By Krysten Cripps, Sports Editor
This was the first time in the Thunderwolves Men’s hockey team’s history that they did not make the playoffs. This was also one of the youngest squads the Thunderwolves have ever had. I think it’s safe to say these two things go hand-in-hand when looking at the season overall. The team had 8 wins, 16 losses, and 4 overtime losses in the season, putting them 4 points out of a playoff berth.
Lakehead went 0-11 to start the OUA regular season until they finally broke their losing streak with their first win of the season on the road with a 5-2 victory over Windsor. The inability to work as a team and get all of the linemates on the same page was a huge factor in the start to the season. Despite Lakehead’s efforts to find a spot in the playoffs with a few wins under their belt three quarters of the way through the season, the team was unable to pull off the comeback.
Looking ahead to next season, the team has a solid group of guys to work with who have gained lots of experience and valuable ice time together to become a strong core of players who know what to expect from each other. The sophomores will be stepping into a leadership role next year as they become the players the freshman will look up to. These young guys had some great role models to observe and learn from this year, so if they follow in their footsteps, next year’s squad will be nothing short of great. Graduating seniors included, Luke Maw, Jeff Bosch, and Kelin Ainsworth. Jay Gilbert was also a senior this year, but he will be returning as a 5th year senior next year. The graduating seniors had to end their seasons and their university hockey careers with what I’m sure seemed to be premature, but at least they were able to end their season with a victory.
A key returning player is freshman goalie Devin Green who showed he has what it takes to be a great asset in his future years as a Thunderwolf. Green showed confidence in net as he ended the season with a promising, 7-7-3 record.
The Thunderwolves will hope the recruiting class will offer valuable contributions to their now veteran squad, and hopefully start a new playoff streak next season.