O'Donnell leads Lakers past Rams

Friday, January 04, 2013   by: Mark Pare

The Lakers celebrate Grant Toulmin's third period goal. Photo by Mark Pare

The Nipissing Lakers (8-8-2) scored four goals in the third period, including an empty netter to defeat the Ryerson Rams (5-12-0) 5-3 Friday night.

Connor O’Donnell had two goals and an assist, Grant Toulmin notched a goal and two helpers and Matt Paton and Jeff Leaist added a goal each for the Lakers, who sit sixth in the OUA East, but only three points back of third place Toronto Varsity Blues.

It was even on the scoreboard through two periods of play, as each team exchanged 12 shots a piece in the first and second periods respectively and tied at one going into the third period, but a back-and-forth on the scoreboard tilted in the home team’s favour by the end.

“Well I think that we’ve been working a little bit psychologically all week about not just the technical and tactical aspects of the game, but as well as the psychology aspect of the game,” said Lakers head coach Mike McParlamd,

“I think that we’ve seen our team play enough at home, especially before Christmas—involved in many one-goal games—and it’s not that the guys didn’t try but they just, it seemed like they just tried too much by themselves and there’s no question that when we play collectively, the chances are better because you’re stronger in numbers and I thought tonight was a good example of that and with that aspect and the result, I’m really happy and the will the guys showed to win tonight, I’m happy with that as well.”

McParland liked the jump in the majority of this team, but thinks he could have seen more from a couple of his forwards.

“I thought when our guys came back, they worked very hard. I thought maybe, the conditioning had a little bit of an influence on the third period,” he said, “If we had one small downer tonight, and I hate to say that when we won, we definitely need our, call it our fourth line for tonight, with (Kevin) Flather, we need them playing a bit better. We don’t need guys being in the minus column and we need four lines going. Tonight, we escaped with three lines going but we need four going.”

O’Donnell got things going at 14:36 of the first, parking himself in front of the goal on a counter-attack and converting to give the Lakers the lead.

The Rams stormed back just 19 seconds later, as Robert Visca got one by Daniel Spence to tie it up.

The second period was quite even, as both teams exchanged a couple chances and a couple power play opportunities but the score stayed the same. In the third, the goal scoring started early.

Only 1:59 in, the Lakers regained the lead on the power play, as Toulmin stuffed one by Passingham, amongst a scrum.

At 6:30, the Rams scored a power play goal of their own, as Andrew Buck tipped a Greg Payne wrister beautifully to bring the score even.

Dan Lombardi gave the Rams their first lead of the game at 8:19, with some nice stick work in and around the Laker crease to get the puck behind Spence.

Paton sniped a shot from the slot at 11:32 to tie the game, and only 19 seconds after that, O’Donnell wasted no time from the centre ice face off and restored the Laker lead.

That would turn out to be the game winner, as Leaist put in an empty net goal with 26 seconds left on the clock to seal the deal.

The Lakers travel to Kingston to take on the RMC Paladins Saturday night to start a home-and-away series. The back end of the series takes place next Friday, January 11. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Gardens.

Game Notes
-The attendance was 1,165.
-Dan Spence made 31 saves for the win, while Troy Passingham made 37 saves in the loss.
-Dorian Peca registered two assists for the Lakers.
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