Friday, June 13, 2014

Lakers come back to force overtime, down Rock 12-11

Nick Weiss and Brock Sorensen celebrate
Weiss' winning goal in overtime.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Peterborough Lakers had to go to overtime but they maintained their perfect home record against the Oakville Rock franchise with a 12-11 win Thursday night. Brock Sorensen, who had a pair of breakaway goals earlier in the game, forced a turnover, raced down the floor and fed Nick Weiss for the game-winning goal with 59 seconds left in the overtime period. Oakville had a final chance to tie the game up but were turned aside by new Lakers goalie Matt Vinc to hold on for the win.

The game went back and forth through the first two periods with Oakville seeming to have an answer every time Peterborough started to make a push. The Rock led 5-4 after the first period and 9-8 after the second. Aaron Wilson tied it up for the Lakers just 1:18 into the third period but once again Oakville responded quickly. Stephan Leblanc put the Rock back in front less than a minute later. Shayne Adams made the lead two goals at the 5:09 mark.

It took the Lakers almost 10 minutes to find the net again, but fortunately for them Vinc wouldn't be beaten again in regulation or overtime. Cory Vitarelli finished off some quick ball movement with a quick stick bounce shot past Nick Rose to pull the Lakers within one. Oakville held on to that lead into the final minute. Peterborough took a time out, pulled Vinc and put six attackers on the floor. Mark Steenhuis took a pass at the top of the offensive formation and ripped home a shot from well outside the dotted line, much to the delight of the 2,758 in attendance.

Vitarelli had a hat trick and 2 assists for Peterborough and Steenhuis added 2 goals and 3 assists. Five different players scored twice each for Oakville, including rookies Adams, Mike Mawdsley and Patrick Corbett.

“We didn't have an option [other than to rely on young players]” said Rock Head Coach Phil Sanderson. “We have seven or eight 22-year-olds, a couple of 24-year-olds and what not. It's unfortunate that these guys are young and don't have the older guys to learn from, but they're getting fast-tracked and doing a great job for me so I can't complain about that.”

Sanderson was disappointed in the loss, but once he had cooled down after the game he looked on the bright side and remembered that Oakville is in the process of building a team that can contend for titles. “I think it'll just be a matter of time before we start turning the other corner on some of these close games,” he said. “Hopefully it's this year and hopefully we can start winning some of these close games instead of letting them slide away.”

Vinc let some goals slip away from him early in the game but turned it around as he got more comfortable. “It took a while to try to settle in, just trying to get used to the team,” he said of his first game between the pipes for the Lakers. “You want to play real well and I think that's where I was at, trying to make saves instead of just making them. Then when we came back you get a bit of confidence and you feel better in the net.”
Cory Vitarelli scores on a quick stick shot in the third period to make the score 11-10 Oakville. (Photo: Tim Prothero)