Lakehead University

Athletics Department

Men's Hockey vs. Laurier Playoff Preview

February 23rd, 2009

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The Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s hockey team opens up its OUA best-of-three second round playoff series (OUA Quarter Finals) against the Laurier Golden Hawks this Wednesday night at 7:30 pm EST at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.  Game 2 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 rivalry between the OUA Far West rival Wolves and Hawks has become one of the best in the CIS over the past few seasons and this playoff round looks to be no different.  This will be the third consecutive season that the two teams have met in the playoffs with Lakehead winning last season and the Hawks winning two years ago. 
   
Lakehead enters the series with a 2-0 playoff record; having swept the No. 9 Waterloo Warriors in the first round by scores of 5-4 OT in Thunder Bay and 6-2 in Waterloo.  Lakehead has an overall OUA record of 20-8-1-1 (18-8-1-1 regular season) and 26-11-1-1 overall.
 
Laurier finished with the best record in the OUA West (22-5-0-1) and the second best in the OUA behind UQTR.  The Hawks had a first round playoff bye. 
 
Wednesday’s game faces off at 7:30 pm EST and will be videowebcast live with ordering info available at http://events.news-cast.com/events/Lakehead  Viewers will need hi speed internet and Windows Media Player to watch the broadcasts.  Rock94 FM Sports Director Bryan Wyatt will be calling the play live with Argus campus newspaper Sports Editor Mike St. Jean handling the pre-game and intermission. 
 
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 may be videowebcasting the game(s) in Waterloo.  Check their website at http://www.laurierathletics.com/ to see if the vidcast will be available.  
 
Head To Head:
The Wolves are 19-13 all time vs. Laurier; 12-9 in regular season play, 3-1 in non-conference play, and 4-4 in the playoffs.  Lakehead outscored Laurier 120-97 in those 32 games. 
 
This season; the teams split their first OUA regular season series in Thunder Bay in the first half of this season and then the Wolves scored a thrilling 4-3 OT shootout win in the TBaytel Varsity Cup Tourney in Thunder Bay at the end of December.

Laurier then won both games in Waterloo in early February by 3-1 scores. 
 
Lakehead Thunderwolves:
The Wolves will have to build off big opening round playoff win over No. 9 Waterloo and use this momentum against Laurier.
 
Lakehead will look for strong goaltending.  Fifth year senior netminder Chris Whitley (2-0 playoffs/12-3 OUA overall; playoff SV% .930, playoff GAA 2.08) showed why he is the reigning OUA MVP by turning in two great games against the Warriors and backstopping his squad to the first round sweep.  Sophomore Kyle Moir (8-5-1-1; SV% .912, GAA 2.39 regular season) had an excellent season and is ready to play at any time.  
 
The blue line corps continued its strong play against Waterloo.  They are led by veteran fifth-year senior assistant captain Drew Kivell (2 goals, 7 assists reg. season) and junior assistant captain Jordan Smith (6 assists reg. season).  Smith was dominant in Saturday’s big 6-2 win in Waterloo and delivered big hits, leadership, and 2 assists that game and had 3 assists in the series.   
 
The Wolves will also look for strong play from senior Andy Zulyniak (1 assist playoffs; 1 goal, 6 assists reg. season), sophomores Ryan Baird (1 goal playoffs; 9 assists reg. season) and Mitch Maunu (1 goal, 3 assists reg. season) and freshmen Kalvin Sagert (4 goals, 5 assists reg. season) and Bryan Wilson (3 goals, 4 assists reg. season).  Baird scored the OT game winner in Lakehead’s 2OT win over Waterloo in Game 1 of that series.
 
Offensively, Lakehead forwards played very well against Waterloo, supplying timely and balanced scoring and well as strong backchecking.  Fifth-year senior captain Andrew Brown (2 goals, 3 assists playoffs; 5 goals, 15 assists reg. season) and his high-energy game was huge against Waterloo, kicking in a goal and 3 assists in the Wolves 6-2 series winning victory last Saturday.  He again will be the X Factor in this series for the Wolves.    
 
Junior Brock McPherson led the Wolves in the regular season with 18 goals and 15 assists (tied 10th OUA) and also leads them in the playoffs with 3 goals and 2 assists; tied first in OUA playoff scoring with Brown.  McPherson was dominant in Game 1 vs. Waterloo; leading the Wolves to victory with 2 goals and 2 assists.
 
