Wolves open playoffs with a 7-1 win

Posted: February 3, 2013 in News and notes

The Ripley Wolves used special teams and an overall excellent team game to rout the Durham Thunder Cats 7-1 in Game 1 of their opening round playoff series on Friday night.

The Wolves got two shorthanded goals from Captain Jeremy McQuillin and four powerplay goals to make a big statement at home.

The Wolves controlled the balance of play all night, breaking through Durham’s defensive trap with good movement from the defensemen, smart dump-ins and a strong forecheck. Derek Regier, who was shifted back to defence for the game because of his quick legs and good first pass, had a great game, as did the ageless Darrin MacDonald up front.

Paul Stewart got the Wolves on the board late in the first as he banged in a loose puck at the top of the crease, from Tim Dwinnell and Ryan Armstrong, who wreaked havoc by throwing his body at any Thunder Cat he could find all night.

Just two minutes later, Kyle Gallant snuck in from the point and redirected a MacDonald pass to put the Wolves up 2-0. Gallant’s powerplay goal was also assisted by McQuillin.

The floodgates opened in the second when a Durham player took a nine-minute penalty, allowing Mark Stanley to blast a shot home from the point, with assists going to his brother Brian and Gallant. Seconds later, Nick Locking scored from McQuillin and Travis VanGaver to open up a 4-0 lead.

Ten minutes later, after Durham had their best shifts of the game and managed to pin Ripley in their end, finally banging the only one of their 23 shots behind Kurt Edwards, McQuillin scored his first shortie of the night. Gallant made a beautiful pass from his own end to McQuillin at centre ice, in behind the Durham defence. The Captain managed to settle down the rolling puck just in time to wire it over the goalie’s glove from the hashmarks, hitting the crossbar and dropping it in the net.

The nail in the coffin came five minutes into the third, when McQuillin scored again shorthanded, this time on a pretty two-on-one with Locking. Dwinnell finished off the scoring with eight minutes to go, from Alex MacLeod and Chad Colling.

Things started to get a bit wild as time wound down, with Durham taking every opportunity they could to throw an extra shot after the whistle or use the lumber to let the boys know Game 2 will be a different story. There was one fight at the end of the game, when Kyle Wreford squared off with Durham’s Dan Moulton, who had been at the forefront of the nonsense for the latter part of the game. Wreford most definitely won the fight, but Moulton may have won the war as the Wolf broke his hand (probably during the sequence of uppercuts to the opposing player’s face) and is out for six to eight weeks.

Game 2  of the series goes next Friday night in Durham at 8:30, while Game 3 will be played in Ripley on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

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