March 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 85  

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York University Lions

RECORD: 15-5-4
(First Place in Mid West Division)
PLAYOFFS: Defeated Wilfrid Laurier University in divisional championship 2-0.

The York Lions return to the Queen’s Cup for another year, and just like last year they will face the Lakehead Thunderwolves in their semi-final game. Similar to last year, they will be looking to upset the T-Wolves and earn another birth in the University Cup (CIS championships).

“I give full credit to the players,” says York head coach Graham Wise. “Our goal was to win first place. After our weekend series with Western and the University of Waterloo we knew we had to put our nose to the grindstone. But we accomplished our goals and showed that we can do it, and did it in a mature, professional manner.”

After last year’s win over Lakehead, the Lions know what they have to do to defeat them again this year, despite their lack of success against them earlier in the season. In a weekend series with Lakehead in Thunder Bay, the Lions struggled in a 9-2 loss, followed by an 8-3 loss.

“Lakehead is a very strong team and they handled us easily this year,” Wise says. “We are just going to have to battle as hard as we can against a very formidable opponent.”

Like the other teams in the tournament, York has a very deep team with a number of veterans who have been to the Queen’s Cup and beyond. Defenseman and captain Sean Murphy was selected as an Ontario University Athletics West first team All-Star this season, his third All-Star selection. The Lions also have high scoring defensemen in Steve Chabbert and Jonathon Hedberg.

When the defense fails to make the stop, the York goaltender is there. Derek Dolson was among the league leaders in games played, save percentage and wins. His 12 wins ranked fourth in the OUA this season.

“Up front, the combination of [Daryl] Bat, [Julian] Smith and [Shane] Nash are capable of putting the puck in the net and are great competitors,” Wise explains.

—Ian Denomme



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