Flyers Win 15h Straight Home Contest vs Predators – By C. Scott Holland
If there is an one arena the Lambton Shores Predators hate playing on, it must be Leamington’s Highbury Canco ice pad.
They have managed only two victories there since the team’s inception in 2008 an have lost 15 consecutive games at Leamington to the hometown Flyers.
The latest defeat on Sept. 29, began as a fairly competitive contest between two teams who were posed to stay in the upper tier of the West Conference. But despite being down by only one goal, Lambton’s second period was anything but stellar. The young Flyers definitely played a better brand of hockey for 60 minutes than they have exhibited on home ice in this early season. The Flyer’s passing was better and while their shooting skills led them to the victory at times their handiwork may have left the Leamington coaching staff bewildered. The outcome cold have easily been double what it was.
The bottom line was that Leamington outplayed Lambton and the final 5-0 sore reflected that.
The Predators’ problems stemmed mostly from their defense and rookie netminder Riley Collins who was making his first Jr. B start. Obviously Collins was nervous, but he did halt 11 of 12 shots in the opening frame. The lone tally against him came at the 13 minute mark. Sylvano Valente hit Brett Vorshuk with a pass and Vorshuk’s shot from the left faceoff circle area skipped past a defenseman and handcuffed Riley.
The Flyers ignited their fireworks in the second and chased Collins to the sidelines. Dallas Maurovic and Cale Phibbs teamed up with Zach Gilbeault who unleashed a drive from the top of the slot which eluded Collins at 1:24. Scott Florence and Maurovic initiated the next scoring play when they combined with Cale Phibbs who drilled another shot past Collins from the top of the slot. Almost the same combination of players cashed in goal number four at 6:47. This time it was Thomas Virban and Phibbs who laid he groundwork before Maurovic cashed in. With Vaughn Treppa serving a crosschecking minor, Virban and Mark Gangnon manoeuvred the puck to Liam Hogan who pumped the Flyers’ fifth tally while on a powerplay at 10:26
At that juncture Lambton head coach Brian Dobbin had seen enough and replaced Collins with Tynan Lauziere. Lauziere fared much better stopping all 10 Flyers shots that came his way in the second and third periods.
Leamington did not allow the Predaotrs to mount any serious threat although the Flyers had to kill two penalties in the third.
Lambton’s offense was stymied by the Flyers defense. The Preds got a total of 20 shots on Leamington starter Noah Hedrick who earned his first Jr. B shutout.
It was clearly evident that both teams have plenty of work and learning to do. Both are young and both look like somewhere down the road they are going to provide some extremely competitive hockey.