story by Gary Mark, photos by Tim Prothero
September 11, 2010
The New Westminster Salmonbellies were within a minute of capturing Game 1 on Friday night, but a late third period let down allowed John Grant to tie the game, and the Lakers to eventually win it in Overtime. Tonight, the Bellies found themselves in an eerily similar situation, but this time they would not relenquish the lead, tying the series at one game apiece with a 10-7 win.
Cliff Smith led the way offensively scoring three times, while brothers Ilija and Alex Gajic chipped in two goals each. Jordan Hall, Jordan McBride and Peter McFetridge all had singles. Hall added five assists and played very well on the night. Tyler Richards went the distance for the visitors and looked solid in the net.
For the Lakers John Tavares was on fire, netting four goals, with singles to Josh Wasson, Cory Vitarelli, and John Grant, who also had six assists. Three of Tavares’ four goals were on the Power Play, all of them scored on a quick stick cross floor pass to Tavares on the crease. For the Lakers, Mike Thompson took the loss in net.
Similar to game one, for much of this game the Bellies again looked to be the fresher, faster team. The two teams were tied at 6-6 after two periods, when Alex Gajic would score his first of two consecutive Power Play goals to open up an 8-6 lead only a few minutes into the third period. And that is the way the score would remain for much of the third period until Jordan Hall would score on an empty net. Tavares scored very late to bring the Lakers to within three but that was as close as they would get.
As he did in the first game, the Bellies Shane Bennett was deadly in the faceoff circle. New Westminster has demonstrated a clear advantage so far in that area. Also of note in tonights game were the number of Power Plays. While Peterborough was impressive going 4-7, New West was a perfect 5-5.
The drama continued tonight between Rory Smith and Shawn Evans. While the two did not engage in any fisticuffs, they were close a few times again tonight. Referee Mark Gardonio twice sent the pair off together to the penalty box. If I was able to read the referee’s body language correctly I am sure in at least one of the two cases Gardonio had the look of a parent fed up with two of their kids arguing.
The Lakers dressed Jamie Lincoln, Jason Crosbie and Kevin Fines, while Scott Evans served the first game of his reported three game suspension. Also not dressing for the Lakers was Mac Allen and Kyle Clancy. The only change the Salmobellies made was inserting Peter McFetridge into the lineup in place of Clayton Richardson. McFetridge responded by scoring a goal.
The two teams will take tomorrow off, and will return to action for game three on Monday night, September 13th. Game time is at 7:45 EST. LITG and G2Stream will once again be streaming the game online and we will be live fomr the Memorial Centre at approximately 7:15 Eastern.
To see some game night video from around the Memoria Center, check it out below:
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