Courageous Chiefs stay alive
SIX NATIONS ‑ The Pro-fit Chiefs left themselves with no room for error heading into Sunday night at the ILA after falling behind three games to none in the best of seven Major Series Sr. A playoffs. There were very few errors made by the Chiefs in their 8-1 win over the Peterborough Lakers to stave off elimination.
There is no hiding or denying the fact that there are a number of Chiefs playing through injuries, the most noticeable act of courage belonged to Cody Jamieson whom the Chiefs lost late in the season after re-tweaking an injury that kept him out of the NLL Champions Cup finals.
He walked and ran with a limp at times, but when it came down to business, Jamieson scored and assisted on three for the Chiefs. He must have felt pretty good since, even after the Chiefs were well ahead, Jamieson still took a regular shift when he really didn’t have to. But that’s just the kind of competitor he is. Jamieson was unavailable for comment following the game.
Still missing from the lineup were Craig Point, Johnny Powless, Jordan Durston and Vaughn Harris, to name a few, plus several other walking wounded.
Dillon Ward and the Chiefs defensive specialists kept the Lakers to one goal, with Ward making exactly the kind of saves required of him given the gravity of the game. His play, plus the return of Cody Jamieson infused the Chiefs with a new confidence as all hands on deck played a character building, courageous game. Called up to fill the hole left by Craig Point was Sr. B Rivermen star Roger Vyse who also had a whale of a game. Although not appearing on the score sheet, his presence was certainly a factor.
To an outsider, it may have looked like a home game for Peterborough as a good half of the crowd wore Lakers shirts anticipating seeing their team sweep the series. That did not happen and the series resumed Tuesday night in Peterborough in a game that missed our deadline.
After a scoreless first half of the first period, where both goalies, Dillon Ward and Peterborough’s Matt Vinc, were sensational, Stephen Keogh scored for the Chiefs from Austin Staats and Dhane Smith, at 12:39.
Cory Vittarelli scored Peterborough’s first and last goal of the game, as it turned out, on a powerplay at 18:29, ending the first 20 minutes tied at 1-1.
Jamieson lifted the Six Nations’ bench with a power shot from outside at 51 seconds of the second period, assisted by Billy Dee Smith and Mike McNamara with what stood up as the winning goal. That goal opened a breach in the Lakers defensive wall and by the end of the second period, Keogh, Ryan Benesch, Austin Staats and Randy Staats had scored to complete the second period up 6-1.
Austin Staats and Ryan Benesch closed out the scoring in the third period while Ward kept the cage door locked.
Two one goal losses opened the series with the Peterborough Lakers taking the 12-11 game #1 win and a 7-6 Game #2 decision.
Game #3 began with the home team, Peterborough Lakers, blasting out of the shoot scoring seven times before the Pro-Fit Chiefs knew what was going on. Benesch stopped the bleeding temporarily with Six Nations’ first goal scored at 14:14. The Lakers answered with two more to take a 9-1 lead before Dhane Smith and Dan Dawson closed the period with the Chiefs down 9-3.
That margin stood as the teams traded goals evenly for the rest of the game. It was 11-5 after the second period with a 15-9 final score putting the Chiefs in a must win situation for the next four games straight to stay alive.
Should the Chiefs win Tuesday night in Peterborough the series will shift back to the ILA Thursday, Sept. 1st with Game seven scheduled for Peterborough Saturday, Sept. 3rd.