The Wallaceburg Lakers Midget hockey team split their first two games of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association ‘B’ provincial final against Penetang on the weekend at Wallaceburg Memorial Arena.
On Saturday night, Penetang came out on top with a 5-4 victory, giving the Lakers their first loss of the playoffs after 12 consecutive wins. Wallaceburg bounced back on Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 win.
Midget coach Louie Blackbird said it was a bit of an emotional weekend as they rebounded on Sunday.
“I thought we played well enough to win (during Game 1) but we got a bit outworked and tonight we outworked them. So I think it was just a bit of an emotional weekend—up and down—but I thought the boys battled back in today’s game and showed who we are,” said Blackbird.
The teams match up well, Blackbird said, but Wallaceburg’s talent showed in the third period of Game 2 when the Lakers scored three goals to break up a 1-1 tie.
“I think it was a big victory for us going into Penetang.”
In Game 1, Kellen Franquist, Tyler Davis, Nate Highfield and Jaycob White scored for Wallaceburg.
Both games attracted a lot of fan support, with attendance in the neighbourhood of 800 for both games.
The Lakers now travel this weekend up north to play Game 3 and 4 of the six-point series in Penetanguishene on Saturday and Sunday (March 23-24). If needed, Game 5 would be in Wallaceburg on March 29 and Game 6 would be the next day in Penetang.
The team has raised over $2,000 from community support in helping with travel costs, including a $1,000 donation from the Wallaceburg Sports Hall of Fame, $500 from Jersey Dairy and $250 from ScreenArt.