Despite a furious comeback attempt in the third period, the Lakehead Thunderwolves fell 4-3 to the Concordia Stingers before 1741 fans at the Fort William Gardens on Friday night.
Massimo Carozza opened the scoring for Concordia with a power play goal that beat Lakehead netminder Nic Renyard on the glove side 7:49 into the game.
Dylan Butler replied with a power play marker of his own, knocking a rebound past Concordia goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte to even the score at 15:23. Jake Ringuette and Brennen Dubchak picked up the assists.
The Stingers were sharp in the early going and outshot Lakehead 17-7 in the opening period.
Lakehead began to control the play in the second, but Concordia tallied twice as Anthony Beauregard scored early in the period and Alexis Pepin got a late one to give the Stingers a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Philippe Hudon scored from the doorstep 8:46 into the final frame to extend Concordia's lead to 4-1 and seemingly put the game away, but the Wolves were far from done.
Lakehead continued to out-chance Concordia, and Scott Gall converted on a breakaway at 12:19 to narrow the gap to 4-2. Joseph Leonidas and Austin McDonald were credited with the helpers.
Gall struck again just over two minutes later, stuffing the puck past Turcotte to make things really interesting. Ringuette and Butler recorded the assists.
The Wolves kept the pressure on, outshooting the Stingers 18-8 in the final stanza, but were unable to get the equalizer as Concordia held on for the win.
Total shots on goal in the game were 41-34 in favor of the Thunderwolves.
Lakehead was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Concordia went 2-for-4.
The Molson three stars of the game were:
1. Scott Gall, Lakehead
2. Philippe Sanche, Concordia
3. Dylan Butler, Lakehead
The Wolves and Stingers will face off again tomorrow night at the Fort William Gardens beginning at 7:00 p.m.