Sophomore Kris Hogg had 14 goals and 15 assists in the regular season and he was key in the Wolves 6-2 series clinching win as he netted 2 goals; including a game-changing shorthanded marker.   
 
Junior Mark Soares (1 goal, 2 assists playoffs; 9 goals, 11 assists reg. season) and senior Scott Dobben (1 goal, 1 assist playoffs; 11 goals, 12 assists reg. season) were both very effective against Waterloo and they will need to keep up their strong play against Laurier. 
 
The Wolves will look for scoring from defending OUA scoring champion senior Dan Speer (7 goals, 17 assists reg. season) as hopefully he will have recovered from the  illness that saw him only play part of the first game of the Waterloo series.  Speer delivered 2 assists in that game.
 
Freshmen Arron Alphonso (3 goals, 9 assists reg. season), Andy Hyvarinen (1 goal playoffs; 7 goals, 6 assists reg. season), and Adam Sergerie (3 goals, 3 assists) will also be key with Hyvarninen playing very well against Waterloo.  Alphonso’s speed could be another crucial X Factor in this series.
     
The Wolves will look to their gang of hard working fifth year senior forwards to supply strong two-way games; Richard Molenaar (3 goals, 4 assists reg. season), Brad Priestlay (3 goals, 7 assists reg. season), and Matt Maisonneuve (4 assists reg. season). 
 
Playoff Marks:  Andrew Brown and Dan Speer are the highest ranked active players in Thunderwolves Career Playoff scoring; both tied at 7th with 16 points.  Brown has 7 goals and 9 assists in 30 games (.53 ppg) and Speer 5 goals and 11 assists in 23 games (.70 ppg).  Brock McPherson is right behind in 9th spot with 14 points on 6 goals and 8 assists in 12 games (1.17 ppg).  The Lakehead career leader is Joel Scherban with 49 points on 23 goals and 26 assists in 38 playoff games (1.29 ppg).   
 
Whitley Milestones:  Lakehead goaltender Chris Whitley backstopped the Wolves to a 2-0 sweep over Waterloo and in the process set a new Lakehead goaltending record and tied two others.  With last Saturday’s win; Whitley tied former Wolves netminder Grant
 
McCune's playoff wins record of 15 and set a new Thunderwolves playoff appearances mark of 26.  Whitley also tied McCune’s All Time Lakehead overall wins mark of 81.  Another win would give Whitley both the overall and playoff wins records.  Whitley also holds the Wolves playoff shutout wins mark at 2 and playoff losses mark at 9.
 
Lakehead 08-09 Results:
Sat Feb. 21 Lakehead 6 Waterloo 2
Wed Feb 18 Lakehead 5 Waterloo 4 OT
Sat Feb 14 Lakehead 4 Western 3 OL
Fri Feb 13 Lakehead 5 Western 1
Sat Feb 7 Laurier 3 Lakehead 1
Fri Feb 6 Laurier 3 Lakehead 1
Sat Jan 31 Waterloo 6 Lakehead 3
Fri Jan 30 Waterloo 3 Lakehead 1
Sat Jan 24 Windsor 3 Lakehead 0
Fri Jan 23 Lakehead 4 Windsor 3
Sat Jan 17 Lakehead 3 Ryerson 2
Fri Jan 16 Lakehead 8 Ryerson 0
Sat Jan 10 Lakehead 6 Queen's 2
Fri Jan 9 Lakehead 1 Queen's 0
Sat Dec 27 Lakehead 3 Manitoba 2 NC OT
Sun Dec 28 Lakehead 4 Laurier 3 NC OT SO
Mon Dec 29 Lakehead 5 Saskatchewan 4 NC OT SO
Tue Dec 30 Lakehead 4 Saskatchewan 3 NC Champ
Sat Nov 29 Lakehead 6 Guelph 3
Fri Nov 28 Lakehead 6 Guelph 4
Sat Nov 22 Lakehead 3 Brock 0
Fri Nov 21 Lakehead 3 Brock 0
Sat Nov 15 York 7 Lakehead 6 OL
Fri Nov 14 Lakehead 3 York 1
Sat Nov 8 Lakehead 6 UOIT 3
Fri Nov 7 Lakehead 5 UOIT 1
Sat Nov 1 Lakehead 5 Western 2
Fri Nov 31 Western 3 Lakehead 0
Sat Oct 25 Lakehead 6 Laurier 1
Fri Oct 24 Laurier 3 Lakehead 2 OL SO
Sat Oct 18 Lakehead 2 Waterloo 1
Fri Oct 17 Waterloo 7 Lakehead 5
Sat Oct 11 Lakehead 6 Windsor 1
Fri Oct 10 Windsor 3 Lakehead 1
Sun Oct 5 MN-Duluth 6 Lakehead 0 EX
Sat Oct 4 Saint Mary's 2 Lakehead 0 NC
Fri Oct 3 Lakehead 3 Saint Mary's 1 NC
Sat Sep 27 Carleton 3 Lakehead 2 NC
Fri Sep 26 Lakehead 3 Carleton 2 NC PPD Sat SO
 
