photos courtesy of Tim Prothero (vintagelax.com)
The Peterborough Lakers used home floor advantage and over 3,800 fans at the Memorial Center on Monday night to take Game 7 of the MSL Semi-Final series over the Six Nations Chiefs. The Lakers cruised to a 10-3 win and will now face the Brampton Excelsiors in the Final.
Things started out well for the Chiefs in the first period as they used their inside speed and perfectly executed pick and roll moves to open up a 2-1 lead after one. Big players elevate their game when everything is on the line, and Colin Doyle masterfully set up Roger Vyse on two separate occasions, with Vyse scoring both Six Nations goals. In both cases, Doyle attracted the double team from the Laker defenders, and Vyse went to the net. Doyle as he does so well, found Vyse, and Vyse made no mistake in close.
There was another player on the floor this night who would also elevate his game. In the second period John Grant took over, scoring three of his four goals on the night in the middle frame. Grant’s first would bring the Laker faithful to their feet and the team fed off of the momentum, ripping off five goals in the period, while Six Nations was held scoreless. After two period the Lakers would hold a 6-2 lead.
Six Nations would require a fast start to the third period if they had any chance of getting back into the game. It appeareed that they might do just that when Garrett Billings scored only two and a half minutes into the third. But Brock Sorensen would transition Geoff Snider onto a breakaway only 90 seconds later and the place went berzerk. Sorensen made a great play to tip the ball away from two different Chiefs players, and then made the pass to Snider who had already left the defensive end. Shawn Evans would score his second on the night, Grant got another on a Power Play, and then Steve Toll put it on ice with an empty netter.
Frustrations set in right at the end of the game as Billy Dee Smith and Kyle Sorensen got into it. During that melee, Gavin Prout and Ryan Cousins exchanged words and were about to take off their buckets when two Laker players grabbed Prout and escorted him back to the Laker bench.
Although both teams won in the other barn, home floor was certainly an advantage in this series. This is evidenced by the last two games in particular. The Lakers will now face off against the Brampton Excelsiors for the Eastern Final. Schedule details are still being worked out and should be announced soon. One thing we know; the Lakers will have home floor advantage again in this series, and will look to use it again.