, the Wolves took control in the third, firing 20 shots on Foulem in the final frame.
Brennen Dubchak put Lakehead up 2-1 when he tipped Jake Ringuette's point shot behind Foulem at the 5:40 mark, with Scott Gall also getting an assist.
Matt Campagna almost tied it up later on but was stymied on a brilliant glove save by Green. With Foulem out of the net for an extra attacker, the Blues applied the pressure in the final minute but Sam Schutt scooped up a loose puck just outside the Lakehead blue line and fired it into the open cage, icing the game for the Thunderwolves.
Total shots on goal in the contest favored Lakehead by a margin of 38-30.
Neither team was able to score on the power play, with each side having five opportunities with the man-advantage.
With the win, Lakehead improves its OUA record to 6-6-1 (8-8-1 overall), moving the Wolves up one spot into a fifth-place tie in the West Division.
The Molson Three Stars of the Game were:
1. Brennen Dubchak, Lakehead
2. Devin Green, Lakehead
3. Cooper Leitch, Lakehead
The Thunderwolves will play their last two games of the fall semester against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks next weekend in Oshawa.