A huge five-goal third period comeback fell just shy of extending the Lakeland Heat’s winning streak to begin the season, as the lacrosse club tied the Sherwood Park Titans 9-9 on Saturday night.
The game was mired by big momentum swings and penalties as frustrations boiled over twice, which eventually led to six players ejected from the game for fighting and misconduct penalties.
“I’m actually pretty proud,” said Coach Dennis Hodinsky on his team’s comeback effort.
“The boys got down by five and started to sulk a little bit. But we a little momentum change and they took the momentum and ran with it come back from a five-goal deficit and brought us right back into the game and that’s teh game of lacrosse and how fast it can change.”
After a level first period, the Titans capitalized on Heat scoring leader Mitchell Bibeau’s penalties and scored three goals in the final six minutes of the second period to take a 7-4 lead into the intermission.
The Titans scored two more, but Isaac Brown’s response just a moment later gave the Heat life.
In the next five minutes the Titans became undiscplined themselves and let the Heat back into the game.
Austin Saint and Isaac Brown both scored twice to complete a hat-trick, and Jaydon Frey’s rip five-hole led to an entertaining but unexpected finish.
The Heat had extended powerplays in the final minutes of regulation and the five minute overtime, but each goaltender stopped every shot they faced in the final 15 minutes of hte game to cement the draw.
“We just couldn’t get the ball movement on the goalie to finish ihim off in the overtime period, but it was a good game.
“If we use the whole floor and spread him out that will lead to better opportunities. We stayed a little bit too tight. I would’ve liked to see a little more movement, then we can get the ball moving across…fatigue is factor in that.
Tempers boil over
A massive hit with the clock winding down in the second period lead to a wild fight between Lakeland Heat player Brandon White and Titans player Noah Chies.
White appeared to be incensed as he hurled fists at Cheese before throwing Chies down to the floor on his back.
There was something brewing for most of the second period which then boiled over, as both were given match penalties for the altercation.
The same happened with the final buzzer of regulation sounding, as two separate fights began with Titans’ Mangus Johannesson and Heat’s Cameron Zelisko. Zelisko was thrown to the ground and appeared to be stepped up in the middle of the crowd and appears to be injured moving forward.
Heat’s Eric Cooseman and Titans’ Kyle Paulsen also were kicked from the game.
This altercation led to an extended powerplay for the Heat in overtime which they could no capitalize on.
The Heat’s record moves to 4-0-1 on the season.
Their next game is Wednesday night at the Cenovus Arena against the Wainwright Wolfpack.