It was hot outside and even more heated inside the Cenovus Arena Wednesday night, but it didn’t stop the Lakeland Heat Junior B lacrosse team from adding another win to their record with a 9-4 victory over the Vermilion Roar.
The win moves the Heat to 11-1-0 ahead of their game against the Warriors in Cold Lake on Sunday.
Vermilion outshot the Heat in the first period but the score remained level at 2-2 after twenty minutes, though it remained very tight. As the game progressed and the teams grew rambunctious, Lakeland started to pile on the pressure. After having their go-ahead goal at the beginning of the second period taken away because of interference, Jayden Frey scored the first of five goals in the frame.
With just under three minutes left in the second period, and the Heat now leading 6-3, the Roar’s Carter Usenik received a game misconduct and a major penalty for boarding that seemed to fully shift the momentum onto the Lakeland side. They took advantage a minute later, and when the period ended it was a lofty 7-3 lead – one the Roar couldn’t come back from.
“It definitely got us revved up, it got us excited on the bench,” said Assistant Captain, Braeden Dewhurst, after the game misconduct from the Roar.
“It let our offense flow and get some pressure.”
Coach Daryl Hodinsky praised Vermilion’s effort in the first period which saw the Heat outshot and playing on the perimeter.
“In the second, the boys started buying into the system, doing the motion that we wanted them to do and stretching out their defense…we started playing our game,” said Hodinsky.
Justin Hodinsky potted a hat-trick and Donovan Bibeau added two more markers in the win.
Despite the win, Heat Coach was not happy with the team’s discipline in the third period which saw a parade to the penalty box and multiple 5-on-3’s.
“I didn’t like how our boys took way too many period in the third. We definitely have to stay out of the box. That’s not how we’re gonna win games by being in the penalty box, so we need to clean that aspect of our game up.”
Dewhurst had his ankle taped up after the game but says he’ll be fine for the next game on Sunday.
“I rolled it in the first, but it will be OK, it was a little chippy out there. But I’m happy the boys pulled it out.”