Friday, July 31, 2015

Lakers dump Kodiaks 12-4 to finish regular season on winning note

Shawn Evans had 6 goals and 5 assists to lead the Lakers to a 12-4 win over
KW in the season finale and within a point of Dhane Smith for the scoring
title. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Peterborough Lakers entered Thursday night's game against the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks with second place already clinched and just awaiting the result of the night's other game to determine their first-round playoff opponent (it turned out to be Oakville).

So, without another tangible goal to shoot for in the game, the Lakers dedicated much of their effort to helping Shawn Evans try to earn the league's scoring title. He started the game 12 points behind Six Nations' Dhane Smith (90-78). When Evans started the game with 4 goals and an assist in the first 12:17, the fans and his teammates got caught up in the chase.

"I looked at it but it didn't even really cross my mind. But I think my teammates were really talking about it and after I got a couple early in the game there was a chance for it," Evans said. "It wasn't for a lack of effort because they were all feeding me the ball at the end of the game, but it wasn't mean to be. I had a few chances, I had a breakaway at the end, but overall we got the win but we've got to be ready to go for playoffs."

Evans wound up with 11 points on 6 goals and 5 assists and did indeed have a breakaway near the end of the game. He was turned aside by Rance Vigneux, who had a strong effort in relief of an ineffective Davide DiRuscio. The starter allowed six goals on nine shots but Vigneux came in and slowed the flow of goals, stopping 44 of the 50 shots he faced. 

Lakers GM Paul Day said the really good thing about Evans' performance was the pace at which he played. "It's good that he's playing fast. That's important when you have the ball that much that you play fast, you don't telegraph things," Day said. "Some nights goal scorers and offensive guys will hang onto the ball, let everybody sit. But I thought right from the first shift he was either passing or shooting fast. We like to see guys play quick."

Adam Jones added 3 goals and 3 assists for Peterborough and Curtis Dickson had a goal and 3 assists. Matt Vinc stopped 34 of the 39 shots he faced to earn the win. Jake Pleon led the Kodiaks with 2 goals and Torrey Van Every was rewarded for a solid effort with a goal and 3 assists. 

Peterborough opens the playoffs Sunday night at home with a 7pm start against Oakville.