WELLINGTON, Ont. – The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots exploded for four first period goals and never looked back as they rolled to a 6-0 victory over the Fort Frances Lakers in semifinal action Friday at Essroc Arena at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship in Wellington, Ont.
With the triumph Toronto Lakeshore now advances to Saturday’s final vs. the host Wellington Dukes at 7:30 p.m. while the season for the SIJHL champion Lakers comes to a close.
The Patriots kicked off the scoring three and a half minutes into the contest as an open Niko Kovachis wristed home a shot from the right point past Fort Frances starter Jordan Cartney.
Special teams put Toronto Lakeshore up a pair at 11:36 as they notched a power play effort from the left side as Robert Powers went high, short side, on Cartney.
A costly giveaway put the Lakers in a big hole as the Patriots struck shorthanded as Nathan Feric tapped in his fourth goal of the week at 15:45.
The luck continued for the OJHL champions in the opening frame as they picked up their fourth marker of the stanza as Kovachis’ attempt towards the net hit the stick of a Fort Frances defender and found its way in as the frame was drawing to a close on just their ninth shot.
The Lakers opted to start Devin Tappenden to commence the middle session and had their best chance of the night when Lucas Debenedet swiped the puck off a Patriots’ defenceman, but his quick shot rang off the left goal post.
Yet another turnover extended the Toronto Lakeshore cushion as an errant pass was fired in by Kevin Shier at 12:38.
Another man advantage effort courtesy of D-man Tyler Currie finished off the scoring in the latter stages.
Evan Buitenhuis turned aside all 26 shots he faced for the shutout while Cartney and Tappenden combined to face 30 attempts against.Player of the game honours went to Lakers’ captain Cody Wickstrom and Kovachis of the Patriots.