Laurier Golden Hawks:
The Hawks are very fast and very dangerous and have a wide variety of skilled players that will pose a threat to the Wolves this weekend and they have proven they can score; leading the nation in offense and boasting four of the top 10 scorers in the OUA.   
 
Jean-Michel Rizk led the OUA in scoring with 25 goals and 29 assists (2nd CIS) and he scored four goals out of six in Laurier’s two wins over Lakehead earlier in February.   Mark Voakes finished in third in OUA scoring with 13 goals and 39 assists and he is the player that makes the Hawks tick. 

No. 6in the OUA scoring parade is Nick Vergeer with 10 goals and 30 assists.  The diminutive forward can be a game changer with his tenacious play.  Big Luke Girard has 18 goals and 17 assists for 9th place in the conference. 
 
Craig Voakes is another dangerous Hawk; scoring 13 goals and adding 11 assists in only 16 games.   This smooth skating forward can dictate a game’s outcome.  
 
The Hawks added a big group of players at the holiday break and they have been a huge boost to an already powerful team.  Clinton Pettapiece had 2 goals and 13 assists in 13 games while Ryan Bellows had 5 goals and 7 assists in 12 games. 

Defensively, Chad Kennedy (3 goals, 14 assists) anchors the Hawks blueliners along with Adam Maccarone (2 goals, 8 assists) while star netminder Jeff MacDougald (20-4-1-0; GAA 2.48, SV% .917) is one of the best in the OUA and can win games for the Hawks on any given night.  Mike Thomson and Callum McCullough are his able backups.

Laurier 08-09 Results:
Fri Feb 13 Windsor 2 Laurier 1
Thu Feb 12 Laurier 6 Waterloo 2
Sat Feb 7 Laurier 3 Lakehead 1
Fri Feb 6 Laurier 3 Lakehead 1
Fri Jan 30 Laurier 8 Windsor 0
Thu Jan 29 Laurier 5 Western 4
Sat Jan 24 Western 5 Laurier 4
Thu Jan 22 Waterloo 3 Laurier 0
Sat Jan 17 Laurier 6 Queen's 1
Thu Jan 15 Laurier 8 RMC 3
Sat Jan 10 Laurier 6 Toronto 2
Sat Jan 3 Laurier 11 York 2
Sun Dec 28 Lakehead 4 Laurier 3 NC OT SO
Mon Dec 29 Manitoba 6 Laurier 3 NC
Sat Nov 29 Laurier 6 UOIT 3
Thu Nov 27 Laurier 7 York 3
Sat Nov 22 Laurier 6 UOIT 4
Sat Nov 15 Brock 6 Laurier 3
Thu Nov 13 Laurier 3 Guelph 2 OL SO
Fri Nov 7 Laurier 5 Brock 1
Thu Nov 6 Laurier 5 Guelph 0
Sat Nov 1 Laurier 6 Waterloo 2
Thu Oct 30 Laurier 4 Windsor 3
Sat Oct 25 Lakehead 6 Laurier 1
Fri Oct 24 Laurier 3 Lakehead 2 OL SO
Sat Oct 18 Western 4 Laurier 3 OL
Fri Oct 17 Laurier 6 Windsor 5 OL SO
Sat Oct 11 Laurier 5 Waterloo 3
Thu Oct 9 Laurier 5 Western 2
Sat Oct 4 Bowling Green 5 Laurier 1 EX
Sat Sep 27 Laurier 6 Ottawa 1 NC
Fri Sep 26 Laurier 5 McGill 4 NC
Thu Sep 18 Laurier 6 Guelph 0 NC

Counter: 1345

Last Edited: February 23rd, 2009

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