LONDON, Ont. – For the second time in three seasons, the Lakehead Thunderwolves will be on the outside looking in when the OUA men’s hockey playoffs begin.
The Wolves on Friday dropped a crucial 4-2 decision to arch-rival Western. Combined with Toronto’s 5-2 win over Laurier, the loss eliminated the 10th-place Wolves from post-season contention for just the second time in team history.
The Mustangs scored early to set the tone, Kenny Huether beating Devin Green 61 seconds into the contest. Adam Sinclair doubled the Western lead at the 12:46 mark of the first and the Mustangs took a 2-0 lead into the second.
Dexter Kuczek cut the Western lead in two 1:17 into the second, the lone goal of the period.
But Western restored a two-goal edge midway through the third, Spenser Cobbold depositing it past Green.
Josh Laframboise gave the Wolves hope 22 seconds later with his team-leading 11th of the season, but LU (11-15-1), couldn’t net the equalizer. Cobbold added an empty-netter to put the game on ice.
With the win, the Mustangs (15-11-1) assured a third-place finish in the OUA West. Toronto (11-13-4), finished its regular season in winning fashion, pulling three points in front Lakehead.
Lakehead, who was playing without suspended players Daniel Del Paggio and Brett Wolframe, and Western will close out the 2018-19 campaign on Saturday.