Joel Scherban isn’t sure he’s been more embarrassed, either as a player or a coach.
Jim Wells, his coaching counterpart behind the York Lions bench, said he thinks the Lakehead Thunderwolves simply underestimated a team they dismantled only 24 hours earlier.
Thomas Frazee, the lone LU player to earn one of the game’s three stars, isn’t sure what went wrong.
All he knows is it did, and horribly, Saturday night.
Jeff Bosch – though not altogether his fault – allowed five first-period goals before Scherban mercifully lifted the second-year netminder, though it was too little, too late for Lakehead, who went down to their first OUA defeat of the season, falling 6-3 to the Lions.
“I think just in general our start was terrible,” said Frazee, who scored the lone goal of the second, taking a breakaway pass from Kalvin Sagert as he stepped out of the box and beating ex-pro Andrew Prugini.
Frazee also added a first-period assist.
“I thought we were caught flat-footed. It was pretty embarrassing the first five minutes of the game. It seemed like we didn’t even touch the puck. I don’t know if we need to prepare a little bit differently before games, but we’re not going to win a lot of hockey games against any teams if we start out the way we did.”
Michael Lombardi, Jordan Davies and MacKenzie Micks, off an uncharacteristic Andrew Wilkins giveaway deep in LU territory, had the Lions up 3-0 by the 4:06 mark of the contest and Scherban’s blood was at the boiling point.
“I don’t know what to attribute it to,” Scherban said, comparing it to a similar pre-season loss to Brock a couple weekends ago, also on the Fort William Gardens ice.
“We took a couple big steps forward with our sweep down in Guelph and the way we played last night, and tonight we took three or four steps backwards, right to where we were three weeks ago. I don’t know if guys in their minds just thought it was going to be easier than it was.”
Wells said he wasn’t happy with Friday’s loss, but more importantly, his players were upset. Hunger may have been the difference in the rematch.
“At the same time, I have to remember that I have 19 players on this team in either their first or second year, that have never played in this building. So that makes a hell of a difference,” Wells said. “You could tell it was going to be a different game, but it’s amazing what happens when you work a game plan, you execute and you play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Mike Hammond gave the Wolves life on the power play at 10:53 of the first, but less than three minutes later Jordan Forfar got the goal back, and then two minutes after that Jesse Messier, the game’s first star, upped the lead to 5-1, ending Bosch’s abbreviated night.
LU, trailing by three, started the third on the power play, but instead wound up down another goal when Tyler McGee beat replacement goalie Alex Dupuis, the lone time Lions found the net behind him.
Matt Caria cut the lead to three at 4:46, but neither side would score again.
Claw marks: Sitting out were injured Jay Gilbert and Mitch Fillman, neither of whom is likely making next weekend’s road trip … Riley McIntosh, Jason Grecica and Brennan Menard were all healthy scratches … Attendance was 2,778 … Luke Judson, the OUA leading scorer heading into Saturday’s action, spent much of the night on the fourth line.
Scoring: 1. York, Lombardi 1 (Messier, Barrs) 1:29 pp. 2. York, Davies 1 (Gravenor, Miller) 2:43. 3. York, Micks 2 (unassisted) 4:06. 4. Lakehead, Hammond 3 (Caria, Frazee) 10:53 pp. 5. York, Forfar 1 (Cross) 13:22. 6. York, Messier 2 (Lombardi, Davies) 15:31. Penalties: Dubchak LAK (holding) 0:42, McLean YRK (boarding) 5:07, Malouin LAK (tripping) 8:28, De Gray YRK (holding) 9:17.
Scoring: 7. Lakehead, Frazee 3 (Sagert, Hammond) 7:48. Penalties: Frazee LAK (tripping) 5:42. Lombardi YRK (high sticking), Davies YRK (roughing), Carrick LAK (roughing, misconduct), Malouin LAK (roughing) 17:00. Messier YRK (tripping) 19:40.
Scoring: 8. York, McGee 1 (Hohmann) 1:23 sh. 9. Lakehead, Caria 2 (Gamache) 4:46. Penalties: Frazee LAK (slashing, roughing), Perron YRK (high sticking, roughing) 10:45.
GAME DATA -- SOG -- York 18-11-7-36, Lakehead 5-10-5-20; Power plays (goals-chances) - York (1-3), Lakehead (1-3); Goaltenders -- York: Andrew Perugini, Lakehead: Jeff Bosch (15 shots, 10 saves), Alex Dupuis (15:31, first); A: 2,778.
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