Major Midgets in Third Place, News, Major Midget, 2010-11 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Major Midgets in Third Place
Submitted By Chad Smalley on Tuesday, January 4, 2011
As the new year begins the Major Midgets occupy third place in their eight team league. With 29 GP, the team has 37 PTS compared to second place Waterloo with 39 PTS/29 GP. London leads with 42 PTS in 27 GP.

League Play Kitchener
With Minor Midget Braydon Blight filling in to replace fellow St. Marys' product  Jesse DeGroote, the Lakers travelled to Kitchener for a game against the Jr. Rangers. H-P dominated the first two-thirds of this game, establishing a 3-0 lead. Nick Boyer got the first goal by stickhandling out from the left corner and chipping a perfect backhander in the top left corner of the net as he crossed the top of the crease. Boyer had a great first period. On one occasion he cut in from the right side, skated beyond the end line and then tried to muscle his way back out front for a shot, finally ending up in the mesh behind the right post. Later, #12 raced straight toward the goalie, took a pass at top speed but ran out of ice before he could complete his deke. Scott Coghlin received a questionable penalty for the gentlest slash in history but Lakers' penalty killers were able to fend it off - this and six other minor penalties assessed against the Lakers in the first period. After serving one minor, Jeff McArdle stepped out of the box and found himself with the puck, crossing the blueline two on one with Garrett King. McArdle dished off to King and just about buried the return pass.

On a second period powerplay, with Brandon Priestap sneaking into position off the right post Scott Coghlin sent a pass in to David Sproat at the bottom of the left face-off circle. Sproat cradled the puck and calmly sent a beauty pass to Priestap... 2-0. Ryan Watson outraced and outworked a Ranger d-man, stripped him of the puck and raced in alone from the blueline to finish with a little backhand deke and chip through the 5-hole to... 3-0.

Kitchener made a game of it in the third period, narrowing the score to 3-1 with a nice powerplay goal. Brandon Priestap restored the three goal lead with his second powerplay goal from the same spot in front of the net, this time with help from Ryan Watson and Thad Lucas. A weird bounce left a shooter all alone in front of JP Trudell  but #1 squared himself and took away any possible angle. Priestap almost recorded the team’s second hat trick of the year after receiving a beautiful pass from Nick Boyer but lost his footing trying to get a shot away. With :24 left to play, Kitchener scored another powerplay goal. Too little, too late for the Rangers – final score 4-2 H-P.

Alliance Showcase


Two nights later it was again Lakers vs Rangers, this time as part of the Alliance Showcase in London. Two first period powerplays netted the team two goals, the first by Brent Kipfer (Watson, Adair) whose low hard pointshot cleanly beat the Ranger goalie. Kipfer started the year as a forward but has been playing defense lately, filling the gap left by injured reservist Jesse DeGroote, and doing a great job in every situation. On a penalty kill during this matchup, #18 took possession in the crowded left corner of his own end, and dipsy-doodled through a number of players before finding an opening to ice the puck. Later, at even strength, he circled his own net and rushed the length of the ice, gaining control of the offensive zone before relinquishing the puck. Jeff McArdle earned the main assist on goal #2 by snapping a hard shot toward the net which was deflected by Brandon Priestap. Jerry Ennett was also credited with a helper.

In the second period Kitchener got one past Drew Reinhardt and began exerting additional pressure but #31 had already shut the door. With three minutes left in the third and the score still 2-1, Eli Adair kept his cool, earning   his team a two minute reprieve while an undisciplined Ranger sat in the box for highsticking. One final minute of pressure - game over - final score... 2-1.


Saturday’s early morning Showcase game pitted the Major Midgets against the powerful Wolves. The first period was scoreless but five were scored in the second – three for H-P. Garrett King (Ennett, Sproat) got the first one on the powerplay, by spinning and firing a low shot to the bottom left corner. JP Trudell managed to keep the score at 1-0 with one of his diving TSN Turning Point saves, followed by some good anticipation of a cross crease pass. Braydon Blight took this rebound and quickly moved the puck up-ice. Two passes - Colt Pickett and Nick Boyer - later it looked like Jerry Ennett had lost the puck but with a diving, one-handed effort the Wolves goalie was left watching the puck trickle through him into the net. This same trio also combined to score the team’s third goal, which set up an exciting finish. Trailing 4-3 with seven minutes to play the Lakers went on the powerplay. Ryan Watson and Brandon Priestap battled in the crease, but their attempts to poke the puck sent it beside and behind the end line. Darren Kerr showed very quick hands by bringing the puck back over the line just far enough to have some net to chip it into... 4-4 tie!

Five minutes of overtime failed to settle anything so the teams prepared for a shoot-out. Jerry Ennett shot second for the Lakers with a deke to the backhand and then upstairs. Darren Kerr nailed the right post which led eventually to the seventh shooters. Brandon Priestap roared in at top speed, moved left to the forehand and game over!


Two hot goalies can make for a great game. One exceptionally hot goalie can be the difference between winning and losing. The Lakers were reminded of both these things in Saturday’s second Showcase game against the Jr. Spitfires. The Spits' goalie robbed Brandon Priestap in the first period. At the other end a deceptive wristshot beat Drew Reinhardt. A powerplay goal in the second made the score 2-0 in favor of the Spits. Lakers had eight powerplay opportunities of their own and should’ve been able to generate at least two goals but were unable to capitalize. Final score... 2-0.


Duel at Dufferin


Most of the first period of this game, at the newly renovated Dufferin Arena in Stratford, was dominated by Chad Smalley’s crew, which is the good news. The Knights are the first place team in the league but the H-P squad is just as good when firing on all cylinders. Early in this game a Laker banked the puck off a ceiling support and landed it behind the goalie and into the Knights net – unfortunately this goal was disallowed. Lakers did score the first real one, however, with Travis Bowman taking the initial shot and Shane O’Brien sending the puck the last few inches over the goalline. Bowman, wearing #16, is a recent and welcome addition to the team who looks like he’s been playing at this level all year. With 3:38 left in the period London got a nice one on JP Trudell. Beyond that point it was ‘one of those nights’ in which anything that could go wrong did go wrong. London scored three unanswered goals in the second period and another two in the third for a 6-1 victory.

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