Minor Atom Lakers become Alliance Playoff Champions, News, Minor Atom, 2012-13 (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Minor Atom Lakers become Alliance Playoff Champions
Submitted By ngaylor on Thursday, April 4, 2013
Written by Chris Holloway

The HP Laker Minor Atoms finally finished off the Brantford 99ers and became Alliance Playoff Champions for the first time in Laker History for this age group. After opening the series with 2 successive wins and taking a commanding 4 points to 0 lead, the weary Lakers found themselves in a tighter series after the Easter Weekend. On Holy Thursday in Milverton the Lakers lost a spirited game 2-1 in Overtime. After Camden Daigle had given the Lakers a 1-0 lead the 99ers tied it in the 3rd Period on the PP to send the game to OT. As the Lakers pressed for the game winner the puck popped free to a streaking Brantford forward and he went in all alone and got the game winning OT goal with just 19 seconds left on the clock.

Strong defensive play was on display throughout the game from the Lakers defense ....... Jack Stecho, Wade Robinson, Sam Sedley, Jordan Moulton, Maverick Mulder and Luke deVries were all fantastic in holding Brantford to less than 10 shots on net. Kyle Powers was also brilliant in net earning the Laker chain where only some old 99ers/Gretzky magic denied him the series clinching victory. Of particular note was a fabulous performance by the diminutive Brantford goaltender, who stopped almost 30 shots to earn the victory.

With the series now 4 points to 2, game 4 shifted back to Brantford on Easter Monday where once again the 99ers used some late game heroics to keep their playoff dream alive. This time a goal with just 7 seconds left in regulation salvaged Brantford a 2-2 tie.  Overtime solved nothing so the series now bumped up to a 5 points to 3 Laker lead but another game would be needed before the young Lakers would secure their coveted prize. Daigle and Tanner Dietz scored for the Lakers with assists to Logan Harmer and Carter Servais. Daigle earned the Laker chain with his feisty play and Aaron Waugh was strong in the pipes for HP. Once again the Brantford 'tender was strong as the Lakers peppered him and held a wide margin in the shot totals.

The stage was now set for game 5 in Goderich where a large crowd of Laker supporters gathered in hopes of watching their boys end their season on a high note. Daigle gave everyone reason to celebrate with a goal off a nice deke just 2 minutes into the game. Sedley drew an assist on the play. However Brantford scored the next 2 goals to briefly take a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd period. The 99ers second goal, a shorthanded marker, that could've sunk the young Lakers team but instead the boys accepted a challenge from Coach Gaylor that this was "our prize to win tonight and no one was going to take it away from us". The message sunk in quickly and the charge was on!!!

Moulton started the rally with a wrist shot goal assisted by Luke Gaylor and Jackson McIlwain and then with just 4 seconds left in the 2nd period Brady Ballantyne put the Lakers back in front for good with a toe drag and laser shot to the top left corner of the net on a nice individual effort.

With a 3-2 lead entering the 3rd period the crowd waited anxiously for their boys to put an exclamation mark on their season and just 37 seconds into the final period Patrick Holloway scored what would prove to be the game winner. Dietz and Logan Harmer drew assists on the play as their line made 3 nice passes before the puck crossed the line. Brantford would score a goal late to keep us on the edge of our seats for the final few minutes but in the end Kyle Powers was flawless and let nothing by him. Daigle along with Cole Melady and deVries were stellar over the last few shifts limiting Brantford's attack and allowing the Lakers to hold on to the 4-3 win and series clinching victory.

This edition of the Huron Perth Lakers Minor Atoms proved to be "trail-blazers" and raised the bar for future 9 year old teams from our region. The boys were finalists at both the Rochester Invitational (losing in OT) as well as the Kitchener Blueline Tournament. They were also hard luck semi-finalists at the Preston International Tournament losing in OT there as well. In the end they saved the best for last winning the Alliance Playoff Title 7 points to 3 and finishing with an overall season record of 33-23-9.
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