A Weekend to Remember, News, Major Midget, 2010-11 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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A Weekend to Remember
Submitted By Chad Smalley on Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Last week Chad Smalley’s Major Midget crew headed to Kitchener to take part in the 40th Annual Blueline Tournament. Competition would be tough enough against familiar foes Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo - who had all beaten H-P in their most recent meetings - let alone unknown teams like Ajax-Pickering, and North York.

Friday Game #1 - Ajax-Pickering

The puck dropped at 11:30am for this first 3x15 minute stop-time match-up. It proved to be a rough one with the Raiders taking 15 penalties to the Lakers 9. Drew Reinhardt spotted the Raiders two goals in the first period and allowed one in the second before he shut the door and his skaters got on track. Ryan Watson made it 2-1 with help from Nick Boyer. After the Raiders scored a third goal Tyler Kettler made it 3-2 on the powerplay with assists going to Jerry Ennett and Thad Lucas. With  :15 left in the second, Garrett King’s unassisted shorthanded heroics evened the score at three apiece. In the third period Ajax focused mainly on the rough stuff and managed to accrue seven more penalties. Lakers were more intent on winning the game, receiving only three minors, but were unable to get the go-ahead goal. Final score 3-3.

 

Friday Game #2 - PEAC 

The evening game was an important one but the boys weren’t up to the task. Clean and well played with only seven minor penalties, PEAC took a 1-0 lead in the second period and that’s all they needed. Lakers shooters couldn’t figure out the Piranha’s unorthodox goalie who crowded the stickside post and then relied on an inordinately quick catching glove. PEAC managed an empty netter with a few seconds remaining. Final score 2-0.

 

Saturday Game #1 – Kitchener

This game would be a test. Lose and have no chance of advancing. Or, win against the pesky Rangers, – who beat Lakers 5-4 a week ago -  improve to a barely acceptable record of 1-1-1, and keep hoping. Lakers got a good break in the early going when Jerry Ennett’s shot was misplayed by the Rangers' goalie who poked it out front with his catching glove rather than smother it. Shane O’Brien almost had a crack at it before Luke Salter fired it home… 1-0. Three minutes later Salter was at it again.

This time, on a penalty kill, David Sproat pressured a Kitchener d.man into coughing up the puck behind the net and sent it out to Salter waiting in the slot – top right!... 2-0.

Colt Pickett must’ve started the second period with tape on his skate blade because he put on quite a skating demonstration. Shane O’Brien caused the best bodycheck of the tournament by sidestepping two Rangers who missed him and crashed into each other. Tyler Kettler made it 3-0 by snapping a shot high into the right corner, assisted by Garrett King and Brent Kipfer. Relentless checking by Jaden Goetz and Shane O’Brien gave David Sproat a chance from close in - #5 snuck it through a gap in the goalie’s pads to make it 4-0. Kitchener gave up at this point and racked up five third period penalties. Thad Lucas was on the wrong end of one check and found himself upside down in the Rangers bench.

Final score 4-0. MVP  Luke Salter

 

Saturday Game #2 – North York

H-P was too strong for the Raiders to handle, after bench boss Dave Schlitt instructed the boys to score as many goals as possible. They listened and scored nine! Goal scorers were Shane O’Brien, Jerry Ennett, Nick Boyer, Brandon Priestap, Ryan Watson, Colt Pickett (2), Jaden Goetz, and Garrett King. Watson also picked up 3 assists and Scott Coghlin 2.

Final score 9-2. MVP JP Trudell

 

Lowlight

In a seemingly innocent situation, Jesse DeGroote stumbled in the corner and hit the boards head on. #3 wasn’t travelling at a great speed but was checked out at the hospital as a precaution – fractured vertebra! For the next while this gritty defender will be out of the line-up and wearing a stiff but fashionable collar around his neck.

Highlights

- Shane O’Brien was in the corner with no one open to pass to, instead stickhandled out and beat the goalie with a shot right along the ice.
- On a powerplay, Nick Boyer roared in on net, took a pass at the top of the crease and still had time for 5 moves before tucking it in the corner.
- Darren Kerr made a beauty pass, waiting patiently for Ryan Watson to approach the goal crease and sending him a laser to be deflected into the net.
- JP Trudell, lying flat in the crease slid backwards to block the open corner and make a ‘sick’ save... it may even have been 'dirty'.
- Scott Coghlin to Jaden Goetz, Goetz had a clear shot on net but instead sent the unselfish pass to Garrett King for the easy one-timer.

