Friday, June 21, 2013

Peterborough Lakers pull out another comeback win, this time 14-13 over KW Kodiaks

Joey Cupido was the only Kodiak able to beat Kevin
Croswell in the third period, although not on this shot.
(Photo: Tim Prothero, VintageLax)

The Peterborough Lakers seem to be developing a habit of making third-period comebacks. One week after recovering from 7-1 and 10-6 deficits to edge the Oakville Rock 13-12, the Lakers overcame a 12-9 Kitchener-Waterloo lead after the second period to pull out a 14-13 win Thursday night in Peterborough in front of 2,895 fans.

Each team scored three shorthanded goals in the run and gun affair. Two of KW's came just 7 seconds apart near the end of the first period. Mike Teeter finished off a tic tac toe passing play at 18:20 to tie the score at 3-3, then Jamie Batson put the Kodiaks ahead when he won the ensuing faceoff and darted between a pair of Lakers defenders to create a breakaway.

Peterborough scored 5 goals in the second, which should generally be enough to win a period, but KW lit up goalie Kevin Croswell and poured in 9 goals in the frame, including one on backup Cole Murray before Croswell returned to the net.

Croswell came out for the third with a bit of an attitude, he said after the game. “To tell you the truth, I got a little pissed off. I was a little mad about that second period. I took a couple of minutes to myself and thought, I've got to figure this out. I need to win this game.” He held the Kodiaks to just one goal in the final 20 minutes, before which the Lakers had scored the five they would need to squeak out the win.

Brad Self, who scored 3 goals in the game including 2 shorthanded, credited Croswell for stepping up when the team needed him. Croswell had been assigned to Senior B Norwood earlier in the week but was called back to start when Tyler Carlson hurt his knee last week and Kurtis Wagar had to miss last night's game because of work commitments.

“It's huge for us that we have three goalies that we know can go in and do the job for us,” Self said. “We didn't really give him much help in the first period, giving up goals off loose balls, faceoffs, in transition, kind of hanging him out to dry. We can't put that on him. I thought in the third period he stepped up huge for us.”

The Lakers transition game, which was arguably the best in the league last year, finally seems to be getting on track as well after eight defenders from last year's squad aren't back this season. “It's still a work in progress, with all the new guys we do have back there, but we're at the halfway point,” Self said. “It's just a comfort thing, knowing who's staying and who's going. We've done a better job of pushing it together as a group, not just one guy. I think we have the guys back there to do it and we have to do it because other teams are scoring those goals against us.”

Ryan Benesch, playing his second game for the Kodiaks while he's in Ontario for the week for a friend's wedding, scored twice and added 4 assists to lead KW. He said it was a tough loss to take after leading through two periods and then letting it slip away. “It was kind of a letdown in the third period. We didn't have the greatest period. But still, one or two more goals our way and we would have won.” Benesch felt like he could have made the difference himself had his shooting been a bit sharper. “I probably should have had 10 goals tonight but I just couldn't bury.”

With the requirement to be eligible for the playoffs being a minimum of six regular-season games, Benesch is hoping that he can make it frequently enough this summer. His commitments to the Junior Swarm program in Minnesota, where he plays for the Swarm National Lacrosse League team, make it hard for him to fit in enough time back home.

While's he's disappointed with the loss, Benesch said he's really enjoying being back with the Kodiaks, probably more than he thought he would. “At first I thought it was going to be a nice relaxing summer and I wasn't going to miss it,” he said. “But after coming home and being with the guys in the locker room and on the bus, it's something that you miss. It's good to be back home in Kitchener, that's for sure.”

Jordan Critch contributed a hat trick for KW and Mat McLeod added 2 goals and 2 assists. Shawn Evans was the game's top scorer with 2 goals and 6 assists. One of his goals was an odd one. KW goalie Mike Poulin scooped up a ball and pulled his stick back to throw and outlet pass, but the ball slipped out of his mesh and bounced past the goal line. Self and Scott Evans each had hat tricks for Peterborough and Josh Gillam scored a goal and 5 assists.