Whitecourt, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines (1-1-1) picked up their first win of the season Tuesday night with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Drayton Valley Thunder (0-3-0).
The Wolverines carried the play in the early going of the hockey game but through the opening 10 minutes could not break through on sophomore Thunder netminder Joseph McLeod. With just over five minutes to play in the opening frame, 30-goal scorer from a year ago Liam Motley went to work in the offensive zone for the Wolverines and capped a shift that saw him have three separate scoring chances with a far side laser that beat the outstretched blocker of McLeod giving the team a late 1-0 lead.
The Thunder responded quickly in the second period with a goal from Josh Borynec just over a minute in when he buried his own rebound after being set up beautifully on an odd-man rush by Thunder captain Sam Anzai. The game remained tied until the midway point of the period, with the Wolverines on the power play, Tyr Thompson spotted a wide open Noah Tooke in the high slot and Tooke made no mistake ripping the puck top shelf to restore the Wolverines lead at 2-1. Less than two minutes later the Wolverines increased their lead when Jaedon Leslie picked up his third assist of the night spotting Liam Motley on the backdoor who re-directed in his second goal of the game.
The Wolverines capped the scoring early in the third period with a goal 90 seconds in from Phil Erickson, his first career AJHL goal, after he took a pass in front of the Thunder net from Stevie Bryant and made a nice move to his backhand sliding the puck past a sprawled out McLeod. Xavier Potvin made 19 saves in the Wolverines net for his first career AJHL win.
The Wolverines are next in action this Friday night when they open up a three-game weekend road trip against the Olds Grizzlys in Olds at 7:00 p.m.
Whitecourt Wolverines head coach Gord Thibodeau analyzes his team’s performance:
Whitecourt Wolverines forward Jaedon Leslie discusses his team’s effort and his line’s big night:
Notes: Tonight’s win was Wolverines head coach Gord Thibodeau’s 840th regular season win, adding that with his 160 playoff victories, he now has a combined 1000 career AJHL wins…the team is now down to two goalies with just Xavier Potvin(97) and Tye Morin(99) listed on the roster…second year forward Ben Evanish could return to the Wolverines lineup as early as this weekend after missing all of training camp and preseason with an upper-body injury…defenceman Matthew Monk remains at least a couple weeks away from returning from his lower-body injury.
WCT Goal – 14:32 – Liam Motley(1) from Tyr Thompson and Jaedon Leslie (EV)
DV Goal – 1:04 – Josh Borynec(2) from Sam Anzai and Carson Lux (EV)
WCT Goal – 9:03 – Noah Tooke(2) from Tyr Thompson and Jaedon Leslie (PP)
WCT Goal – 10:45 – Liam Motley(2) from Jaedon Leslie and Tanner Foster (EV)
WCT Goal – 1:29 – Phil Erickson(1) from Stevie Bryant and Alessio Luciani (EV)
Shots – WCT 36 (13-9-14) DV 20 (5-11-4)
Power plays – WCT 1/3 DV 0/3
WCT – Xavier Potvin 19sv/20sh (1-1-1)
DV – Joseph McLeod 32sv/36sh (0-2-0)
Three Star Selection:
1. WCT-Jaedon Leslie (3a)
2. WCT-Liam Motley (2g)
3. WCT-Tyr Thompson (2a)
Hardest Working Wolverine: Noah Tooke (GWG).
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