Sarnia, ON - The St. Christopher Cyclones won the LSSAA Boys Hockey Championship Wednesday night, and got to hoist the Lambton Cup after a 3-1 victory over the LCCVI Lancers.
"These kids this year have really shown a lot of resolve," said Cyclones Head Coach Blake Morrison. "They just beat a very good team."
LCCVI came into the final game with a perfect season and held two victories over the Cyclones in the regular season. But it would be the Cyclones who would jump out to the early first period lead as Ben Morrison would find Jamie Vandenberg with a cross crease pass that would be redirected past Lancers goalie Brad Jacklin to put St. Chris up 1-0.
St. Chris would continue their dominate first period play, as Brent Blais would pick up the puck in the corner and come to the net, putting a shot past Jacklin who couldn't hug the post, giving the Cyclones a two goal lead after the first period.
In the second, St. Chris would have their chances early, but Jacklin would come up with stops to keep it a two score game. At the other end of the ice, Pat Brennan would match every save, keeping the shutout as the Lancers began to pick up the pace of their game.
In the third period, LCCVI would come out firing for a goal, as the Cyclones stayed in their own end trying to defend their lead. Frankie White would fire a loose puck at the side of the net, beating Brennan to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
LCCVI would continue the pressure coming close as a shot would ring off the crossbar, but managed to stay out of the net. With the goalie pulled, the Lancers would get a shot on net the Brennan would kick away, resulting in a pass up the ice to Jamie Vandenberg who would score on the empty net to seal the victory for the Cyclones with a 3-1 lead.
"I have to say if it weren't for our best player who knows what the outcome would have been," said Morrison of his goalie Pat Brennan. "He was the first star. And when you have a goalie who plays like that then you can take on any team."
St. Chris controlled the first half of the game and got their early lead, something the Lancers haven't faced much this season. Morrison sees the second period as a key period in which the Cyclones managed to keep the Lancers off the board, and not allow momentum to switch.
"We knew the final fifteen minutes were going to be tough. Their record speaks for its self. An undefeated team coming into tonight's game, however we managed to show a lot of character in that period," said Morrison.
"It was a good hockey game. St. Chris got out to that two goal lead and we just couldn't come from behind," said Lancers Head Coach Bob Gould. "We just couldn't cash in on some of the chances that we had. You got to play a full game, you can't play two periods of hockey, and that is what happened tonight."
St. Chris lost both regular season games to the Lancers and were the heavy underdogs coming into the game. But the team used it to get themselves ready for the game.
"Coming in here as the underdogs, there isn't much more pumped you can get from that," said Cyclones captain Clay Williams. "We came out amazing and they came out flat and that pretty much won us the game in the first period."
Both St. Chris and LCCVI will move on the SWOSSAA games next week. St. Chris will take on the Lambton/Kent Cardinals in the 1A/2A game on Wednesday February 29th at Clearwater Arena, while the Lancers will travel to Chatham to take on the Chatham/Kent Hawks in the 3A/4A game.