With a respectable and hard won record of 2-1-1, the team would now spend a couple of tense hours awaiting a decision whether they would advance to the semis. Luck, be a Laker tonight!

 

Sunday Semi-Final - Cambridge

After the mathematicians finished their calculations it was determined that Huron-Perth would advance as the wildcard team and meet the Hawks in the semi! The last two times these teams met the Hawks won 8-5 and 3-2 but there was always a feeling that the Lakers are the better team. Sunday morning would be a good time to try and prove it. The squad had plenty of powerplay opportunities in the first period but were unable to convert until, just as a 5 on 3 ended and became a 5 on 4, Eli Adair threaded the needle with a big slappy from the point.

Hawks got the only goal of the second period on a powerplay to tie the score at one. Brent Kipfer almost made it 2-1, moving in from the blueline with a series of nifty moves but his shot was stopped. Hawks nearly made it 2-1 when a penalty killer got loose and tried to deke Drew Reinhardt… denied. Scott Coghlin made the defensive play of the period, lying down to block a 2 on 1 pass attempt.

In the third period Colt Pickett was tripped up while breaking in on the left side. After taking out the net and crashing into the end boards, Pickett was awarded a penalty shot but in no shape to take it. Enter Tyler Kettler who is usually money in the bank. #7 came across the blueline with good speed, closed in and launched a hard snapshot which…..was caught. With overtime looming, and everything on the line, Thad Lucas went to work in the left corner, cycling the puck to Shane O’Brien. In front of the net, Luke Salter was left unattended just long enough to receive and redirect O’Brien’s laser pass into the right corner. Two to one, 2:50 later it’s game  over and the Lakers are headed to the final!

Final score 2-1. MVP Luke Salter

 

Sunday Final - Waterloo

After a prolonged lunch, especially in Jerry Ennett’s case, the Lakers hit the ice looking for a big win against the Wolves who had spanked them 5-1 six days earlier.

The first period was an exciting goaltender’s battle with neither JP Trudell or his counterpart letting anything by. Early in the second Trudell made a save which was appreciated by Wolves' fans as much as Lakers’. Out of position with a Wolf looking at an open net, #1 dove toward the left post and managed to get his arm in the way of the puck. Waterloo forwards are skilled at throwing the puck around the net. On one such occasion, a Waterloo player was just receiving a cross-crease pass for the easy tap-in when Colt Pickett alertly jumped in and interfered. Suddenly the play was heading  up-ice with Tyler Kettler who dished off to Ryan Watson. One on one, the Captain moved left to find enough room to unleash the Wendel Clark wristshot – right/stickside… 1-0 and text messages to the DeGroote’s. More excitement in the Lakers end, this time when JP Trudell lost his goalstick. Tyler Kettler loaned his stick to #1 and went on the defensive. Scott Coghlin contributed to the much needed whistle by dropping to his knees to block a pass out front. The puck dropped to the ice beside Coghlin and was quickly smothered by two big goalie gloves. The goaltending gods continued to watch over Trudell’s net, causing two shots in a row to hit the crossbar. Again the Waterloo fans couldn’t believe their bad luck. Brandon Priestap was hobbled momentarily after getting his knee in the way of a hard slapshot but looked OK after a few strides. Jerry Ennett looked good on a penalty kill, batting a pass out of the air and sending it to the other end. Toward the end the second period, the puck reached Eli Adair at the centre of the blueline. His slapshot had eyes, passing through a crowd into the right side of the net… 2-0 and more text messages to chez DeGroote.

The break between the second and third period was an agonizing one for Lakers' fans who sensed that something memorable was taking place in front of them. Feelings of hopefulness changed to worry :52 into the third while watching the Wolves celebrate their first goal. Nick Boyer looked to restore the two goal lead by leaning on a slapper from the right face-off circle… denied. Trudell somehow kept an eye on a wristshot that drifted through a crowd and settled into his chest protector. Moments after that his right toe ‘shot out in rapier-like fashion’ for another impressive save. A Lakers 3 on 1 looked promising with Brandon Priestap carrying the puck but before he could shoot or pass, Tyler Kettler was hauled down. The powerplayers couldn’t score a goal but they did eat up two minutes. The game would finish with the Wolves goalie on the bench and six Lakers giving their all. With :04 on the clock the puck exited the Lakers' zone, leading to one of the biggest celebratory pile-ups in history.

Final score 2-1. CHAMPIONS! Trophy driven to St. Marys and delivered to Jesse DeGroote by Ass't Captain Scott Coghlin.

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