Lakehead overcame a three-goal deficit to tie the score late in the third period, only to lose a heartbreaker as a last-minute goal by the Ryerson Rams edged the Thunderwolves 5-4 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto on Thursday night.
Lakehead controlled the play early on and Tyler Anton got the only goal of the first period with a wrist shot that beat Rams’ goalie Taylor Dupuis on the glove side at 13:02, with Daniel Del Paggio and Sam Schutt assisting.
The Rams were the beneficiary of bad call in the second period when Lakehead’s Jonathon Masters took an elbow to the head from a Ryerson defender and fell into Dupuis, but was called for goalie interference.
On the subsequent power play, Alex Basso sped down the right side and fired a slap shot that skipped off Lakehead defenceman Dillon Donnelly’s stick and sailed past Wolves’ netminder Nic Renyard to even the score at 8:41.
Devon Paliani also scored on a deflection to put Ryerson up by one at 16:17, and less than two minutes later Basso fired an absolute rocket past Renyard while the Rams were short-handed, giving them a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Tre Folkes scored from the doorstep 2:37 into the final frame to give Ryerson a seemingly comfortable three-goal cushion, but the Wolves responded swiftly.
Scott Gall deflected Brennen Dubchak’s shot from the top of the circle behind Dupuis 47 seconds later, with Donnelly also getting an assist. Then with Lakehead on a 5-on-3 power play, Patrick Murphy’s wrister was tipped in by Sam Schutt to cut the Rams’ lead to 4-3 at the 5:44 mark. Del Paggio was credited with the second helper.
The Wolves evened the score at 16:56 when Del Paggio tipped another wrist shot by Murphy into the twine, with Jenkins also getting an assist.
The Wolves’ comeback bid was spoiled when a turnover deep in their own end was scooped up by Steven Harland, who shoveled the puck past Renyard from the edge of the crease, giving the Rams a 5-4 lead with just 41 ticks on the clock.
Renyard was lifted for an extra attacker and the Wolves buzzed around the Ryerson goal as time wound down, but the Rams held on to preserve the victory.
For the night, Lakehead was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Ryerson went 1-for-4.
Total shots on goal in the game were 40-23 in favor of the Thunderwolves.
The Wolves will look to get back into the win column when they take on the Lancers tomorrow night in Windsor.