Cowichan Lake’s Novice C2 Professional Electric Lakers worked off some Christmas calories when they spent the weekend playing hockey in Nanaimo. This was the furthest road trip of the season so far for this young developing team. Over three days, Dec. 28-30, they played four games on three different sheets of ice in a non-competitive tournament.
Their first game was Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Cliff McNabb arena against the Nanaimo Stars. Eager parents, siblings and grandparents watched as the Lakers took to the ice. Lakers were pumped to play, after the team talk in the dressing room and before stepping onto the ice, coach Vaughan asked the players what they were suppose to do, to which one player responded, “have fun!”
The Nanaimo Stars led the game 3-0 in the first period. At the end of the first period, the Lakers had a quick pep talk and came out strong during the second period with goals scored by Richard Bergman and Jorden Nicholson while the Stars managed to get two another goals for a 5-4 led over the Lakers. The Lakers kept pressure on with lots of shots on net, yet great goaltending by the Stars kept the puck out. The Stars finished the game 7-4, however, the Lakers had fun and won the Donut Shoot-Out at the end of the game. Bergman had a hat-trick and received MVP, and Mason Callihoo played a solid game on defence and received the Digger Award.
The Lakers took to the ice for the second time Friday at 5:30pm, this time at the Nanaimo Ice Centre No.1 vs. the Nanaimo Panthers. The Panthers scored the first goal of the game early in the first period, however there was no stopping the Lakers: Bergman put the first goal on the board for the Lakers with an assist by Jake Walters, followed by a pair from Nahirnick, and Taylor Svendsen, assisted by Nahirnick.
The Lakers led the first period 4-2, only to continue on fire during the second period. Line mates Andrew St. James, MacKenzie Callihoo and Nahirnick worked together to get the first goal of the second period, followed by goals by Bergman and Walters. Strong defence played by Devon Clayton, Jackson Lee, Nicholson, Brenton Harris, and Tyler Freisen held the lead over the Panthers, 8-4, at the end of the second period. During the third period, Walters put a pair in the net to give him a hat trick along with Nahirnick and Bergman. The Lakers won the game 10-5 and the Donut shoot out with goalie Elijah Vaughan. MVP for the game was Nahirnick, with strong offensive and defensive play. Digger was awarded to Svendsen for a solid game played.
The team played its third game Dec. 29 at 1:15 p.m. at NIC No. 2 vs. Kerry Park Islanders B1 team. This was the third match up of the season for these two teams. Friesen took to the net for the Lakers and was a brick wall for the Islanders, stopping all but two shots on net. An awesome game was played by the entire team: forwards were chipping the puck up the boards, passing, and dumping and chasing the puck, while the defence were holding the blue line, dumping it deep, clearing the puck to the side boards and back checking. For the first time this season, the Lakers won 8-2 over the Islanders. MVP of the Game went to Friesen, the Digger Award went to Devon Clayton.
For their fourth and final game, the Lakers took to the ice Dec. 30 at the NIC 2, this time matched up against the Nanaimo Ducks. Once again, Laker fans gathered to watch, bringing horns and noise makers along in anticipation of an exciting game, which was just what the Lakers provided.
With less then two minutes off the clock in the first period, Nicholson scored the first goal of the game, only for the Ducks to put one in the net two minutes later. These two teams were evenly matched and never had more than a two goal spread the entire game. With each goal scored or shot on net, fans roared in excitement, cheering on the team. Friesen tended goal.
The final score was 7-5 for the Lakers. MVP was given to MacKenzie Callihoo who, with a great breakaway, gave the team its insurance goal in the third period.
Digger was awarded to Walters, who worked at face-offs and in front of the net, tying up players and creating opportunities for line mates St. James and Callihoo. All players put in great team effort during this game and over the entire weekend, and should be proud of the sportsmanship, dedication and accomplishments they showed.
The next road trip for the Lake Cowichan Novice C2 Professional Electric Lakers is Jan. 13, when they will be spending the day team-building and watching the Cowichan Valley Capitals game and playing a short mini game during the first intermission.
— Submitted C.and T. Vaughan