Minor Midgets Eliminated, News, Minor Midget, 2011-12 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Minor Midgets Eliminated
Submitted By wdekoning on Sunday, February 26, 2012
The Huron Perth Laker Minor Midgets were eliminated from the playoffs on February 19th in a hard fought battle with the Sun County Panthers. For the second year in a row, the Lakers lost in game 5 against the Panthers, 2 – 1 was the final.

The teams entered play last weekend with the series tied 1 – 1. On Friday night, the Lakers came out of the gate on fire jumping out to a 2 – 0 lead in the first 5 minutes of the game. Quinten Haddock got the Lakers on the board when Jared Weisharfed passed to Haddock on a 2 on 1.   Haddock took a wrist shot from the high slot that deflected in off the post.  Garrett James earned the second assist on the goal.  Alex Peters gave the Lakers a 2 – 0 lead with a wrist shot from the point that caught the top corner. Assists going to Nathan Templeman and Derek Elliott.  Sun County responded when a Panther player in the corner passed the puck to his teammate all alone in front of the net and beat Daniel Dekoning who had no chance on the play.  The Panthers tied the game in the first period on a 2 on 1 when Dekoning got a piece of the high shot but it found its way through to the back of the net. The period ended with the game tied 2 – 2. Sun County took the lead in the second period when a Panther took a shot in the high slot that deflected off a Laker stick and in the top corner. The period ended with the Panthers up by 1 goal. The deficit grew to 2 goals with a little over 5 minutes left in the third period just as a Laker player was leaving the penalty box. A scramble in front of the Laker net was banged in giving the Panthers a 4 – 2 lead. The Lakers responded a minute later when Peters took a shot from the point. Jamesy picked up the blocked shot in the high slot, spun around and fired a low shot that caught the corner. The Lakers pulled their goalie with just under two minutes to play but could not score the equalizer losing 4 – 3. The Lakers outshot the Panthers 33 – 23 in the game but found themselves down 2 – 1 in the series.

It was a do or die game for the Lakers at The Rotary Complex on Saturday. The Lakers again got on the board first in this one on their first shot of the game. Weishar picked up the puck in the high slot and rifled a slap shot that beat the Panther goalie on the glove side. Assists on the goal going to James and Haddock. Sun County tied the game when a Panther player took a shot from the faceoff dot that Evan Wigmore got a piece of but the puck dribbled by him. The Panthers took a 2 – 1 lead when they banged in a rebound midway through the first period. Jacob Middleton tied the game with a great individual effort. Mids blocked a clearing attempt along the boards, walked around a Panther player and took a quick shot from a sharp angle tying the game 2 – 2 going in to the second period. The Lakers took the lead on a 5 on 3 man advantage when James banged home a rebound on his second attempt from the side of the net. Assists going to Ryker Killins and Nathan Templeman on the goal. The Lakers were up by one heading in to the third period. The Lakers got an insurance goal on the power play when Middleton passed the puck to Adam Zehr in the slot. Zehr took a shot that the goalie got a piece of with his glove but Drew Gross was there to bang home the rebound. That would be all the Lakers would need in this one. Jamesy closed the scoring in the third when he showed his speed, picking up the puck from his own blue line and raced in on a breakaway beating the Panther goalie with a sick move. The Lakers win the game 5 – 2. The Panthers outshot the Lakers 32 – 25 in this one with Evan Wigmore making some huge saves in the third period to earn the win.

It was back to Sun County on Sunday for Game 5 of the series. It was deja vu for the Lakers as it almost a year ago to the day that the Lakers travelled to Sun County last year for the decisive semi final game 5. Both teams had chances in the first period but both goalies wanted none of it as the period ended scoreless. The Lakers opened the scoring in the second period when Nathan Templeman had the puck all alone in front of the Panther goalie. Temps showed patience as he sniped a wrist shot top shelf to put the Lakers up 1 – 0. Ryker Killins assisted on the goal. The Panthers tied the game on a rebound that beat Wigmore five hole along the ice. The second period ended 1 – 1 with the Lakers outshooting the Panthers 22 – 17. It would all boil down to 15 minutes of hockey to possibly decide the game and the series. The Lakers had some great scoring chances in the first few minutes of the third. A Laker player took a shot that had beat the Panther goalie but was cleared by a defenseman as the puck was edging towards the goal line. The Lakers also rang a deflection off the crossbar early in the period. The Panthers took a 2 – 1 lead mid way through the period on a screen shot from the high slot that beat Wiggy on the glove side. The Lakers had some chances as they pulled their goalie but could not tie the game. Sun County won the game 2 -1 and the series 6 points to 4. A heart break for the Lakers who gave it their all but just came up short. Congratulations to the players and coaching staff for a strong year.

For many of these Laker players, it will be the last time they will play together as the boys will be heading in many different directions next season. Some possibly back to their home centers to play, some to play midget AAA hockey and some to play junior hockey somewhere. It’s a long journey to get to this point and we wish the best to each Laker player and family moving forward.

The Lakers will continue to practice over the next few weeks as there is a possibility of an invite to the OHL Cup during March Break.

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