Major Midgets Reach Semi-finals in Blueline Tournament, News, Major Midget, 2011-12 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Major Midgets Reach Semi-finals in Blueline Tournament
Submitted By cmetzger on Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Major Midgets went 3-1 in the round robin portion of the Blueline Tournament in Kitchener recently to reach the semi-finals and then kept the good times rolling when they returned to regular season play.

The tournament started for the Lakers on the Friday with a tough draw against their Alliance rivals, the Waterloo Wolves. The Wolves are the #1 ranked team in Ontario and they come by that ranking honestly as they defeated the Lakers 6-1. The lone Lakers' goal came from Minor Midget call-up Nathan Templeman with an assist by Jerry Ennett.

The Lakers received a much more favourable opponent in their second game of the day as they faced off against the struggling Ontario Hockey Academy (Maroon) team. This team is languishing near the bottom of the rankings and the Lakers took full advantage as they went on to win 5-0. Point getters included:
    Ben Denham, unassisted 
    Jayden Landry, assisted by Thad Lucas and Ben Denham
    Ben Denham, unassisted 
    Ethan Adair (Minor Midget AP), assisted by Jerry Ennett
    Luke Salter, unassisted
Joe Metzger recorded the shut-out.

After the first day the Lakers had done precisely what would have been expected by an observer: lost to a very highly ranked team and defeated a lower ranked team. That, however, wasn't going to be good enough if the Lakers wanted to play on Sunday.

The upset the Lakers needed came in the first game on Saturday. The Lakers kept up the goal scoring they had in the previous game and defeated the highly ranked Halton Hills Hurricanes, 5-2. Scorers in this game were:
    Jerry Ennett, assisted by Luke Salter and Quinten Haddock (Minor Midget AP)
    Jerry Ennett, assisted by Luke Salter
    Quinten Haddock, assisted by Jared Zufelt 
    Chace Duckworth, assisted by Travis Bender and Jesiah Sweetland 
    Mike Siddall, unassisted
With their two wins the Lakers had put themselves in the mix for the one wild card spot.

In their final game against the Hamilton Reps the Lakers would not only need to win but do it with a significant goal differential to give them a shot at moving on. The Reps had defeated the Lakers 6-1 in their last meeting in late October but the Lakers had been playing much better since then. The Lakers goal scorers were hot as the team outscored the Reps 5-2 for the win. Continuing the pattern of spreading the goal scoring around, Lakers netting points in this game included:
    Jesiah Sweetland, assisted by Jared Zufelt and Ryan Goetz 
    Ben Kirwin, assisted by Jared Zufelt and Greg Orr 
    Brett Stacey, assisted by Ben Denham and Jayden Landry 
    Luke Salter, assisted by Travis Bowman (AP) and Jerry Ennett 
    Jayden Landry, assisted by Ben Denham and Mike Siddall

As it turned out, every goal scored, shot blocked, and shot saved by the Lakers was huge as the Lakers just edged out the Cambridge Hawks to claim the last wild card spot to advance to the semi-finals on Sunday.

In the semi-finals, the Lakers faced the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars. It was an extremely well-played game with both teams playing hard. As sometimes happens, it came down to inches and bounces as the Lakers hit the iron on a couple occasions and didn't get the timely bounces while the North Stars converted. In the end, the North Stars defeated the Lakers 3-1 but it was close right to the end and the Lakers never quit. The Lakers' goal came from recent returnee from injury, Brett Stacey, assisted by Greg Orr and Mike Siddall.

Speaking of injuries, the Lakers were missing several players due to injuries for this tournament. The affiliated players, principally from the Lakers Minor Midgets, were instrumental in giving the team the numbers and jump needed for a successful weekend. A thank-you to all of them for their assistance.

Following the tournament, the Major Midgets returned to regular season play. They kept the momentum going by defeating both Cambridge (4-2) and Lambton (6-4) to continue to move up the standings where they currently sit in 5th.
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