WOLVES DOWN HAWKS IN DOUBLE OT PLAYOFF THRILLER
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Lakehead Thunderwolves menís hockey team opened up its OUA West best-of-three semi-final playoff series with a thrilling 4-3 double overtime win over the No. 3 Laurier Golden Hawks Wednesday night at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.†The rivalry between the OUA Far West rival Wolves and Hawks has become one of the best in the CIS and Wednesday was no exception as the game featured some pretty goals, excellent goaltending, and huge hits.
The Hawks had three one-goal leads in the game but the Wolves always answered and Lakehead did not take the lead until sophomore defenceman Mitch Maunu scored at 5:33 of the second overtime with a wrist shot from the high slot area.†††††††
Lakehead now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that now heads to Waterloo for Game 2 and possibly Game 3 this weekend.† The Wolves now have a 3-0 playoff record, an overall OUA record of 21-8-1-1 (18-8-1-1 regular season) and 27-11-1-1 overall.
Laurier finished with the best record in the OUA West and go to 0-1 in the playoffs and 22-5-1-1 in overall OUA play.
Lakeheadís defence was on fire offensively and fifth year senior Drew Kivell notched a pair of goals to go with Maunuís game winner.† Kivell perhaps played his best game in a Lakehead uniform, adding big hits and blocks to his two-goal effort.† He stopped one hard Laurier point shot with a block off his face.† The Wolves other goal came from Brock McPherson.† Dan Speer also played a great game notching two assists.†
Laurierís goals came from Jean-Michel Rizk, Chad Kennedy, and Luke Girard.† Mark Voakes added two assists.†
Lakehead netminder Chris Whitley (3-0 playoffs) played an excellent game stopping 36 Laurier shots and making a number of big stops throughout the game.† Whitley has won his fifth straight game against a CIS Top 10 team and his third straight of the playoffs.† With Wednesdayís win; Whitley set two new Lakehead goaltending career records with overall wins at 82 and playoff wins at 16.†††
Laurier netminder Jeff MacDougald also played very well; turning aside 30 Lakehead shots and making a number of great saves in the game.
Both teams had numerous chances to finish the game but often couldnít hit an empty net or the goaltenders would come up big.
It was a hard-hitting but clean game with back and forth action and each team was only assessed one minor apiece and neither scored on the powerplay.
The Molsonís Three Stars were:
1)†Lakehead: Drew Kivell
2)†Lakehead: Mitch Maunu
3)†Laurier: Mark Voakes
Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday at the Sunlife Financial Arena in Waterloo at 7:30 pm EST and Game 3, if necessary, goes Sunday at 7:30 pm in Waterloo.
The away games in Waterloo will be live on Rock94 FM in Thunder Bay and online at www.rock94.com with Bryan Wyatt calling the action live.
Laurier Athletics will be videowebcasting the game (s) in Waterloo at http://www.laurierathletics.com/live/†