Big Week for Major Midgets, News, Major Midget, 2010-11 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Big Week for Major Midgets
Submitted By Chad Smalley on Thursday, December 16, 2010
After the huge Championship in the Blueline Tournament, the Major Midget Lakers were looking forward to meeting Waterloo and Cambridge again in league play to prove that the tourney wins were no accident. But first, midweek, off to Hamilton. The Reps are a hard working team, but short-staffed with a very poor league record - the ideal team to play after a gruelling six game weekend.

H-P opened the scoring with perhaps the easiest goal of the year. Darren Kerr almost scored but the puck sat on the goalline waiting for Ryan Watson to send it across. Netminder Drew Reinhardt stopped a clear breakaway in the early going. Jerry Ennett and Shane O'Brien worked the give and go but weren't rewarded. Nick Boyer made it 2-0 with help from Tyler Kettler. Hamilton got one back to end the first period 2-1.

The second period was all Lakers. Kettler got a beauty, heading down the left side before cutting in, giving the how d'ya do to two Rep defenders, and sliding the puck into the bottom left as the goalie moved right... 3-1. Brandon Priestap was rewarded with a breakaway after his blueline shot block. The speedster raced the length of the ice, deked and went 5-hole... 4-1.

The Reps tried to make a game of it in the third, closing the gap to 4-2 but Priestap put an end to that with a hard, accurate, slapper from the top of the left face-off circle - top right!! Final score... 5-2.

Waterloo

Ryan Watson opened the scoring on the powerplay, capping off a fast rush with his hard wristshot – that was it for the first period of this rematch between the Blueline finalists.

On a second period penalty kill Garrett King made a great shot block. At even strength, Tyler Kettler winded a Wolf with an open ice shoulder. Jerry Ennett hit the post on a penalty kill. JP Trudell made his first significant save, positioning himself perfectly to block a one-timer from the slot. On a penalty kill, Trudel put on a mini-clinic, sliding back and forth across the crease to maintain position until he could block a shot or smother the puck. Trudell was really ‘in the zone’ this game and virtually unbeatable. His best save of the period came as an unchallenged Wolf cruised  between the face-off circles, and took his time teeing up a shot… gloveside… caught. With Wolf players and fans starting to become unravelled,  Ryan Watson took advantage of a 5 on 3 situation and made it 2-0 with a wrister through the 5-hole.

Waterloo got one back in the third, with a screened cross-crease pass that Trudell couldn’t track, and appeared rejuvenated. David Sproat dashed their hopes, picking the puck up in front of the net and beating the goalie with a deke to the forehand before crashing to the ice. Three to one now, Ryan Watson iced the cake with a breakaway/short-handed/empty net goal, certainly not the prettiest goal of his career but good enough to salt the game away AND record the team’s first hat-trick of the year.

Colt Pickett will have to try for the second ‘trick’ of the year. Nice to see Jeff McArdle back in the line-up. Great to see Jesse DeGroote in the building cheering on his teammates. 

Cambridge

The Hawks opened the scoring early in the first period of this game but Shane O’Brien tied it at one apiece with help from Jerry Ennett and Eli Adair. A prolonged scramble  outside Drew Reinhardt’s crease resulted in a 2-1 Cambridge lead which was extended to 3-1. Scott Coghlin’s unassisted effort ended the first period with the Lakers trailing 3-2.

After a solid open-ice hit by Ryan Watson, the second period got underway officially when Drew Reinhardt raced to the blueline after an incoming puck and demo’d a Hawk skater. Play went up ice until Eli Adair was controlling behind the Hawks net and culminated with David Sproat taking Adair’s pass and banking a low, hard wrister – the kind that Grandpa likes – off the right post. Three to two now, Chad Smalley’s minions visibly shifted into another gear. Garrett King just missed burying a pass near the right post. Ryan Watson’s backhand left Lakers fans thinking the game was tied - it would be seconds later. After the Hawks goalie failed to contain Eli Adair’s point shot, Watson picked up the rebound, darted around the net and executed a textbook wrappy… 4-3.

Three pucks may have gotten past Drew Reinhardt in the first period but he shut the door after that. A third period two on one provided some evidence of this when Reinhardt positioned himself perfectly to block a hard shot from the slot. Scott Coghlin executed a risky face forward shot block to help maintain the tie. Shane O’Brien was hobbled, still hurting from a slapshot in the ankle during the Waterloo game, but kept working hard. Tyler Kettler almost got the go-ahead but hit the post after making a nice move to get in on goal. After receiving a Jerry Ennett pass, Shane O’Brien decided he didn’t have a good enough angle to score so he returned the puck. Ennett circled behind the net, moved out front and it was 5-3 – amazing comeback!

If any Waterloo or Cambridge fans left the Blueline tourney thinking their team should’ve won, think again. The Major Midgets are at the top of their game right now. Both goalies are hard to beat, especially with the d. crew helping out. When everyone is working hard and making an effort to avoid needless penalties, this team is as good as any in the league.

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