Lakehead hosts first-place Guelph in Christmas Challenge

Mon Dec 18, 2017
Written by John Payetta
Photo by James Mirabelli

The Lakehead Thunderwolves will host the first-place Guelph Gryphons for a pair of games in the Christmas Challenge at the Fort William Gardens on December 28th and 29th, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m. on both nights.

The Matchup

Lakehead: 6-8-1 OUA, 8-10-1 overall (7th place West Division).

Guelph: 11-4-1 OUA, 13-5-2 overall (1st place West Division).

Recent Results

Lakehead finished up the fall term with a pair of road games at Ontario Tech in late November, dropping both contests by identical scores of 3-1.

Guelph wound up the first half of its season with two away games in early December.  The Gryphons recorded a 6-4 win at Toronto on December 1st before falling 4-1 at Windsor the following evening, snapping Guelph’s nine-game winning streak.

Series History

The Thunderwolves have dominated Guelph in the all-times series between the two programs, with a record of 33-12-2 versus the Gryphons.

The Gryphons bested the Wolves in their most recent meeting however, edging Lakehead 3-1 in Guelph on November 10th.

Immediate Impact

Three Lakehead newcomers have had an immediate impact on the team.  Freshman Scott Gall leads the team with 10 goals, and Daniel Del Paggio has notched 4 game-winning goals already this season. 

NCAA transfer Nic Renyard has already established himself as one of the top netminders in the league, and combined with junior Devin Green, the Thunderwolves have one of the best goaltending tandems in the OUA.

About the Gryphons

Guelph comes in as one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 9 of its last 10 games.  The Gryphons sit atop the OUA West Division and are ranked #9 nationally.

The Gryphons have an explosive offence and lead the OUA in goals per game.  Forwards Todd Winder, Scott Simmonds and Cody Thompson are all ranked in the top 20 in league scoring.

On defence, the Gryphons are led by Josh McFadden and Patrick Kudla, while netminder Jason DaSilva has handled the bulk of the duties between the pipes.