The Lakehead Thunderwolves defeated the Waterloo Warriors 5-1 at the Columbia Ice Field in Waterloo on Friday night.
Lakehead came out with a lot of energy in the first 20 minutes and dominated the play, out-hustling and out-chancing the Warriors.
Waterloo's Michael Siddall drew first blood with a backhander that slid under Lakehead netminder Nic Renyard 8:24 into the game, but Lakehead's Brennen Dubchak replied just 57 seconds later with a one-timer from a sharp angle that eluded Warriors' goalie Mike Morrison. Scott Gall and Dylan Butler got the assists.
Daniel Del Paggio took a feed from Jonathon Masters and gave the Wolves the lead at 10:32 with a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that handcuffed Morrison and dribbled over the goal line.
Gall put the Thunderwolves in front 3-1 when he scored from close range with lots of traffic around the Waterloo net, with Butler and Dubchak getting the helpers.
The second period was more of the same with as the Lakehead fore-check continued to befuddle the Warriors, and the Wolves added two more goals and got some timely saves from Renyard.
Tyler Anton fired a slap shot past Morrison at 7:16 on a Lakehead power play with the Wolves displaying excellent puck movement. Butler and Dubchak were once again credited with the assists.
E.J. Faust put the Thunderwolves up 5-1 on another Lakehead power play late in the period with a deflection that beat Morrison through the wickets, with a helper going to Cooper Leitch.
Waterloo showed a little more spark in the third, but the Warriors were stymied by a strong defensive effort by the Wolves in a scoreless final frame that turned chippy near the end.
For the night, Lakehead went 2-for-3 on the power play, while Waterloo was 0-for-6.
Final shots on goal in the game were 26-24 in favor of the Thunderwolves.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow afternoon, with the opening face-off set for 4:00 PM.