|Bell Canada Varsity Cup Final: Lakehead 5 Calgary 2|
|Mike Aylward - thunderwolveshockey.com - Monday, December 30, 2002|
|The Lakehead Thunderwolves claimed the first Bell Canada Varsity
Cup with a thrilling 5-2 victory over Calgary. Calgary had finished
3-0 in the round robin section of the tournament, but seemed a little tired
in the first half of the championship game. They did pick up play
at the end of the second and in the third but had difficulty beating Lakehead
Goaltender Grant McCune.
Lakehead was sparked by Jeff Richards with a goal and an assist, Craig Priestlay with a goal and an assist and Bryan Duce with two assists, and some great goaltending from Grant McCune. Calgary defenceman Drew Kehler played a strong game for the Dinos, playing solid defense and generating a lot of good scoring opportunities.
The Thunderwolves came out fast in the first period and Joel Scherban quickly made it 1-0 at the 18 second mark. Scherban picked up the puck from behind the net and banked it in off the skates of Calgary goalie Tyler Nilsson. Assists went to Jeff Richards and Bryan Duce. Lakehead goaltender made an incredible save off Calgary's Drew Kehler at 1:55. Kehler came in alone on McCune and deked left and McCune went with the deke. But, when Kehler went to his backhand to put the puck in the empty net, McCune threw his glove hand out while on his back and robbed Kehler of a certain goal. Lakehead made it 2-0 at 8:41 when Craig Priestlay whacked in a rebound in front of the Calgary net off a shot by Mark Robinson. Calgary got on the board at 12:20 when Sean Robertson knocked a rebound past Lakehead goalie Grant McCune. Assists went to Jason Boyd and Jeff Yopyk. Lakhead outshot Calgary 9-7 in the first.
The second period was very fast with both teams getting good scoring opportunities. Lakehead had the edge in play, but Calgary had two very dangerous flurries during tow powerplay opportunities. Lakehead's Wyatt Tunnicliffe made it 3-1 when be blasted in a rebound at 9:34, with assists going to Colin Shaw and Craig Priestlay. McCune made a toe save, a blocker save, and a great glove save in the span of 20 seconds at the 14:00 mark. Then Lakehead's Richards made it 4-1 on the powerplay at 16:47. Bryan Duce had rifled a shot from the point which Richards redirected past Nilsson. Calgary came on strong at the end of the period. Calgary's Kehler broke past a Lakehead defenseman and dinged the cross bar at 17:55. The Dino's Pat Tetley then ripped one off the post at 19:00. Lakehead's McCune made four good stops in the final minute of play to weather the Calgary assault. Lakehead outshot Calgary 15-14 in the third.
The third period was a rough penalty filled affair, with Calgary trying hard to get back in the match. Lakehead's Chris Shaffer made it 5-1 at 2:54, scoring the goal of the game. Lakehead's Aaron Picinnin made a nice up-ice pass to Shaffer who went in 1 on 1 on a Calgary defenseman. Shaffer dragged the puck through the defender's legs and then went in on Nilsson alone and slid the puck through the goaltender's legs. Calgary came back with a beautiful goal of their own at 6:52. Calgary's Boyd passed from the point to Tetley in the corner who then passed the puck across to Bracken Kearns in the slot. Kearns was being hauled down by a Lakehead defender but still managed to spin while falling and one-time the puck past Lakehead's McCune. Calgary's Nilsson made a great glove save off Jeff Richards who had intercepted an errant Calgary pass and broken free on a shorthanded breakaway. Lakehead's Leon Cooper sacrificed his body blocking a blistering point drive from Calgary's Drew Kehler. The game ended with some late penalties to both sides. Calgary outshot Lakehead 11-5 in the third and 32-29 in the game.
My Twolves Shoutouts goes to Grant McCune who was awesome, to Joel Scherban for getting the team going, and to Leon Cooper for a great block.
The Three Stars, as chosen by CKPR Sports Director Bryan Wyatt, were:
Attendance at the final was 2353.
All Tournament Teams:
The following players have been selected to the First and Second All-Tournament Teams for the Bell Canada Varsity Cup Tournament in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Selections were made by staff of Thunderwolveshockey.com