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Sinclair helps 'Wolves to title


The online play-by-play commentator compared goalie Sydney Swanson to Fort Knox.

So Katie Sinclair and the Lakehead Thunderwolves broke in and grabbed all the gold.

The Fort Frances resident set up the deciding goal by Olivia Carter in the second period as the Thunderwolves made history by beating the North Dakota State University Bison 3-1 in the final of the ACHA Division 2 women's championship yesterday in Columbus, Ohio.

In just their inaugural season in the ACHA as the only Canadian team to ever join it, the Thunderwolves have brought the crown north of the border for the first time.

That means Sinclair, the former Muskie who garnered three goals and four assists in four games at the tournament, now is the first player from here to have both a NorWOSSA and ACHA title to her credit.

It also ended what turned out to be Sinclair's three-year climb to the top of the podium at the nationals.

She and the Rainy River Community College Voyageurs tied for third back in 2015, then placed second with a heart-breaking double-overtime loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs last season.

With the Thunderwolves up 1-0 on Jacqueline Desimone's power-play goal at 10:27 of the first period, Carter tied up her opponent in the left face-off circle in the Bison zone.

Sinclair swooped in and grabbed the puck, then zipped into the corner before feeding a backhander towards the net.

The puck bounced off the base of the net and right to Carter alone in front, with the ex-Dryden Eagle going top shelf on the stick side of Swanson at 9:26 of the second.

Allison Pages made it 3-0 at 16:16.

The Bison only could manage a third-period marker from Jessica Binstock.

Callie Bevilacqua made 19 saves to earn the win in goal while Swanson had 31 stops in defeat.

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