BELLE RIVER – The fourth-place Blenheim Blades, with their sights still on catching the third-place Wheatley Sharks, headed to Belle River Friday night to take on the second-place Lakeshore Canadiens in a PJHL Stobbs Division game, and came home on the short end of a 2-1 score.
The loss ended the Blades five-game winning streak, and saw three Blenheim veterans pick up suspensions that will see all three of them miss Wednesday’s game in Wheatley, with one having to also sit out next Sunday’s home contest against the Dresden Kings.
Leading scorer Tate Bowden, who netted his 22th goal of the season for the Blades only tally Friday, will miss Wednesday’s game, along with Connor Wright, while Zack Van Boxtel is out for two games.
All three suspensions came from frustration with referee calls, or non-calls, as Blenheim fans in attendance rained down their fury on referees Kyle Vermast and Brandon Flood.
There was no scoring in the first period with Lakeshore’s Brandon Leblanc putting his team up 1-0 thanks to a penalty shot goal at 10:23 of the middle 20 minutes.
Just under four minutes later Ethan Galvan made it 2-0 Lakeshore at 14:13.
Bowden then cut the Lakeshore lead to 2-1 when he scored at 7:14 of the third period, with assists going to Ian Campbell and Ben Barnard.
BLADES BITS: Jake Vancoillie was outstanding in goal for Blenheim stopping 36 of 38 Lakeshore shots, while his teammates fired 32 at Lakeshore netminder Nicholas Bolton…The Blades played Lakeshore six times this season and did not manage win, with just one point in an overtime loss Jan. 6 in Blenheim…Not dressed for the Blades were defencemen Alex Edwards and Ben Brooks, and forward Austin Drew…Defenceman Noah Prudhomme returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a concussion…The Blades lost defenceman Alec Edwards when he was struck in the leg by a slapshot and had to leave the game.…Four of the Blades last six games have ended in 2-1 scores with Blenheim winning three of them…Saturday night both Wheatley and Mooretown were in action with Wheatley pounding the Wallaceburg Thunderhawks 9-2, and Mooretown losing to Lakeshore 3-0…Wheatley now leads the Blades by four points with six games to play, while Mooretown trails Blenheim by nine with seven to go…Attendance was 445.