Thunder Bay

'We feel like we can beat anybody': Lakehead University men's hockey team preps for playoffs

The coach of the Lakehead University Thunderwolves men's hockey team is looking for consistency as the squad moves into the playoffs this week.

Thunderwolves face Ryerson Rams in OUA West quarter-finals; series begins Wednesday in Thunder Bay

Lakehead University Thunderwolves men's hockey coach Andrew Wilkins says the Wolves will have to be at their best when they play the Ryerson Rams in the OUA West quarter-finals, which begin this week. (Kris Ketonen/CBC)

The coach of the Lakehead University Thunderwolves men's hockey team is looking for consistency as the squad moves into the playoffs this week.

The Wolves ended their regular season on Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Waterloo Warriors at the Fort William Gardens.

Lakehead's performance this season was enough to place seventh in the Ontario University Athletics men's ice hockey west division, and a playoff berth.

That playoff run begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, when the Wolves host the second-seeded Ryerson Rams at the Gardens.

"They have some really good players on their team that have been scoring at a high level in this league since the day they got here," said Wolves head coach Andrew Wilkins. "I really like the way the schedule is set up, starting game one at the Gardens in front of our fans, and hopefully getting that one, obviously."

The best-of-three series, with the second and, if necessary, third games is being played in Toronto.

"Against Ryerson, we're going to have to have our best, for sure," Wilkins said. "We're not going to be able to pick and choose when we play the way we can, because they've got such a powerful offence, and it's one of those teams that they kind of make something out of nothing."

Game one at home an 'advantage'

"When you feel like you have them they'll end up scoring, and they capitalize on mistakes, they're really good off the rush, very good power play."

Lakehead and Ryerson faced off twice during the regular season; that series was split, with each team earning a win, and taking a loss.

"It's the league where we feel like we can beat anybody," Wilkins said. "We feel that we had a good performance against Ryerson this year."

"Yeah, you're playing the number two seed, but you get to start game one at the best rink with the best fans, so we look at that as an advantage," he said. "We look forward to it."

The OUA West division quarter-finals series between the Lakehead University Thunderwolves and Ryerson Rams begins Wednesday at the Fort William Gardens.

The puck drops at 7 p.m.