DAN CEARNS The Standard
The Port Perry Lumberjacks were able to add security to their spot in the Orr division standings with a win over the Lakefield Chiefs over the weekend.
After their game against the Georgina Ice, scheduled for Friday, January 12th, was postponed due to that day's snowstorm, the Lumberjacks had only one weekend game on their schedule, a home game at Scugog Arena on Sunday, January 14th.
The game started off with a bang, with Quinn Arnott getting into a tussle with one of the Chiefs players, a battle which electrified both benches. Over nine minutes into the frame, Andrew Naccarato-Soule skated into the Lakefield zone with great speed and scored, giving the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead. Just 30 seconds later, Mac Connelly extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal. Then, just past the 11-minute mark of the period, the Chiefs put a puck past goaltender Vann Kulba. The lead was cut to 2-1. But, 14 seconds later, Mac Connelly put a backhand shot past the Chiefs' goaltender for his second goal of the game.
Nearly five minutes into the second period, the Chiefs struck again, cutting the Lumberjack lead to 3-2. However, the Lumberjacks got their two-goal lead back 11 and a half minutes into the period, when recent team defence addition Johnny Lopez scored his first goal as a Lumberjack on the power play. The period would end with team captain Nolan Goddard pulling a Chiefs player into a fight.
Naccarato-Soule would add two goals in the third period to complete the hat trick, and the Lumberjacks defeated the Chiefs 6-2. In his second game with the Lumberjacks, defenceman Lopez had three points, a goal and two assists.
"He's been a really great add. He seems like a really great kid. We've heard nothing but great things about him. We're super happy to have him, and he's gonna be a big addition to our blueline. He's a kid we're going to rely upon a lot down the stretch, and he's helped solidify our back end, so we're super happy to have him," head coach Ryan Connolly told The Standard. Coming into the game, the Chiefs were one of the teams chasing the Lumberjacks for that fourth-place spot in the Orr division standings.
"That's a potential first-round matchup, and we discussed with our guys the importance of these games we're playing against Lakefield. We want to make sure we play our best game against those guys, so when the playoffs start, we're ready to go. It's probably going to be a really competitive series, so we want to make sure we're playing hard against them," the head coach said.
- The Lumberjacks have two games on the schedule for this weekend. On Saturday, January 20th, they will travel to Apsley to face the North Kawartha Knights. That game will begin at 7:25 p.m.
- On Sunday, January 21st, the Lumberjacks will host the Clarington Eagles at Scugog Arena. That game will begin at 2:25 p.m.
- The Lumberjack's current record sits at 15 wins, 15 regulation-time losses, and one overtime loss (15-15-1).