The Peterborough Lakers came to work and showed just how good they can be in a 14-4 win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks in the first game of the teams' MSL semifinal series. The first period was close as Dillon Ward made 17 saves in the KW net to keep his team within one at 3-2, but the floodgates opened in the second. The Lakers poured in eight goals on Ward and his replacement Steve Fryer in the middle frame to take an 11-3 lead into the final 20 minutes. Ward returned for the third and was very good again, but the deficit was far too much for the Kodiaks to get back into the game.
Mark Steenhuis, as he has done much of the year, led the Lakers attack with 3 goals and 3 assists. Aaron Wilson and Chad Culp each chipped in 2 goals and 2 assists and Brad Self had 2 goals and a helper. Corey Fowler was the only Kodiak with more than one point; he scored twice and added an assist.
“The guys came ready to play,” said Lakers head coach Joe Sullivan. “It was 3-2 after the first period. After that our guys just kind of willed their way to the net. They kept the ball moving east and west so it's coming across the floor and gets their defence unsettled and gets that big goalie moving himself around and takes him out of his comfort zone. When the offence protects the ball and protects the floor and comes to the bench when they need to it allows our defence to go and play to their strength.”
Kyle Sorensen returned to the lineup from a knee injury and said it was good to get back “battling with the guys I've been battling with for years now.” Sorensen was pleased that the Lakers didn't let up and allow KW to get back into the game. “We've been up six or seven and let teams like Kitchener come back and even beat us before. I think we're a little more aware of our weaknesses this year and we're just trying to go out and play a full 60 because not only this series, but we're trying to win this Mann Cup. It starts not only this game but next game we're just trying to get better.”
The Kodiaks, who split the season series with the Lakers with each team winning in the other's barn, need to work harder than they did last night if they hope to compete, said head coach Steve Dietrich. “I don't think we matched their intensity level and their effort and that's what happens. We have to outwork teams. If we're not going to outwork teams we're in for long nights. Tonight, they taught us a lesson. I'm glad it was game one and our fellas saw what they can put on the floor so there'll be no surprises Tuesday night.”