With just over 3 minutes to go in Game 4 on Saturday & the possibility of a third game reaching overtime, the Huron Perth 'AAA' Minor Bantams had the opportunity to pull ahead if they could convert on the powerplay. But with time ticking down, the puck was chipped out of the Knights zone & London broke in on a short handed breakaway. With both defenceman in pursuit, the Knights forward was slashed in an attempt to dislodge the puck. And in a flashback of Game 2, the Referee immediately awarded a penalty shot to London.
London opened the scoring in the 2nd period short-handed, but Garrett Meurs
found the score sheet for the Lakers to tie the game. It was a see-saw battle back and forth for the entire game as the 2 teams looked & played as equals. Neither team wanting to give up & kept many of the fans on the edge of their seats. With London holding the 4 pts to 2 lead in the Semi-Final series, the next goal was highly important for both teams. And in dramatic fashion and the entire Stratford Rotary Complex holding their breath, London scored on the penalty shot to all but end the Lakers season. The backbreaker came in the last minute as Huron Perth pushed for the equalizer. An empty net goal gave London a 2 goal cushion and a pass to the Alliance Championship against the Lakers divisional rival- Brantford.
Although disappointing for the young team, they showed strength & courage as the short handed staff was able to compete all season long, showcasing their ability & determination in the playdowns. After losing the Eastern Division Championship by only 1 point to Brantford, the Lakers knew the road to the Championship would go through London. The boys were up for the challenge and after eliminating Cambridge they forced London to overtime in 2 of the first 3 games, earning a point in Game 1 with a 3-3 tie & another in Game 3 with 4-4 performance. Game 2 went to London by a 4-2 margin. But the teams were destined for overtime in that match as well, taking a 2-2 score deep into the game before London was awarded their 1st penalty shot of the series to break the deadlock & grab the 2 points. The loss in Game 4 may have ended the season for the Minor Bantams but the ground work for an exceptional 2007-08 season has already begun. With the coaching reigns being passed over next season to the experience & knowledge of Shaun Peet, the Lakers look forward to building off this season & competing for a Division, League & Provincial Championship.
The Lakers finish with an astounding 43-19-8 record with 280 Goals for & 176 Goals against.
The Minor Bantams would like to thank their entire Coaching Staff (Dave Partridge, Kevin Meriam, Pete Nichol, Jon Dalby & John Lazarus) for all their hard work & dedication to the success of this year's team. It was the strong belief in each player that was instrumental in the team's overall success! As well, a special thanks to the Executive, Parents & Sponsors. Your support & committment is greatly appreciated.