On a frigid night in Thunder Bay, a crowd of 1,846 watched as the Laurier Golden Hawks swooped into the Fort William Gardens and skated away with a 5-2 victory over the Lakehead Thunderwolves.
The Hawks drew first blood 5:53 into the match when Jake Henderson stepped out of the penalty box at just the right time to break in on Wolves’ goalie Nic Renyard and beat him low on the glove side.
Anthony Sorrentino added another at 8:34 with a hard wrister from the high slot, but Lakehead’s Matt Alexander quickly replied by putting a nice move on a Laurier defender and finished it off with a shot from the face-off circle that sailed over the shoulder of Hawks’ netminder Tyler Fassl. Cooper Leitch was credited with the assist.
Lucas Batt got the only goal of the second period at the 16:08 mark when he knocked home a rebound from the inside the crease, giving Laurier a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Golden Hawks added two more early in the third to widen the gap to 5-1 and put the game out of reach. Christian Mroczkowski fooled Renyard on a breakaway with a backhand deke at 3:31 and Batt got his second goal of the game when he pounced on a rebound after Renyard made a good initial save at 5:37.
Leitch got one back for the Wolves when he cut toward the net from the right wing and slammed the puck behind Fassl with less than two minutes to go, with Alexander and Brett Wolframe getting the helpers.
Total shots on goal in the game were 39-24 for Laurier.
Very few penalties were called in the contest and neither side was able to score on the power play, as Lakehead went 0-for-2 with the man-advantage while Laurier was 0-for-3.
The Molson Three Stars of the Game were:
- Lucas Batt, Laurier
- Jake Henderson, Laurier
- Cooper Leitch, Lakehead
The Thunderwolves will look to bounce back in the Saturday rematch, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m.