There was no way Peterborough Century 21 Lakers were going to lose a third game in a row. That didn’t happen all summer long. They only lost four games total over three months.
So it was a determined Lakers squad that took the floor for game three of the Mann Cup at Queen’s Park Arena in New Westminster on Monday night and came out with a 13-12 win. They came out on fire, scoring three goals in the first three minutes of play. Although the ‘Bellies quickly tied it up, and kept the visitors on their toes, the Lakers kept ahead of them most of the game, especially when it counted in the third period.
Joel Matthews, in his Mann Cup debut, scored a huge goal for the Lakers 29 seconds into the third period, converting Adam Jones’ pass in front of a wide open cage that Alex Buque couldn’t cover in time. Brad Self gave the Lakers a two goal lead. The ‘Bellies closed the gap to one, but the Lakers kept coming.
Turner Evans, who had two goals, said the Lakers are back on track and the ‘Bellies should only expect the series to get harder from here on out. All season, the Lakers have gotten better the more they’ve played.
“A win’s a win,” Evans said. “We’re bringing the same thing tomorrow, if not more. We’re bringing some energy so we’re looking forward to every game. We’re not going to shy away from anything right now.”
Mitch Jones and Kevin Crowley had eight points each for the ‘Bellies. Alex Buque made 42 saves. Tye Belanger was credited with the loss as he allowed Curtis Dickson’s game winning power play goal at 18:53 as he replaced Buque as the ‘Bellies tried to pull the goalie on every late possession.
Shawn Evans had seven points for the Lakers to bring his Mann Cup all-time total to 121 points. He tied his older brother Scott Evans, a former Laker, for sixth place on the all-time list, which John Tavares leads with 203 points.
Game four is Tuesday night with game five set for Wednesday. If necessary, the teams get a day off on Thursday to play game six and seven on Friday and Saturday nights.