Lakers Refuse to Quit – Battle Back to Tie Mann Cup Series

Having been outscored 13-6 in Game 1 of the Mann Cup Series, the Peterborough Lakers knew the second game would be critical in their pursuit of a third straight Mann Cup.

The Lakers defence played a far more determined and disciplined game allowing for far fewer inside opportunities for Victoria.  This helped goaltender Mike Poulin to shine as he was solid throughout the game

The Lakers came out hard from the opening moment of Game 2 pressuring Victoria creating opportunities for themselves leading to a Mark Matthews goal at the 4:13 mark of the first period.  This was the first time the Lakers had a lead in the series.  Connor Robinson tied the score with a power play goal at 11:10.  Tyson Gibson scored the Shamrocks’ second power play goal just 1:17 later, giving Victoria a 2-1 lead.  Shortly after, Kyle Buchanan netted a sweet shot on a breakaway cleanly beating Shamrocks’ goaltender Pete Dubenski to tie the game.  Victoria went ahead again with their third power play of the period when Casey Jackson tucked the ball in from the side of the net.  The period ended 3-2 for Victoria despite the Lakers outshooting the Shamrocks 18-17.

Both goaltenders were exceptional in the second period and it was not until the 9:27 mark that Thomas Hoggarth executed a fine move to tie the score 3-3.  Less than three minutes later, Shamrocks’ Tyson Gibson scored a short-handed marker once again giving the Shamrocks a one goal lead.  However, twenty seconds later, Holden Cattoni blasted a power play goal to tie the game 4-4.  Victoria responded quickly as Charis Wardle scored at 14:44.  Three minutes later ,Cory Vitarelli tied the game. With just over a minute to play in the period, Casey Jackson fired an outside shot that Poulin failed to stop giving Victoria a 6-5 lead to end the period. The Lakers continued to outshoot the Shamrocks (27-15 in the period), for a two-period total of 45-32.

At 1:41 of the third period, the Lakers’ Josh Currier tied the game 6-6. The two teams’ defensive squads continued their stellar play limiting each other to mostly shots from outside prime scoring territory.  But the Shamrocks worked hard on the offense which led to two quick tallies with Tyler Pace scoring at 7:56 and Chris Boushy at 8:22 creating an 8-6 lead for Victoria – the largest gap in the game for either team.  Victoria expanded their lead to 9-6 when Connor Robinson netted his second goal of the game.  That would end the scoring for the Shamrocks. Trailing by three goals with just over seven and a half minutes left in regulation time, Peterborough rallied with three consecutive goals – Shawn Evans scoring a pure hat trick finding the mesh at 13:52 and 18:09 and 18:41 to tie the game 9-9 sending the teams into a ten-minute overtime period.  Again, the Lakers dominated the shot count out shooting Victoria 22-10 for a three-period advantage of 67-42 for Peterborough.

The three-goal rally proved to be critical in two ways.  First, the Lakers had found a way to score decisively on Dubenski and the overall momentum and related confidence was apparent across the Lakers’ roster.  Peterborough came out rolling in overtime.  Kiel Matisz scored at the 56 second mark of overtime to give the Lakers a one goal lead – only the second time they had led.  This was followed up by a laser shot from the stick of Corey Small at 2:47 providing Peterborough their biggest lead of the series.  Joe Resetarits added some breathing room with an insurance goal at 5:12, giving the Lakers a three-goal lead.  Peterborough employed some fine ball movement and clock management to control the overtime period.  Graeme Hossack scored at 9:52 for the Shamrocks, for a game final score of 12-10 for Peterborough and a 1-1 series.  Shots on goal in the overtime was 8-7 in favor of Victoria, for a game total of 74-50 in favor of Peterborough.

For the fans – the game has end to end action with plenty of offensive opportunities and some stellar defensive play. Until the Lakers took a three-goal lead in overtime, no lead was safe.  After the game, Lakers’ player of the game Shawn Evans (who scored 3 goals along with 5 assists) commented, “It was an important game for us, we never quit; we never gave up”.

For the Lakers the addition of Cory Vitarelli and Brock Sorensen proved exceptionally beneficial.  Vitarelli had a goal and two assists.  Sorensen’s vast playoff experience was quite evident for a shaky Lakers’ defence in the first game.

Victoria scored three power play goals and two short-handed markers.  Clearly, this is a message for Peterborough’s special teams. 

With the Lakers out shooting Victoria 74-50, Shamrocks goaltender Pete Dubenski stood tall as he did in Game 1.  However, Lakers’ goaltender Mike Poulin was just as outstanding, making countless saves at critical times of the game.

Top scorers in tonight’s game:

Shawn Evans – 3 goals; 5 assists

Kyle Buchanan – 1 goal; 2 assists

Cory Vitarelli – 1 goal; 2 assists

Holden Cattoni – 1 goal; 2 assists

Corey Small – 1 goal; 1 assist

Thomas Hoggarth – 1 goal; 1 assist

Kiel Matisz - 1 goal; 1 assist

Joe Resetarits – 1 goal; 1 assist

Josh Currier – 1 goal

Mark Matthews – 1 goal

Tyson Gibson – 2 goals; 4 assists
Connor Robinson – 2 goals; 2 assists
Casey Jackson – 2 goals; 2 assists

Game 3 of the series is Monday September 9th beginning at 7:00 p.m.  (10:00 p.m. Eastern)