Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lakers ousted by Pats

WELLINGTON—It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
All through the playoffs, the Fort Frances Lakers met adversity head on and overcame it, showing the true heart of a champion.

But here on the rocky shores of Lake Ontario, the Lakers found a peak too high to climb.
The dream season for the SIJHL champs ended Friday night in Wellington with a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots in the semi-final of the 2014 Dudley Hewitt Cup.
The OJHL champs scored early and often on the Lakers—building a 4-0 lead through the opening 20 minutes.
“It’s not always easy to finish your last game, especially when you shoot your own self in the foot,” Lakers’ head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan said after the game.
“We came out flat and just never really got into the first period, and being down that many, that quick.”
Most observers at the Essroc Centre agreed the Lakers probably deserved a better fate in the first period.
They were able to generate some scoring chances, but everything Toronto Lakeshore directed at Fort Frances goalie Jordan Cartney seemed to find the back of the net.
A power-play goal and a shorthanded marker were part of the Patriots’ attack in the first, and Cartney also seemed to have difficulty being able to track the puck.
Devin Tappenden took over between the pipes in the second period and had a gaffe of his own as the Lakers fell behind 5-0 after 40 minutes.
The Patriots added another power play goal late in third.
But Strachan said the organization can’t focus on coming up short at the Central Canadian championship.
“We can’t dwell on this,” he stressed. “We need to look at where we went wrong and what we did wrong when we were here.
“We have no reason to feel ashamed, to hang our heads,” Strachan added.
“We accomplished a lot, fought adversity together, and proudly represented the [SIJHL].”
Lakers’ captain Cody Wickstrom was named game MVP for the Lakers in the semi-final.
The Patriots went on to capture the Dudley Hewitt Cup with a 2-1 win over the host Dukes in the final Saturday night.
Toronto Lakeshore now will vie for the national Junior ‘A’ crown at the five-team RBC Cup on May 10-18 in Vernon, B.C.

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