Minor Midgets Clinch East Division Title, News, Minor Midget, 2011-12 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Minor Midgets Clinch East Division Title
Submitted By wdekoning on Saturday, January 7, 2012
The 96 Lakers clinched the Alliance East Division Title on Saturday with a 5 – 2 victory over the second place Cambridge Hawks. It took game 29 out of 30 regular season games for the Lakers to assure they would finish the regular season on top. The game was a wild affair with the Lakers holding on for dear life in the third period to preserve the win.

The Lakers opened the scoring on the power play in the first period on a lucky goal when Derek Elliott shot the puck towards the net from the corner. The puck went in off a Cambridge player’s stick and slowly crossed the goal line. Assists on the goal going to Jared Weishar and Alex Peters. The first period ended with the Lakers leading 1 – 0. The game to this point was fairly even with both teams having some scoring chances.

The rest of the game took on two different faces. The Lakers took it to the Hawks in the second period scoring 3 unanswered goals. They went up 2 – 0 on another power play when Ethan Adair moved up from his normal defence position to play forward and was rewarded when he was fed a pretty pass from the side of the net from Quinten Haddock. Adair tapped the puck in to the open side. Peters picked up his second assist of the game on the goal. The Lakers kept coming and made the score 3 – 0 when Ryker Killins moved up on the play and took a nice pass on a give and go from Taylor Moir at the Cambridge blue line. Killins had a full head of steam and walked around the Cambridge defenseman burying a shot to the top corner glove side from ten feet out. It was great to have Killins back on the ice after missing the last 13 regular season and tournaments games with an upper body injury. It was unknown at the time, that Killins goal would turn out to be the eventual game winner. Congratulations goes out to Ryker for scoring his first regular season goal. With Killins first, all the Laker players have registered at least one goal this season. The second assist on the goal went to Derek Elliott. The Lakers closed the second period scoring when Drew Gross picked up a loose puck at the top of the slot and walked in alone, undressing the Hawk goalie with a beautiful deke that had the Laker bench and fans buzzing. The goal was unassisted. The Lakers outshot Cambridge 16 - 4 in the second period and were ahead in shots 26 – 14 for the game.

The Lakers had one period to hold on to their 4 – 0 lead to claim first place in the east. After killing off a penalty to begin the third, all appeared in hand for the home team. A giveaway by the Lakers on a power play right in front of Laker goalie Daniel Dekoning, got the Hawks on the board.  Less than one minute later, a Hawk player picked up the puck at the blue line and walked in on a 2 on 1. Dekoning made a pad save on the initial shot but the rebound went right to a Hawk player who made no mistake. The momentum of the game had definitely swung in favour of Cambridge with ten minutes remaining. Cambridge was throwing everything at the Lakers as time slowly ticked down. They pulled their goalie with 6 minutes left and two Lakers in the penalty box. Dekoning was getting peppered and with some help from the crossbar, the Lakers killed off the penalties. Haddock iced the game with three and a half minutes to play with his second point of the game when he scored an empty net goal to make the final score 5 – 2. Elliott earned an assist and his third point of the game on the goal. Laker goalie Daniel Dekoning got his first regular season point getting the second assist. Cambridge continued to press, pulling their goalie whenever they could, but the Lakers held on to win the game and a first round bye in the playoffs. The Lakers were outshot 20 – 2 in the third period and 34 – 28 in the game. The Lakers play their last game of the season on Sunday in Hamilton.

 The win for the Lakers will give them a few weeks off and some time to heal their injured players before resuming play again in what will be the playoff quarter finals. Good work Lakers on a well earned win and a very solid season. Good luck in the playoffs. All the best to Garrett James as he leaves for Austria in the next few days to compete for Team Canada in hockey at the Youth Olympics. Make us proud Jamesy.   
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