Chiefs win the Cougar Cup
by Jim Carson
The Cougar Cup, symbolic of the Central Ontario Champions, has returned to Lakefield after a six year absence.
The Lakefield Chiefs last won their league in 2006 -2007 and on Friday night in Uxbridge won its ninth title since 1985.
This year’s Chiefs playoff run has been quite impressive, defeating the defending champion Clarington Eagles in four straight games and taking out the first place Uxbridge Bruins in five games.
In Uxbridge Friday night Nathan Larson led Lakefield with a goal and two assists while Jesse Gregory and Travis Brault had a goal and one assist each.
Riley Campbell and Derek Manley also scored. Ryan Anderson, Ryan Saunders, Jordan Walsh and Connor Blair had assists for Lakefield. Zac Wainman picked up his seventh win of the playoffs stopping 26 Bruin shots.
This is the second straight year the first place team in the league has failed to win the league with the Eagles upsetting the Chiefs last year in the final.
There were two key points the coaching staff targeted during their first round bye and 14 day layoff after the season. The Chiefs had to improve in their discipline and defensive play. Those areas significantly improved for Lakefield in both playoff series.
Head Coach Tim McCormick gave all the kudos to his players. “We told them if they continued to take needless penalties and didn’t back check our chances for success were very limited.
“They are the ones that committed to that improvement and we are proud of each and everyone of them. Our Executive has really been behind us affording us a few extra hours of ice here and there especially during the layoff.”
First year player Keenan Runnalls, who logs a lot of ice time on defense, started to believe after a couple games into the first round that they could win this league.
“We have a really good group of guys here and the way the team was focused really energized us.”
Defenceman Ryan Anderson, who played for the Georgina Ice last year, said he was really excited when playoffs started.
“We finished pretty strong and from that knew we could play pretty good hockey. Everybody on this team brought it to the table and were all on the same page.”
The Chiefs will now play the Picton Pirates, winner of the Jr. “C” Empire League.
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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