Thomas Frazee saved his best for last.
The second-year Thunderwolves forward stole the puck from Brock's C.J. Dickson in the final minute of overtime, scrambled in on goalie Dalton McGrath and deposited the winner to the roar of the Fort William Gardens crowd, handing Lakehead a 3-2 win Friday night.
The game, which had a playoff atmosphere from the start, was not your typical non-conference game, with two sides mailing it in.
No, this one seemed to matter a little bit more than it should.
As Brock coach and Thunder Bay native Murray Nystrom said, it was really a shame someone had to win.
And Frazee, playing on the Wolves suddenly stellar second line alongside goal-a-game Keith Grondin and rookie Mike McDonald, was only too delighted to provide the heroics, with the two sides playing three-on-three hockey.
“I saw (Dickson) was trying to cut to the middle there and I could tell he was going to do that a little bit early so I stepped up on him and went in on a breakaway. The puck was bouncing on me a little bit, but luckily I got to slide it under his pad there,” said Frazee, who also had an assist on Grondin’s go-ahead goal in the second that put LU up 2-1 at the time.
The Vancouver native said his line-mates are making things easy.
“Both guys can see the ice really well, both guys are playmakers and goal scorers, so they make everything else a lot easier for me out there,” Frazee said.|
Coach Joel Scherban, whose team did fall shorthanded 10 times on the night, compared to six power play opportunities, said that’s exactly why they brought Frazee in after Christmas last season.
“If you think back to last year, Frazee might have been our best player in the playoffs. He played extremely well in big games. He’s a big strong guy with a lot of talent and it’s nice to see him come through with the game on the line.”
Nystrom, though not thrilled with the pre-season loss, said at least it was entertaining.
“It was an exciting conclusion to an exciting game,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine it’s a pre-season game. I think it’s just such a great example of Canadian university hockey. There’s no such thing as exhibition games. We don’t even use that word. The guys play hard and coaches coach hard and it’s exciting. People got their money’s worth tonight, I think.”
It didn’t help Brock’s cause that LU boasted Alex Dupuis on the back end.
The Thunder Bay goalie stopped 41 shots fired his way, and while the Wolves kept most of them to the perimeter, with the game on the line he was at his best. He stopped Thomas Stajan, author of Brock’s first goal in the opening period, on a third-period break, then flung his stick, in a desperation move and at the last possible second redirected a sure-fire Matt Abercrombie shot out of harm’s way with eight minutes to go in regulation and the score tied 2-2 at the time.
“He played pretty well,” Scherban said of his netminder. “Brock is one of the teams that shoots every time they get over the blue-line. Brock and Guelph and Ottawa have the reputation of putting a lot of shots on net. We’re fine with that, as long as we keep most of the shots to the perimeter.
“I thought in the first two periods most of our shots were to the perimeter, but in the third period we had some breakdowns, they had some scoring chances and he made the saves when he had to. And that’s what we need our goalies to do.”
Of course, having defenceman-turned-forward Andrew Wilkins swatting pucks en route to the twine into the corner when Dupuis was caught out of position late in the third helps too, he added.
Ryan Magill tied the game for Lakehead eight minutes into the second. Grondin, who has scored in all three games this season, gave LU the lead two minutes into the third, but Kaine Geldart tied it on the power play, punching it through a scrum in front of Dupuis.
Both teams had power plays in the overtime period, but Brock's was wiped out after 18 seconds on a too many men on the ice call.
The two sides play again on Saturday night.
Scoring: 1. Brock, Stajan (K.Geldart, Tanel) 15:44 pp. Penalties: Schram BRO (hooking) 2:19, Carrick LAK (cross checking) 7:14, Christmas BRO (holding) 12:54, Sagert LAK (slashing) 15:34, Dubchak LAK (high sticking) 16:29.
Scoring: 2. Lakehead, Magill (Carrick, Quesnele) 8:51. Penalties: Magill LAK (high sticking) 4:25, Dubchak LAK, Magill LAK, A. Geldart BRO (roughing) 7:25, Caria LAK (high sticking) 13:05, Tanel BRO (holding) 16:51. Dooley BRO, Schram BRO, McDonald LAK (roughing) 18:51, Blois (checking to head, misconduct), Caria LAK (interference) 19:51, Radjenovic BRO (interference) 6:07.
Scoring: 3. Lakehead, Grondin (Frazee, Sergerie) 1:51.4. Brock, K. Geldart (Abercrombie, Bonawitz) 10:29. Penalties: McDonald LAK (hooking) 4:07, Dubchak LAK (high sticking) 10:09, Frazee LAK (interference) 10:24.
Scoring: 5. Lakehead, Frazee (unassisted) 4:02. Penalties: Schram BRO (tripping) 0:19, Gilbert LAK (interference) 2:46. Bench minor BRO (too many men, served by McNeill) 3:04.
GAME DATA – SOG – Brock 12-12-18-1-43, Lakehead 6-13-6-4-29; Power plays (goals-chances) – Brock (2-10), Lakehead (0-6); Goaltenders – Brock: Dalton McGrath, Lakehead: Alex Dupuis; A: 3,116.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.