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Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018
Voyageurs surrender third period lead
by Randy Pascal

Better it happen in pre-season play.

With the OUA (Ontario University Athletics) East Division standings sure to be as closely contested as ever, the Laurentian Voyageurs can ill afford to give away points in games this year.

So while a 3-1 third period lead that gave way to three University of Ottawa Gee Gees goals in a span of under four minutes in the final stanza is not a good thing, best that it occur with no regular season points on the line.

The rapid fire strikes from Cody Van Lierop, Jonathan Bourcier and John Deacon allowed the Gee Gees to escape with a 4-3 win Saturday evening at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.

A power play goal from Deacon at 13:50 of period two actually broke a scoreless tie, as netminders Joel Vienneau (L.U.) and Graham Hunt (Ottawa) were on point in the first half of the game.

The Voyageurs countered the Deacon goal just 31 seconds later, as Nicolas Dionne solved Nicholas Hodgins, the Gee Gees goalie who had earned split duties with Hunt just a few minutes earlier.

The homeside grabbed the lead at 16:14, when Dionne and Dylan Fitze set up Richard Therrien with the man advantage. Understanding the next goal would be key, the blue and gold showed early life in the third, as Jacob Smith buried a one-timer, with Laurentian seemingly in good shape, at the time, to open their exhibition campaign with a win.

Though it was not to be, coach Craig Duncanson's troops proved to be easily the equal to their out of town guests, with the Gee Gees outshooting the Voyageurs by a slim margin of 29-28.

The game was a calm affair, with a total of only three minor penalties doled out, including just one to the Sudbury representatives. The locals are back in action at home Tuesday night at 7:35 p.m., welcoming the Nipissing Lakers to town.

The teams complete the home and home Sunday in North Bay, before Laurentian closes out the warm-up schedule with a visit to Lake Superior State on October 1st. The Voyageurs open with games that count on October 13th and 14th, facing Queen's and RMC in Kingston, kicking off their home slate on Friday, October 20th hosting the Waterloo Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Laurentian women's hockey team will head south of the border for the first time in program history, taking on Boston College, Providence and Holy Cross this upcoming weekend.

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