Dec 13, 2010 | mthibeault | 1401 views
99 Lakers Down 1st Place London Jr. Knights 4-2
On Friday Dec. 10, the 99 Minor PeeWee Lakers travelled to London to take on the 1st place London Jr. Knights. The Knights having only one loss on the season were not prepared for the well rested and confident 99 Laker team.
Prior to Friday night’s match up the Lakers faced London on two previous occasions in August. London won narrowly 3-2 in exhibition and in late October 1-0 in league play. As the boys put on the equipment their determination and focus was palatable. They had no interest in losing another game by one goal and the players all agreed to play their best game every shift and win the 5 minute games within the game.
From the drop of the puck the pace was quick. Quick feet and quick shifts kept everyone in the game. London, known for their big hits, did not let their reputation falter taking aim at any Laker with the puck. However, the Lakers were able to score first midway through the first period with a good cycle down low by the Lakers' forwards Thibeault and Stockie. As expected, London would answer back, less than a minute later they tied up the game but the players' determination and focus did not fade. With less than 3 minutes left on the clock in the 1st the Defensive Core took over on a bad London line change. Denny collected a dumped puck from behind tender Paquette and with open ice in front of him he was able to go end to end while London scrambled to regain position. Joining Denny on the rush was forward Deelstra. While Deelstra attacked the net Denny took a hard shot which caught the London goalie off guard; he managed to get a piece of the puck only to have Deelstra jam it to the back of net.
The second period London cornered the Lakers in for several minutes with no solid scoring chances until 9:20 into the second, London tied the game again shortly after a successful Lakers PK. Again, the Lakers responded 3 minutes later with a rush by Thibeault who forced the lone London D man to give up a shooting lane. Thibeault’s quick shot on net gave up a rebound that was hammered to the back of net by forward Rooke who was driving to the net hard. Lakers would lead the game again by one goal.
Heading into the 3rd period a quick speech to the players by Coach Baier reminded them that they had come a long way since the start of the first period and there was no reason to let up. Playing a strong defensive game with few mistakes throughout much of the 3rd kept the game at 3-2. Despite London playing with a bit of desperation and providing the Lakers with a couple of power plays the Lakers were unable to convert them into goals. Late in the 3rd, London resorted to pulling their goalie in an attempt to salvage a tie. The small Lakers defensive zone was crowded with the additional Knights player. There were plenty of scrambles, battles, checks, and shots on net with timely saves made by Laker tender Paquette. The time could not wind down fast enough. Relief came with 23 seconds remaining on the clock when Deelstra’s spin-o-rama shot from the neutral zone found the London empty net convincingly. Lakers would win 4 to 2.
The 99 Lakers enjoyed the well deserved poignant victory and every player received a star for competing and playing as a team until the last buzzer.