Despite two late power-play goals in the third period, the Lakehead Thunderwolves couldn’t complete the comeback and fell 4-3 to the Guelph Gryphons Saturday night at the Fort William Gardens.
“I was happy with how our guys responded after being down 4-1,” said Andrew Wilkins, head coach of the Lakehead hockey team.
“Regardless of the outcome, we still have a lot to work on.”
Freshman goaltender Brock Aiken shined in the first period, making multiple big saves to keep the Gryphons' off the scoreboard.
Senior defenseman Patrick Murphy put the Wolves’ on the score clock with a rebound goal with just over 20 seconds left in the first.
Unfortunately for the Lakehead team, the Gryphons started the second period with a four-minute penalty and they made sure to capitalize.
Just 32 seconds into the period Guelph defenseman Ryan Da Silva would see to it that the puck made it into the back of the Thunderwolves net and not too long after Todd Winder would score his first of two goals. to put the Gryphons up 2-1. He would get his second before the end of that period.
The Thunderwolves would find more success late in the third as freshman defenseman Kyle Auger scored a power-play goal, his first as a Thunderwolf.
“Kyle’s a smart player and he’s a good skater,” said Wilkins.
“He’s been put into a situation to play some heavy minutes and I think he’s handled himself quite well.”
Thunderwolves forward Josh Laframboise gave the 1772 fans in attendance hope when he scored Lakehead’s third and final goal on the power play, bringing the game within one.
“Obviously the preseason realistically doesn’t matter, but for us, we hate losing,” said Laframboise.
“I think we’re going to take a few things back from this weekend... We know yesterday when we were on our structure we were all over them, and then we had a couple of mental lapses and the puck was in our net. I think we gotta learn how to play a full 60 and work on our structure a little bit more.”
The Thunderwolves will kick off the OUA regular season Thursday, Oct. 3 on the road against the Waterloo Warriors.
The Molson Three Stars of the Game were:
Todd Winder, Guelph (2G)
Kyle Auger (1G, 1A)
Josh Laframboise (1G, 1A)