In a battle that went back and forth all night, the Lakehead Thunderwolves came out on top with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Waterloo Warriors in front of 2,204 fans at the Fort William Gardens on Friday.
Daniel Del Paggio opened the scoring by tipping the puck past Waterloo goalie Trevor Martin at 10:18 of the first, with Billy Jenkins and Matt Alexander assisting.
Jenkins pounced on Del Paggio’s rebound while the Wolves were on the power play to put Lakehead up 2-0 at 13:55.
The Warriors got back into the game midway through the second on a 5-on-3 power play when Daniel Perigo finished off a tic-tac-toe play from the edge of the crease that Wolves’ netminder Nic Renyard had no chance on.
Waterloo evened the score at 2-2 with 3:03 to go in the middle stanza with Eric Diodati redirecting a point shot past Renyard.
Lakehead regained the lead while holding a two-man advantage 5:53 into the third on Matt Alexander’s blast from the top of the circle, with the assists going to Dillon Donnelly and Scott Gall.
The Warriors’ Mike Moffat knotted the score at 8:43 with another power play marker, but the Wolves replied just 26 seconds later when Gall tapped the puck in from the doorstep after a nice set-up by Brennen Dubchak and Dylan Butler.
Diodati scored his second of the night on a deflection with 5:49 remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
The extra session was a barnburner, with both sides getting some great chances. Butler was stoned by Martin on a penalty shot, and Renyard made a brilliant save on Diodati on a breakaway.
Lakehead finally ended it on a 2-on-1 rush, with Del Paggio feeding Gall who fired the puck past Martin high on the glove side to give the Thundewolves the victory.
Final shots on goal in the game were 44-41 for Waterloo.
Both sides went 2-for-5 on their power play chances for the night.
The Molson Three Stars of the game were:
- Scott Gall, Lakehead
- Daniel Del Paggio, Lakehead
- Matt Alexander, Lakehead
With the win and the results of other games played in the OUA on Friday night, the Wolves will finish in either sixth or seventh place in the West Division, pending the outcomes of tomorrow night’s action, with Lakehead playing Laurier to close out the regular season.
The opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m. at the Fort William Gardens.