Lakers Deal Wood & Ritchie, Lose 4-1 To Mooretown
Wednesday was a busy day for the Wallaceburg Lakers.
A team-changing transaction, a community fundraiser AND a hockey game all within hours.
The Junior ‘C’ franchise dealt their top two scorers, Brendan Ritchie and George Wood, across C-K to the Blenheim Blades, for an unknown return package, just hours before a 4-1 loss to the Mooretown Flags.
Ritchie (29 pts) and Wood (27 pts) had been two potent weapons for the Lakers, both point-per-game players. Wood was November’s Player of the Month for the Jr ‘C’ loop.
New Lakers head coach Derek Ellis is rolling with the punches in his new gig, telling 99.1 CKXS this should be viewed as an opportunity for the Lakers roster.
“We’ve given the boys a chance to step up and I really believe they are beginning to do that,” said Ellis
Ellis said he spoke to the team before the game specifically about the trade.
“We explained that the team didn’t have a whole lot of choice in the transaction, and we were in no way giving up on these boys. It sounds like we should have fair return coming back in the deal.”
The Lakers hosted a food drive fundraiser for the Salvation Army of Chatham-Kent while hosting the Flags in a spirited affair that saw young members of the organization shine in larger roles, much to the coaching staff’s approval.
“They worked hard all night and nobody quit. That’s all we ask for,” said Ellis. “There were far more positives than negatives tonight. We all hate losing but we’re in the right direction. I like the team that we have. We have some good leaders here and we’re all playing as a team. I see good things happening here.”
Bronson Bea scored the lone Wallaceburg goal. Netminder George Hill turned away 56 of 60 shots. Wallaceburg has now dropped 17 consecutive contests.
The Lakers have added long-time minor hockey and AAA coach Steve Gagner as a defensive coach alongside Gregg Gorski.