The Lakehead Thunderwolves fell behind early and were downed 6-2 by the Western Mustangs before a crowd of 2,034 at the Fort William Gardens on Friday night.
Western’s Ray Huether opened the scoring by knocking in a rebound 2:36 into the contest on a Mustangs’ power play after Lakehead was called for too many men on the ice.
The Mustangs seized control of the game with two goals just 40 seconds apart. Matt Watson fired a rocket from the high slot at 6:58, and then Jonathan Laser beat Wolves’ goalie Nic Renyard high on the glove side to put Western up by three.
A turnover by Lakehead’s Jake Ringuette late in the period led to an easy goal for Kyle Petit, giving the Mustangs a 4-0 lead heading into the second.
Robert Polesello scored from the doorstep with Western on another power play 7:57 into the middle stanza to give the Mustangs a five-goal cushion.
Lakehead’s Matt Alexander replied less than a minute later, firing the puck behind Western netminder Luke Peressini who had lost his stick. Austin McDonald and Trevor Hynnes were credited with the assists.
Theo Lewis put the Mustangs up 6-1 on a screened shot that eluded Renyard low on the blocker side with 4:32 to go in the second.
Renyard faced 36 shots after 40 minutes of play and made several good saves to keep the score from getting even higher, but Devin Green replaced him in the Lakehead net to start the third.
The Thunderwolves’ Trevor Hynnes got the only goal of the final frame on a slap shot from the top of the face-off circle at the 3:36 mark, with McDonald and Patrick Murphy getting the helpers.
Green stopped all 6 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes.
The final tally for shots on goal in the game was 42-29 for the Mustangs.
On the night, Lakehead went 0-for-4 with the man-advantage while Western was a perfect 2-for-2.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
1. Jonathan Laser, Western
2. Austin McDonald, Lakehead
3. Luke Peressini, Western
The Wolves will look to exact a measure of revenge when they square off against the Mustangs again tomorrow night, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 PM.