OMHA CHAMPIONS, News (Shallow Lake Minor Hockey)

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Apr 10, 2022 | SLMH | 1235 views
The Laker U11 Rep team are Tier 3 OMHA Champions.

To say the 2021/22 season of the U11 Rep team has been a success would be an understatement. From the beginning, the coaches, parents and kids all knew that this was a special group, capable of big things.

During their regular season, the team went undefeated, rattling off 11 wins. In addition they picked up a couple of exhibition wins, as well as a couple of exhibition losses against some tough opponents from the higher U11 division.

In December, they travelled to Norwood, where they took home the championship trophy at the Norwood Minor Hockey Tournament, again going undefeated (suffering only a tie), taking down four teams, all from higher divisions. Defenceman Finn McKnight was named tournament MVP for his outstanding play on the blue line. 

With the remainder of the regular season cut short due to Covid, the Lakers went in to the playoffs with a fire in their belly. They proceeded to run the table in their WOAA round robin, going 6-0 and advancing to the semi-finals against their toughest rival, Arran-Elderslie. 

As they prepared to take on the Ice Dogs, the fans filled the stands, and the team did not disappoint, winning the best of five series, 3-1, taking the final game at home in front of a raucous, packed house. With this series win, the Lakers had qualified for the Tier 3 OMHA Championships in Windsor. But before they could compete for the Red Hats, their was another trophy to play for - the WOAA Lockridge Championship.

The playoff structure for this final involved three teams, with each team playing each other once. After the Kincardine Kinucks AE team lost both of their games, the final would come down to a one-game, winner-take-all between your Lakers and the Drayton Defenders. With their dedicated fans in tow, the Lakers travelled to Drayton where the hosts took full advantage of a slow Shallow Lake start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Finding themselves in an unfamiliar position, the Lakers fought back to tie it up with goals from Deegan Bermanschlager, Brady Snow and Reed MacWilliam, and eventually headed to overtime with the score 4-4, with a goal from Kyler Bartlett. It didn't take long for Shallow Lake to end things in OT, with the winning goal coming from the stick of Zach Cosgrove, making it a 5-4 final and giving the Lakers the Lockridge trophy.

Five days later, the team and its faithful family and fans, travelled to Windsor for the OMHA finals. The kids were lucky enough to be playing on the same ice as the Windsor Spitfires and they were quick to take advantage of the larger ice surface, going 3-0 in round robin play; beating West Lorne, Manvers and Prince Edward County by scores of 11-0, 15-1 and 8-3 respectively. Goals were scored by Snow (8); Bermanschlager (5); Cosgrove (4); MacWilliam (4); Bartlett (2); Ryerson Koeslag (2); Cayleb Luckhardt (2); Brody MacLean (2); Davis Roebuck (2); and singles from McKnight; Griffin Goodings and Josh Davenport. Goaltenders Trent Bryan and Austin Mitchell limited opponents to just four goals against.

Next up: the quarterfinals versus the South Grey Spartans. After a back and forth start, the Lakers pulled out to a 5-2 lead with goals from Luckhardt, Snow, MacWilliam, MacLean and Koeslag. The Spartans fought back though, tying it at 5 with less than a minute to go. Once again, the Lakers came out on top with Roebuck scoring the OT winner. Off to the semifinals against a familiar foe: Drayton.

This game against the Defenders was decidedly less dramatic than Monday's match-up, with the Lakers taking down a short-handed Drayton team by a score of 3-0, with goals from McKnight, Bermanschlager and Goodings, and stellar defensive play from Spencer Sherman and Gavin Dorion. Look out finals, here come the Lakers!

The Dresden Kings would be their final opponent and the Kings gave them a scare, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. The Lakers would respond quickly, with a pair of goals each from Bermanschlager and Goodings and a single from Snow. The Kings would score another but so would Snow, and the Lakers would take the win, with a final of 6-2 - making them the 2021-22 Tier 3 OMHA Champions!!!

Congratulations to the coaching staff of head coach Scott Luckhardt, assistants Kevin McKnight, Tyler Goodings and Dan Bermanschlager and trainer Drew Roebuck on providing leadership and encouragement from the bench. Special congrats to our awesome AP's - Austin Mitchell, Josh Davenport, Lucas Muir and Mikey St. Marie for their hard work and dedication.

Special thanks to Scott McManus and Melissa Sprung for tunes at their games; Bryan Mitchell for keeping the goalies honest; Tyler Dorion, Ben Gladwell and Gavin Thomas for the scorekeeping; Jordie and Michelle Preston at Tim Horton's for the weekly coffee donations; Heather Shouldice for plenty of Buff sticks; Rick Corbett of Grey Bruce Patio Enclosures for sponsorship and Sean Hickey of HCR Building Inc. for their very generous sponsorship of our team. 

And BIG thanks to all of our parents/families for driving the kids to practices/games/tournaments; volunteering their time; cheering until you couldn't; and supporting each and everyone of these kids. And to the U11 Lakers - enjoy your time as champions - you deserve it!