In a South Region filled to the rafters with talent, Leaside Lancers’ hockey team will have to work hard to finish atop the division.
Heading into the holiday break with a 1-2 record after a 6-1 win versus Northern Dec. 14, head coach Peter Shier acknowledged his squad needed to hone their skills.
“We got off to a slow start and hopefully this will get us back on track a little bit,” he said. “We just need to play more as a team. That’s the big thing — do the little things really well and nothing fancy.”
Mirroring their season, the Lancers had to overcome a 1-0 deficit at the end of the first period against Northern.
After the initial powerplay goal by the Red Knights’ Bryan Feeney via Konne Tseramis and Jeff Petroff Leaside’s captain Kevin Shier, from Jake Clements and Daniel Carthew, put the puck in the net to tie the game up.
Shier would reply again twice more.
Three more goals would be added: Ryan McSpadyn via Carthew and Daniel Butts; David Boomer from Adam Huckle, as well as Jacob Surdi’s steal in Northern’s zone leading to an easy unassisted marker.
The variety of players on the scoresheet had Peter Shier pleased, especially after a weekend tournament that saw the midtown school place second.
“I like it when nobody really stands out,” he said. “We had a slow start but everybody picked it up in the second.”
Northern’s approach after losing their second game, and sitting at an 0-2-1 record, was one of patience, coach Brian Gaw said.
Gaw’s bench was short with only 13 donning the red, yellow and blue. In-game events didn’t help either.
“We were missing a lot of players and I lost four of them through the course of the game,” he said. “Two guys got injured, one guy obviously got ejected for the accidental hit-from-behind and another kid had to leave to go to work.”
With a total of 30 players on his current roster, cutting it down to the most competitive team will prove daunting.
“Hopefully everybody will be healthy and we’ll have everybody back,” he said. “Obviously you can’t dress 30 guys so we’ll have to make some decisions.”
Leaside will return to the rink Jan. 4 against North Toronto Norsemen while Northern looks for its first win against Humberside Jan. 13.
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