Lakehead Thunderwolves Mens Hockey
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John Payetta
Monday, February 13, 2017

The Lakehead Thunderwolves will take on the York Lions in the first round of the playoffs, with game #1 of the best-of-three OUA West Division quarter-finals set for 7:00 pm Wednesday at the Fort William Gardens.  The series will then shift to York for game #2 on Saturday night, and if necessary, game #3 will go Sunday afternoon at the Canlan Ice Sports Arena on the York University campus.

The Matchup

Lakehead: 13-13-2 OUA (7th place West Division), 15-17-2 overall (8-10-2 home, 7-7 away).

York: 18-6-4 OUA (2nd place West Division), 22-9-4 overall (12-4 home, 10-5-4 away).

Recent Results

The Thunderwolves closed out the regular season with a pair of 6-5 wins over the Western Mustangs last Friday and Saturday, with both games being decided in overtime.

York played only one game last weekend, defeating RMC 5-2 at home on Friday night.

Series History

Lakehead holds the advantage over York in the all-time series between the two teams with a record of 34-17 versus the Lions.

The Lions won two close contests when they visited the Gardens a few weeks ago, taking the first game 2-1 in overtime, followed by a 3-2 victory over the Wolves the following evening.

Video Star

Lakehead forward Grant Valiquette has become an internet and television sensation as video of his spectacular shootout goal against Western last Friday has spread rapidly. The video posted on the Lakehead University Thunderwolves Hockey facebook page has reached nearly 3 million people, and is currently airing on TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and the NHL network.

About the Lions

York ended the 2015-16 regular season atop the OUA West Division standings, completing a worst-to-first turnaround after finishing in last place the previous year.  But the top-seeded Lions were eliminated by crosstown rival Toronto in the first round of the playoffs, abruptly ending their Cinderella season.

York’s resurgence has continued in 2016-17, as second-year Head Coach Chris Dennis led the Lions to a second-place finish this season.

Defenceman Derek Sheppard and forward Trevor Petersen lead the Lions in scoring with 32 and 31 points respectively, but much of York’s success is due to the Lions’ league-low 59 goals against.  Netminder Mack Shields led the OUA this season with a GAA of 1.78.

York also recorded the fewest penalty minutes of any team in the West Division.

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