Lakers lose to Gee Gee's in Marathon ShootoutSaturday, December 01, 2012 by: Mark Pare
Jean-Bernard Voyer's third round shootout goal extended it to sudden death. Photo by Mark Pare.
It took 11 rounds and 22 shooters but the Ottawa Gee Gee’s (8-4-4) emerged with the 4-3 shootout victory over the Nipissing Lakers (7-8-2) Saturday night.
Dan Spence stopped 37 shots and then another nine shooters in the loss while Russell Abbott made 33 saves and another ten shooters in the shootout for the win.
“I thought both goalies were outstanding tonight,” said Lakers head coach Mike McParland, “I thought Abbott had a bounce back game last night, after letting in six goals on 19 shots. The first half of the game, he was the difference. First period, we should have had five goals, he made four or five great saves, we could’ve put the game away in the first period and he kept them in. For Dan Spence, it was great for him to have a weekend like that. That’s what we kind of expect from Dan Spence, we like to have consistency and I think when you have a goalie like that, in that form, coming into the playoffs, I think that anything is possible.”
Matt Paton, Kevin Flather and Dane Horvat had the Laker goals, while Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux, Dominic Jalbert and Mathieu Ouellette responded for the Gee Gee’s.
“We knew what we had for a schedule before Christmas and definitely wasn’t from a lack of effort,” said McParland,
“The guys have played their hearts out at home. Every game has been exciting, as I’ve said numerous times now. That’s 11 home games, 10 have been one-goal games, overtimes, last second, now penalty shots, there’s value for the dollar, the fans are definitely getting it. Naturally, we’d like to be on the plus side of the ledger more often but looking ahead, we talked about just now is looking ahead here. First of all, we’ll finish up with some practices before Christmas and make sure they are ready for their exams, send them home, come back in good condition and fresh minds, look at the schedule and being optimistic, I think in the new year, a record anywhere between 7-4 and 9-2 is possible and that would put us for sure back in the thick of things for that 4th, 5th place and that’s where we’d like to start for sure but the league is so close, it depends on your form that night on who is going to win.”
The Gee Gee’s got the start on the Lakers as Marcoux teed up a shot from the face off circle 5:58 in to give the visitors the lead.
The scoring didn’t continue until the second, but the crowd of 854 didn’t have to wait long as only 1:12 into the middle frame, Jalbert made it 2-0 Ottawa with a slapper from the point on the power play.
The Lakers would convert on the power play as well at 9:42 as Paton found the back of the goal after a great power play set up.
At 13:50, Ouellette scored on a shorthanded breakaway to put the Gee Gee’s back up by two but the Lakers were hanging in there.
In the third, Flather threw the puck from a sharp angle at 13:50. The puck went off an unsuspecting Abbott’s leg and into the net for a 3-2 game.
More play in the offensive zone kept the Lakers buzzing for the tying goal and at 15:55, got it in the form of Horvat’s first goal and first point of the season.
The overtime solved nothing so onto the shootout.
Flather scored on the second Laker shot and Lucas McKinley was up in the third round to ice it.
“I thought that when we went to our third shooter, when Lucas was going into shoot, I thought we were going to win the game,” said McParland, “I thought he was going to score right there, it would have been 2-0, game would have been over. I had a confidence that it was going to be over and we didn’t get it done, their last shooter made a good move to score.”
The Gee Gee’s third shooter, Jean-Bernard Voyer scored to extend the shootout session and it wasn’t until Trevor Layton stepped up to shoot in the 11th round that someone else found the back of the net.
The Lakers are off for the holiday break and return to the ice on Friday, January 4, 2013, when they host the Ryerson Rams. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Gardens.