SIX NATIONS — It was a hard one to lose for the Six Nations Chiefs but a thrilling way to win for the Peterborough Lakers Monday night at the ILA.
The Major Series Championship went to Game #7, but the potent Chiefs offence was shut down in the third period while the Lakers’ Shawn Evans and Turner Evans tied and then took the one goal lead which stood as the game winner.
“We battled all year and to lose by just one goal is tough to swallow but it is a seven game series and in a low scoring game, every goal makes a difference,” said head coach “Mouse” Henry. “There were some outside shots that I’m sure Mills (goalie Brandon Miller) would like back but it was a great series and a great crowd tonight that I hope will promote the game in this area even more.”
Six Nations’ Wenster Green played this year for the Lakers and it seemed a bit odd for him to be celebrating the win in a Peterborough uniform, at the ILA.
“It’s a great feeling but it took 25 guys to get here, we had a great year and it’s been a great experience,” said Green after the game, but he couldn’t help feeling a bit bad for his friends and former teammates. “Six Nations is a great team and every night was a battle with the same intensity, I thought. Fortunately, we got some bounces tonight and we came out with a win.”
“In a seven game series like this it can go either way,” said Lakers’ Cory Vitarelli. “But somebody’s got to win and somebody has to lose and tonight we got the win. The way us and them play, we always seem to do it the hard way. Last year they took one in our barn and this year we did it here.”
At times, it seemed like it was Peterborough’s home game with three busloads of Peterborough fans and dozens more who drove down for the biggest game of the year.
Craig Point got the Six Nations fans into the game before many people even found a seat in one of the largest crowds the ILA has ever seen. Ryan Benesch added another at 9:54 from Dan Coats and Sid Smith, but Brad Self and two goals by Mark Steenhuis flipped the period to a 3-2 Peterborough lead by the end of the period. Miller made the save on Self but the rebound bounced off a Chiefs defender into the net. That could have been the lucky Peterborough bounce that won the game.
The Chiefs had a solid second period with Benesch tying the game at 4:01 and Dhane Smith restoring the Chiefs lead at 6:44. Point scored his second of the game at 9:44 to finish the second period leading 5-4 after Chad Tutton scored an unassisted goal at 16:53 while falling towards the net after being checked.
Matt Vinc shut out the Chiefs in the third with some game savers. In a game and a series like this, the absence of injured Chiefs superstar Cody Jamieson was noticed. Jamieson is that go-to-guy in tight games like Monday night who is always good for that big goal when needed. Although Colin Doyle did return to the Chiefs lineup for the playoffs, he was not 100%. It was also noticed that Billy Dee Smith was on the hobble Monday night.
All that is part of the game, and on this night, the Lakers got that one extra break to win the MSL Championship and will represent the OLA at the Mann Cup for 2015.
Thursday night the Chiefs fell to the Peterborough Lakers 13-10 in Game #6 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre Thursday, Aug. 27th forcing Game #7 at the ILA, Saturday.
Dhane Smith lead the Six Nations attack with four goals and four assists in the losing cause. Meanwhile, Curtis Dickson scored five goals and an assist for the Lakers.
The score was tied 5-5 after a wide open first period where Smith got three of his markers along with Johnny Powless, Kasey Beirnes solo goals.
Peterborough won the game in the second period scoring six goals on Brandon Miller while Matt Vinc allowed only two to end the second period with the Lakers leading 11-7.
The Chiefs regained their composure in the third but could not overcome the deficit. Stephen Keogh, Smith and Powless scored third period goals for Six Nations.