For the second night in a row, the Thunderwolves held off a late charge from the Royal Military College and skated away with a hard-earned 4-2 victory, giving Lakehead a weekend sweep of the Paladins.
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes as the fire alarm in the Fort William Gardens sounded just as the teams came onto the ice, but when the 1.799 fans in attendance were given the all-clear signal and allowed to return inside, they were treated to some very competitive hockey.
RMC took advantage off an odd-man rush 11:08 into the match when Rhett Wilcox finished off a tic-tac-toe play with a snap shot that eluded Wolves’ goalie Nic Renyard on the glove side.
Aaron Wesley-Chisel evened the score at 17:20 when he pinched in from the point on a Lakehead power play and knocked Dylan Butler’s rebound past Paladins’ netminder Brad Van Schubert.
41 seconds later, Austin McDonald scored from the edge of the crease when he waited just long enough to force Van Schubert to make the first move and then beat him on the short side. Jonathon Masters and Cooper Leitch were credited with the assists.
Daniel Del Paggio got the only goal of the second period when he capitalized on a rebound off Dillon Donnelly’s point shot to put the Wolves up by two at the 6:45 mark.
RMC narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 15:35 of the third when Liam Stagg scored from the doorstep, and the Paladins continued to apply the pressure in the latter stages of the final frame. But Renyard held strong in the Wolves’ goal until Sam Schutt iced the game with an empty-netter after receiving a feed from McDonald with just 17 seconds remaining.
For the night, Lakehead went 1-for-4 on the power play while holding RMC to 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
The final tally for shots on goal was 36-26 for the Thunderwolves.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
1 Austin McDonald, Lakehead
2 Nic Renyard, Lakehead
3 Daniel Del Paggio, Lakehead
With the victory, the Wolves record improves to 4-2 in conference play and to 8-3 overall.
The Thunderwolves will embark on a three-game road trip beginning in Guelph this Thursday, followed by a pair of games at Toronto on Friday and Saturday.