The Lakehead Thunderwolves hockey team will host the Carleton Ravens at the RBC Christmas Challenge December 29th and 30th at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Game time is 7:30 pm both nights.
Last Time Out
Lakehead is coming off an impressive sweep of the powerful Calgary Dinos of the Canada West Conference. On December 2nd and 3rd, in the final games the Wolves played before the exam break, Lakehead defeated Calgary by scores of 4-2 and 5-4 in overtime.
That same weekend, the Carleton Ravens had a tougher time and were swept at home; losing 7-2 to Concordia on the Friday, followed by a 3-2 overtime shootout loss to UQTR in Saturday’s contest.
About the Ravens
Carleton posted a record of 9-5-2 in the first half of the OUA season, but even with 20 points, the Ravens currently sit in fifth place in the tightly-contested 10-team OUA East Division. With a log-jam in the standings between second and sixth place, the Ravens still have a legitimate shot to finish second in the division, with McGill seemingly comfortable in first place right now.
The Ravens are led upfront by senior forwards Brandon MacLean and Ryan Berard, with 26 and 18 points respectively in OUA league play. MacLean’s 26 points have him ranked sixth amongst all OUA scorers. Sophomore Jeff Hayes has also been a scoring threat with 17 points so far this season.
The defence is anchored by senior Christian Bourdeau-Mifflen, and sophomore goaltender Matthew Dopud is one of the best in the league, with an impressive 2.14 goals-against average and a lofty .921 save percentage.
Lakehead and Carleton have only played each other twice, with both contests held at the Fort William Gardens in late September of 2008. The Friday night game was cut short by a lighting strike that caused a power outage in the Gardens during the second intermission while the game was tied at 2 apiece. After a lengthy delay, the teams agreed to decide the contest just prior to the start Saturday’s game with a shootout - which Lakehead won for the 3-2 victory. The Wolves and Ravens then went right into the official Saturday game, with Carleton winning this time in regulation by the same 3-2 margin.
After two close losses to McGill put Lakehead at 0-2 after the first weekend of the regular season, the Thunderwolves had a strong first-half, posting a 13-3-0 record in OUA league play. Lakehead won 13 of its last 14 OUA matches, and 15 out of 16 games including the non-conference series versus Calgary.