The No. 9 nationally-ranked York University Lions men's hockey team earned a 3-1 victory over the Lakehead Thunderwolves at Canlan Ice Sports on Saturday evening to clinch their OUA first-round playoff series in two games.
The series win is a first for the Lions since last claiming the OUA title in 2004.
After taking Game 1 in thrilling fashion on Wednesday evening in Thunder Bay, Ont., thanks to a goal by rookie Daniel Nikandrov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) with just 5.3 seconds remaining in the contest, the Lions made Game 2 less interesting by scoring once in the first and adding another two in the second to all but put the game away.
It was a night for rookies as all three goals were scored by first-year players and rookie goaltender Mack Shields (Saskatoon, Sask.) earned the win in net after making 27 saves and allowing just the one goal.
The first period remained scoreless until 16:52, when Dexter Bricker (Saskatoon, Sask.) found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.
The Lions wasted little time adding to their lead in the second as Scott Feser (Red Deer, Alta.) tapped home the puck just 52 seconds into the frame on a power play for a 2-0 advantage. They stretched it to three late in the period on a goal by Aaron Spivak (Thornhill, Ont.) and Shields carried the shutout into the third.
At 5:17 Carson Dubchak put his team on the board with a power play goal of his own, but that was as close as the Thunderwolves would get as they saw their season come to an end when the final whistle sounded.
The Lions will now face the Guelph Gryphons in the next round of the playoffs, with the complete schedule still to be confirmed.
Source: York Lions