The Lakehead Thunderwolves downed the Guelph Gryphons 4-1 before a crowd of 2,001 in a penalty-filled affair at the Fort William Gardens on Saturday night, and in doing so kept themselves in the hunt for a place in the OUA playoffs.
In a reversal of the previous evening, the Wolves came out strong in the opening period and drew first blood when Daniel Del Paggio converted a nice cross-crease pass from Brennen Dubchak on a Lakehead power play at 15:18, with Jordan King also assisting.
Guelph tied the game 3:05 into the second period when Andres Kopstals knocked home a rebound at the goalmouth after Wolves’ netminder Devin Green made a difficult save on the first shot. That would be the only rubber to get past Green on the night as he was outstanding throughout the contest.
Caleb Boman got what turned out to be the winner when he beat Gryphons’ goalie Andrew Masters high on the glove side on another Lakehead power play at 13:54 of the middle frame, with Josh Laframboise and Dillon Donnelly getting the helpers.
Dexter Kuczek scored less than a minute later when he fired a low bullet from the high slot to give the Wolves a 3-1 lead, with Laframboise recording another assist.
Scott Gall added an insurance marker on a shot from the face-off circle that eluded Masters at 4:23 of the third to round out the scoring.
Things turned downright nasty in the last half of the period with a slew of players from both sides sent to the penalty box for a variety of offences, most of which came after a melee broke out in the Gryphons’ zone with just over four minutes to go.
For the night, the Thunderwolves were 2-for-8 with the man-advantage while the Gryphons went 0-for-6.
Total shots on goal in the match were 36-32 for Guelph.
The Molson Three Stars of the Game were:
- Devin Green, Lakehead
- Josh Laframboise, Lakehead
- Caleb Boman, Lakehead
The win improves Lakehead’s OUA record to 11-14-1 (17-15-1 overall) and leaves the Thunderwolves just one point shy of a playoff berth with two games remaining on the schedule.
Those games will take place in London next weekend where the Wolves will wrangle with the Western Mustangs to close out the regular season.