Blades Blank Lakers
SUBMITTED BY THE BLENHEIM BLADES
WALLACEBURG – Blenheim Blades, behind the shutout goal tending of rookie netminder Adam Craven who stopped all 27 shots sent his way, defeated the Wallaceburg Lakers 4-0 in Provincial Junior Hockey League Stobbs Division action before 264 fans at the Wallaceburg arena.
The win put a halt to the Blades current losing streak, which had reached four games, but it came at a cost as the already shorthanded team lost three more players by the final whistle.
Already short two defencemen – Owen Bateman (suspension) and Brayden Seliga (injury), the club was also missing goalie Eric Stewardson (exam), and defenceman Braeden Allore (Tweed) and forwards George Wood (Bracebridge) and Dustin Maines (Tweed) who have returned home for holidays – and before the game was over three more regulars were out of the lineup.
Forward Drew Marlatt (injury) and defenceman Derek Hueni (injury) will be game time decisions Thursday when the Blades host the Wheatley Sharks, and forward Carter Wright will definitely miss the contest as he will be serving a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind penalty he picked up Wednesday.
Add to that forward Nate Broek, who has a Fanshawe College exam, meaning there will likely be several affiliated players in the lineup.
All that said the win did give the fourth-place Blades their 16th victory of the season and raised their point total to 34, five ahead of the fifth-place Mooretown Flags and seven up on the sixth-place Sharks.
In the first two periods the Blades outshot the Lakers 36-15 and scored all four goals before shutting it down a bit in third when the Lakers managed 12 shots on Craven while the Blades had just four on Laker goalie George Hill who was a one-man defense once again.
For the Blades Nick Delyzer scored twice to give him 20 goals and 34 points on the season, with Marlatt getting his 10th tally and Kier Cumming his 18th.
Cumming leads the team in points with 22 assists to go with his 18 goals and while he didn’t add to his assist total Wednesday, Austin Bentley, with two, and Delyzer, Patrick Wright, Zach Horvath, Matt Clark and Brayden Hopkins did to theirs with one each.
The game was a tame affair with Wallaceburg taking three of five minor penalties. Two of the minors, one to Carter and one for the Lakers Dale McMaster, resulted on game misconducts for checking-from-behind and on game suspensions for both players.
BLADES BITS: The shutout was the first for Craven’s Junior hockey career…With Christmas just three days away the Blades have a wide assortment of merchandise for sale in the lobby. Treat the Blades fans in your family to one or more of the various items…The annual “Skate With the Blades” that was scheduled for Dec. 11 after the game against the Wheatley Sharks that was postponed because of a snow storm will now take place Sunday, Jan. 8 after the game against the Dresden Kings…The Jan. 8 game will also be Chatham-Kent Cyclones night with any Cyclone player coming to the game wearing their jersey getting in for free.