The Windsor Jr Spitfires came to town Saturday for the first of three games in three days for the Lambton Jr Sting Major Peewee squad. In a show of good sportsmanship the Sting coaches, with a tip of the hat to the game officials, delayed the start of the game in order to allow enough of the Windsor players stuck at the border crossing to arrive and start the game with two full lines and a goalie. The remaining players arrived by the end of the first period. The two teams skated to a very evenly matched scoreless first period with neither team able to capitalize on the one power play opportunity each had.
Four minutes into the second period the Sting went on their second power play of the game hoping to make the crew from Windsor pay for their indiscretions. The anticipation was short lived as the Sting were quickly called for a penalty of their own. The open ice provided by the 4 on 4 action saw some quality scoring chances but both goalies, especially Josh Bayne for the Sting, made key saves to keep the game scoreless. The pulse rate quickened for everyone in the building as the Sting were caught flat footed on a line change that had two Windsor players streaking in all alone. It must be all that clean living because the goalies best friend, the near side post, came to the rescue and saved the day … WHEW!!! With the ringing still in his ears, Cameron Adam led an attack with three in close dirty dog dangles in close and dished off to a wide open Dante Fuoco at the side of the Spitfires net. Not to be outdone by his Sting counterpart, the Windsor goalie came across the net and stoned Dante with the outstretched pad. The score remained 0 – 0 after two.
The fundamentals of a good line change early in the third period had the Sting in the box for to many men. The Spitfires made them pay by capitalizing and taking a 1 – 0 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. With their undefeated regular season record on the line the Sting players and coaches knew they would have to dig deep and battle back. With just under 6 minutes to go, Tristan Haagsma head-manned the puck to Cameron Rombouts how drove wide deep into the Windsor zone before firing a pass to a streaking Theo Crombeen who had beaten his man and was all alone in front. Tie game!! Some spirited play by both teams provided entertaining hockey for the remainder of the game with neither side scoring. Final score 1 – 1. Theo Crombeen earned the player of the game award. Good effort boys in coming from behind to tie things up to remain undefeated.
Sunday’s match had the Kitchener Rangers in town looking take down the first place Sting. A rather sloppy first period by both teams turned exciting in a hurry with just over a minute left to play. Nic Direzze corralled a loose puck in his own end, applied the afterburners and sped in on a break-a-way finding the 5 hole with a low hard snap shot that put the Sting up 1 – 0.
Early on in the second period, Jakob Knowles in net was called upon to make two amazing saves from point blank range. This stonewalling of the Ranger attack energized team Captain Joey Ferrera who fed a pass to a speeding down the wing Lucas Knowles. Showing good patience, Lucas centred to an uncovered Curtis Marks who put the Sting up 2 – 0. Trying not to be outdone, the line of Cameron Adam, Cameron Rombouts and Dante Fuoco created a quality chance on the power play as Adam’s centering pass to a wide open Fuoco missed by “just that much”. The Rangers goalie flashed the leather and robbed the Sting of a sure power play marker. Not to be outdone by his counterpart at the other end, Jakob Knowles flash some leather of his own, getting just enough of a break-a-way shot to send it high and wide. A rash of penalties for both teams had the Sting down a man as the second period drew to a close. Before the buzzer, Jakob again proved his mettle as he held strong on a prolonged scramble around his crease.
The Rangers pulled within 1 just over a minute into the third. An uncharacteristically passive moment by the Lambton defense allowed the Ranger forward to walk in and fire a low slapper past the screened Sting goalie. Shortly thereafter, a nifty passing play by the Rangers had Jakob showing good lateral movement as he slid across the crease and snuffed out the in tight scoring opportunity. After the save, a clearing pass from Theo Crombeen found Josh Vale who had spotted the again speeding Nic Direzze out of his periphery. In a carbon copy of his first goal, Nic snapped a low hard shot that again found the 5 hole. 3 – 1 Sting. With just over 5 minutes to play, the Rangers took advantage of an unlucky Sting bounce and again pulled within 1 goal. The Sting were not to be denied victory on this day as the final was 3 – 2 Lambton. Nic Direzze was awarded the POG.
After two of the three back to back to back games and squeaking out 3 of 4 points, the Lambton Jr Sing Major Peewee AAA club hosted the Chatham-Kent Cyclones for a rare Monday nighter and looking to extend their regular season unbeaten streak.
The Sting would have a solid 1st period of play maintaining pressure in the Chatham zone for most of the period. The first goal of the game would be scored by Theo Crombeen as he found a loose puck in a scramble in front of the Chatham goal. Josh Vale would get credit for an assist on the goal. Lucas Knowles would put the Sting up by 2 on a hard wrist shot from in close and the Sting would take a 2 – 0 lead into the 2nd period.
Lambton would score an early 2nd period goal as Gage Langford would spot Lucas Knowles streaking down the left wing and Knowles would bury his 2nd of the game on another high wrist shot. Curtis Marks would then extend the lead to 4 – 0 as he would convert a pass from Lucas Knowles in close to the Chatham goal. The Sting seemed to fall asleep at this point with a 4 goal lead and Chatham would suddenly strike for 2 late 2nd period goals and an early 3rd period goal to narrow the margin to 4 – 3. Lambton would pick up their play the rest of the 3rd period and Lucas Knowles would complete the hat trick to put the Sting up 5 – 3 and Cameron Rombouts would score with less than a minute to play to give Lambton a 6 – 3 win.