The HPL Major Atoms swept Waterloo in 3 straight games in the quarter finals and now will start against Elgin Middlesex in the semi finals for the Alliance Championship. The Lakers have continued to play great defensive hockey throughout the Waterloo series giving up very few quality scoring chances and when they did our goalies played great.
In Game #1 on the road in Waterloo, the Lakers seemed to have a slow start as the 1st period ended tied 0 – 0. Midway through the 2nd period the Lakers had a great line change which followed up with some great forechecking resulting in the 1st goal of the series. Early in the 3rd the Lakers went up 2 – 0 with a rebound goal. Waterloo didn’t give up and cut the Lakers lead in half with 5 minutes remaining in the game. With some great defensive play late in the game the Lakers won game one 2 – 1.
In Game #2 in Wingham, an arena where the HPL Major Atoms haven’t lost a game this year, the team started out the game with lots of confidence. With another scoreless 1st period, the Lakers picked up their forechecking in the 2nd period resulting in the Lakers going ahead 1 – 0 after two periods. In the second period, the Lakers started to look tired but after a bad give away by the Waterloo defenseman and the Lakers forward coming up with the puck in front of the Waterloo net, no mistake was made to put the Lakers ahead 2 – 0. As in game one the Waterloo team didn’t give up and finally scored in the 3rd period making it an interesting finish. In the last minute of the game with the Waterloo goalie on the bench in favour of an extra forward, the Lakers scored into the empty net capping a 3 – 1 win in the game and a 2 – 0 series lead.
In Game #3 in Goderich MRC yet another arena in which the HPL Major Atoms haven’t lost a game this year, the team knew this was the time to finish off the Waterloo team. The Lakers jumped out to an early 2 – 0 lead, but then took 3 penalties in 2 ½ minutes making them 2 players short for close to 2 minutes. With some excellent penalty killing the Lakers kept Waterloo off the scoreboard. Waterloo was able to get on the scoreboard late in the 1st period to make the game close at that point. Once the 2nd period started it was all Lakers as they scored a power play goal midway through the 2nd and then 2 more goals late in the period 13 seconds apart. In the 3rd period the Lakers added 3 more goals to Waterloo’s 1, making the final score 8 – 2 for the Lakers and the defeat of Waterloo in 3 straight games.
The Elgin Middlesex series starts Saturday, March 1st in London @ the Ice Park 12:30 and Game #2 in Goderich at the MRC on Sunday, March 2nd @ 4:00 pm. The HPL Major Atoms will start the series 2 players short due to an injury and a suspension.