Lakers win opener 13-8 over Redmen

The Peterborough Century 21 Lakers took a 1-0 series lead over the Brooklin Redmen on Thursday night with a 13-8 win at the Memorial Centre. The teams now take the long weekend off and will meet again for game two of the MSL semi-final series on Tuesday in Peterborough.

 “We were ready to play right from the get-go tonight. We’d been kind of waiting for this moment to start and we responded well with a great effort,” head coach Mike Hasen said.

 It was a quick, high-tempo first period, with the teams feeling each other out to open the game. The Redmen had two good chances that didn’t quite hit the mark, and the Lakers hit a couple of posts. Thomas Hoggarth had a shot stop just an inch away from the goal line. The anticipation from the crowd was palpable – so when Turner Evans scored at 9:31, the fans exploded with applause and cheers.

“It’s pride about being in this arena,” said defenseman Andrew Suitor. “You work so hard all regular season to get home floor advantage, why let it go especially in the first game of the playoffs? And it’s the team that we have and the love we have for each other. We want to be around each other as long as we can to the middle of September.”

 Curtis Knight scored a power play goal two minutes later to tie the game, but that also kicked off a run for the Lakers, who scored three goals in a span of 1:04. Shawn Evans wired an underhand shot past Mike Poulin at 12:34, Adam Jones put an overhand shot in and Corey Small scored on a classic Small side rip. Ryan Keenan got one back late for the Redmen, but the Lakers controlled the play and the pace of the game for much of the first period and led 4-2.

 “It’s our typical pace,” said Holden Cattoni. “We got a little bit away from it in the second period and in the third period there in the middle. We don’t want to get into a track meet with them. We want to play fast but under our control and our tempo.”

 The Lakers scored three straight to start the second period for a 7-2 lead. Evans’ second came on the power play just 56 seconds in. Cattoni went five-hole at 3:02 and Josh Currier found Kyle Buchanan cutting to the net at 7:56.

 Chris Corbeil scored a fast-break goal to stop the run at 8:53 and that kicked off a back-and-forth period that saw the Redmen score three times only to have the Lakers answer with two more. Adam Jones was awarded a rare penalty shot after Jake Withers was interfered with on a fast-break, but did not score. 

 The physical play ramped up in the second. Shawn Evans was manhandled down to the floor by Ethan Schott midway through the period to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Later, Evans and Adrian Sorichetti received 10-minute misconducts, 10 seconds after their roughing penalties failed to make them stop chirping at each other.

 “I don’t think there were any cheap shots deliberately by either team,” said Suitor, the Lakers' resident peacekeeper. “Both teams are out there competing and there’s a lot of great players out there so tempers boil sometimes and it’s a little fun for everybody all around. We’re not going to take liberties but we’re also not going to be bullied. I think you’re going to see a hard fought series here with a lot of rough stuff, but, more clean rough stuff – big hits, big loose balls coming out of the corner, guys taking an extra whack or two. It’s going to be a great series.”

Suitor took Matthews to the penalty box late in the frame, then Colton Watkinson went after Eric Shewell in the third period, to which Suitor took exception. 

 “Shewwy’s got no problem taking care of himself,” Suitor admitted. “That’s just my mentality. I probably shouldn’t have jumped in there but… I bet you 1000 times over that Shewwy would have done the same thing for me.”

 The Lakers’ high-tempo play continued throughout the third period, which frustrated the Redmen whose chances were limited by a strong defensive effort. Top scorers Mark Matthews and Shayne Jackson were held goalless.

 “You don’t do that very often so it’s something to take pride in, but you focus on what you did to hold them off the game sheet as far as the goal column goes and how to trim their points even more,” Suitor said. “But I promise you one of them will get a goal or more in this series.”

 “You have to have a close eye on them at all times because they can burn you for a lot of points on the night and they can definitely change the game,” Cattoni said. “I think our defense did a good job against them tonight.”

 That defense included Doug Buchan, who made 36 saves in his first playoff experience. With Evan Kirk away with work commitments and Matt Vinc coming in late from the airport, Hasen was completely comfortable starting the youngster, who may not have seen his last action of the series.

 “Buchan played exceptionally well; he did so all year for us. We do look at it one game at a time so we’ll see.”

 Peterborough outscored Brooklin 4-3 in the final frame including a fast-break goal by Brock Sorensen (his second in as many games) and an empty net goal by Jake Withers, assisted by Chad Tutton and Zach Currier, who unselfishly passed the ball around before Withers, who was also 19-22 on faceoffs, took the shot.

 “It shows the depth of our team,” said Cattoni. “We had a couple of transition goals from the D which is always a big boost for us. Spreading it around on offense is pretty typical for us when you look at what we did throughout the regular season.”

 Hasen expects the Redmen to come back Tuesday with a better effort.

 “I think they come back a heck of a lot better than they showed tonight. We ramped it up and I know they’ll ramp it up Tuesday. They’ll be better and we’ll make sure that we’ll be better next week too.”

Cattoni and Small each had a pair of goals and four assists to lead the Lakers, while Kyle Buchanan had two goals and three assists. Dan Lintner led the Redmen with a hat trick.

 Tickets for Tuesday's game can be purchased in person, online at or by phone at 705-743-3561. Games three and four of the series will switch to Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby next Wednesday and Friday.

 The Wiser's player of the game was Holden Cattoni, while Bryce Sweeting and Doug Buchan shared 180 Hunter defensive player of the game honours.

 Scoring for the Lakers:

Holden Cattoni (2-4)

Corey Small (2-4)

Kyle Buchanan (2-3)

Shawn Evans (2-1)

Turner Evans (1-2)

Jake Withers (1-2)

Josh Currier (1-1)

Brock Sorensen (1-0)

Adam Jones (1-0)

Thomas Hoggarth (0-2)

Chad Tutton (0-1)

Zach Currier (0-1)