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WolfPack edge Timberwolves 2-1 in gritty battle

The UNBC Timberwolves and TRU WolfPack never have a boring game. They never have a game where the collective tension doesn’t rise, or there aren’t a few cards handed out. Today was no different, with the WolfPack gutting out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the TWolves on Sunday in Prince George.

Early in the first half, it became clear the game would a chess match played on turf under the scoring Prince George sun. The WolfPack looked to hem the Timberwolves in their own end, while UNBC was content moving the ball throughout its own third, looking for potential cracks in the Thompson Rivers defense.

UNBC possessed much of the 45 minutes, but it was likely the Pack who had the more threatening opportunities. Late in the first half, Jon Antulov’s side found success with some physicality and pressure, creating some looks on the rush.

The best chance came in the 42nd minute when Domenico Comita sent a ball into the box, finding the extended right foot of his brother Alesandro, who got directed towards the open side of the net. However, Canada West All-Star goalkeeper Daniel Zadravec made a sprawling save to his left, punching it out of harm’s way before it could cross the line.

At the half, the game was scoreless, with TRU holding a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal.

In the second half, the WolfPack physicality ramped up against a UNBC lineup starting seven rookies and bringing two more off the bench. Timberwolves defenders Wyatt Lyon, Zack Sidhu, and wingers Gregor Smith and Isaac Tate were lost to injury, so Steve Simonson dipped into his reserves against the gritty Pack.

TRU would break through in the 51st minute. A Patrick Izett corner would find its way to Harry Taylor who would deposit it past a helpless Zadravec to open the scoring.

The visitors from Kamloops weren’t done there, as they would double their advantage in the 59th minute. A broken play in the box would lead to Junior Agyekum slipping it to an open Jonathan Rinaldi, who had the time and space to beat Zadravec and make it 2-0.

UNBC would look to chip away at the lead, as the tension grew and tempers flared between both sides.

In the 90th minute, UNBC would cut the deficit in half, when Connor Lewis flicked a header onto a streaking Michael Henman, who ran by TRU keeper Svyatik Artemenko and slid it into a relatively gaping cage for his third goal of the weekend.

The referee would blow his whistle soon after, however, finalizing a hard-fought 2-1 victory for the visiting WolfPack.

Zadravec would make 11 saves for the Timberwolves, while Artemenko stopped five shots for the Pack.

TRU now heads east to take on the Lethbridge Pronghorns and MacEwan Griffins, while UNBC will travel to Calgary to clash with the Dinos.

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