In a must-win game for both teams, it was the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack who used a dynamic second half to beat the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves 4-0, and keep their Canada West playoff aspirations alive.
In the early going, it was the Timberwolves who possessed the ball more and created some opportunities in the Pack third, including a dangerous attempt by Joel Watson that was swallowed up nicely on a diving save from keeper Jackson Gardner.
At the half, shots favoured the Pack 5-4 but the score remained 0-0, with each team knowing a draw wouldn’t do them any good in their respective pursuit of the playoffs.
Less than minutes later, the WolfPack made the home side pay. Donaldson found himself on a run, getting a step on the defender, and beat Goodey with a heavy shot short side to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
This would force the Timberwolves to play more aggressively, now knowing they’d need two goals to keep their hopes alive. However it was the Pack who took advantage. Jan Pirretas Glasmacher found the ball off a free kick and fired through a pair of TWolf defenders, beating Goodey for his fourth of the season.
The WolfPack would earn a penalty kick in the 79th minute when UNBC’s Demian Dron was called for a foul inside the box, leading to Donaldson stepping up to the spot and burying the chance for his fourth of the campaign to stretch the lead to three.
Finally, in the 87th minute off a free kick from inside 20 yards, Hooper beat the wall and the keeper, scoring his second of the season and confirming the Pack’s playoff hopes would live to see at least another day.
With the victory, TRU improves to 5-5-5, while UNBC falls to 4-7-3 on the year. The two teams will clash again on Sunday afternoon, in a game that TRU needs to win to have an opportunity to play in the Canada West playoffs.