BELLE RIVER – The Blenheim Blades held a 3-0 lead over the Lakeshore Canadiens at the 11:26 mark of the second period Friday night in Belle River, but were unable to hold it, and ended up losing 5-3 in PJHL Stobbs Division action.
It was an emotional night for both teams, and the 745 fans in attendance, as it was the Canadiens first game since the tragic death of forward Sylvain Lessard Tuesday night in a motor vehicle accident.
The second-place Blades, after winning their first eight regular season games, have now lost three in a row – two to Lakeshore and one to the Essex ’73s – and will look to get back on the winning track Sunday when they host the sixth-place Walpole Island Wild at 7 p.m. at the Blenheim arena.
The Blades remain alone in second place with their 16 points, one up on the third-place Wheatley Sharks and two ahead of Lakeshore.
Sunday will be “Boo-tus” Halloween Costume Contest Night”. Anyone wearing a costume – including adults – will get into the game for free. Costumes will be judged by team mascot Brutus Blade and Blades players, and there will be great prizes to be won.
After a scoreless first period Gavin Meriano opened the scoring for Blenheim at 6:45 of the second with his fourth goal of the year, with assists going to Everitt Swayze and Andre Goulet.
Then, the Blades powerplay went to work, and increased the lead to 3-0 thanks to goals by Justin Ewald, his sixth, at 10:59, and Craig Spence, his sixth, at 11:26.
Brad McAlpine and Tate Bowden assisted on Ewald’s tally, and then Ewald did the same on Spence’s goal.
From then on it was all Lakeshore with Trevor Larue and Julian Gignac cutting the Blenheim lead to one goal before the period ended, and Spencer Higginbotton, Matt Frattaroli and Eric Bisson completing the come back for the win in the third period.
BLADES BITS: Not dressed for the Blades were Breck Rainey, who was sitting out his fifth game of a six game suspension, Quinn Pickering and Ryan Hayter…It was the first game for the newest Blade, Blenheim native Landon Hoskins, who was obtained Thursday from the Wild…Hoskins played six games for the Blades in the 2021-22 season as an AP, and last year skated with the Wallaceburg Thunderhawks, now the Walpole Island Wild…The defenceman had four goals and two assists last season, and so far this year had netted one goal and three assists for four points…Owen Lemieux was between the pipes for Blenheim and stopped 34 of 40 Lakeshore shots…His teammates managed only 20 on the Lakeshore net…The game was a tame affair with each team getting one three minor penalties.