‘Strong work ethic’ leads 13th ranked LCCVI to OFSAA Silver medal

Goalie Sean Shanahan peeks through the legs of a Lancer in a scramble for the puck

Ranked 13th in the province coming in, the LCCVI Lancers “strong work ethic” led the team to the OFSAA finals to take home the Silver medal at the OFSAA Boys A/AA Hockey championship.

LCCVI lost 5-1 to St. Joseph’s from St. Thomas in the Thursday afternoon final in Whitby.

The Lancers gained a berth to the final earlier in the day beating Thousand Island Secondary School from Brockville 6-2.

Brayden Kominek and Kaiden Edwards had two goals apiece to lead the Lancers to victory.

Thousand Island drew first blood with Jack LaBrash scoring at 13:58 in the first. Then, LCCVI’s Jace Hall, with assists from Joey Shaw and Ryan Minten, tied it up.

Kominek added a second just 54 seconds later with help from Nolan Bourdage and Jack Thompson.

Edward scored the lone goal in the second off the stick of Kominek at 8:11.

Thousand Islands’ LaBrash got past LCCVI’s Sean Shanahan in the third.

But the Lancers stormed back with three. Edwards, Tyler McGrail and Kominek scored in the third to ice the victory. Minten, Nathan Reidhead, Bourdage, Tayt Stonehouse and Hunter Mitchell all had assists in the third.

In the championship game at 2 pm, Rhett Joy scored unassisted 64 seconds into the first period, but St. Joseph would score five unanswered goals to claim gold.

LCCVI Coach Chris Edgar said he was very proud of his team, all minor league hockey players from Mooretown, Petrolia and East Lambton associations.

“We’re really truly a minor hockey system team,” Edgar said after the game adding the St. Thomas team was made up of “90 per cent Triple A players” while the Lancers only had four skaters who play in the top tier of minor hockey.

Edgar said it was the team’s strong work ethic that led the 13th ranked team to silver.

“I get the benefit from guys who work their butt off. These guys are a special group. They don’t ever give up. It’s what we’ve seen all season.”

And Edgar said, after five games in two-and-a-half days, battered and bruised, they had to gut it out in the final.

“You get to these last games and you’d like to be fresh…it comes down to if you can battle through the tough things.

“We’ve got guys hurt. We’ve got guys sick. We had one guy puke on the bench today; we had one guy sick last night and he tried to play through it today. We’ve got a guy with sore shoulder, we’ve got a guy with a sore knee.

“It really comes down to just trying to put everyone together and then really focus in on the fact that its not an individual effort. It really, truly is a team effort in the end. And if you can build it as a team, it doesn’t matter who you put out there, you can maybe push through it.”

After accepting their silver medals on the ice in Whitby, over half of the Lancer team was on the road again, heading to Forest. The players, members of the Petrolia U18 B team, take on Lambton Shores tonight. If they win, they’re headed to the Ontario Minor Hockey League championship round. It will be their third game of the day.

“We tried to get the game rescheduled for them,” said Edgar. “They’ve played a lot of hockey, I hope everyone stays healthy.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to do both of them and they want to do both and they give it all that they got.”