The Lakeshore Canadiens came to the Blenheim arena Sunday riding a 17-game winning streak, and went home at 18 by beating the injury riddled Blenheim Blades 6-3.
The victory moved Lakeshore into first place in the PJHL’s Stobbs Division. The Canadiens now have 44 points, and the second-place Essex ’73s sit at 43.
The Blades are in fourth with 35 points, one behind the Wheatley Sharks.
Blenheim’s next four games will all be on the road with the next home game Sunday, Jan. 7 against the Mooretown Flags. Prior to that the Blades will be in Mooretown Saturday, Dec. 23 for a 7:30 match with the Flags, in Dresden Friday, Dec. 29 to play the Kings at 7:30, in Essex Tuesday, Jan. 2 to tangle with the ’73s at 7 p.m., and in Amherstburg Saturday, Jan. 6 for a 7:30 p.m. game.
The Blades, because of injuries, have played shorthanded for a while, and Sunday were still missing defencemen Remi Steen, Owen Reeve, Matt Hayter and Will McCracken, as well as forwards Darby Lemieux, Zach Van Boxtel and Beau Moison.
Rookie Everitt Swayze got the Blades a 1-0 lead with a goal, his fifth, at 13:25 of the first period, with assists going to Braden Twigg and Gavin Meriano, with Lakeshore then scoring twice – Josh Cyrenne at 17:27 and Eric Bisson at 19:37 – to go ahead 2-1.
Brad McAlpine, back from an injury, got the Blades even after the first period when he netted his 13th of the season with 01.22 seconds left to play. Assists went to Craig Spence and Andrew Goulet on the powerplay goal.
Both Blenheim goals came on the powerplay.
Marco Sladoje put Lakeshore up 3-2 with a shorthanded tally with the second period just 50 seconds old.
At 3:30 of the middle 20 minutes Ethan Chittle’s fourth goal of the year tied things at 3-3, with assists going to Spence and Tate Bowden.
That was it for scoring for Blenheim for the night with Lakeshore adding three goals, one each by Zach Vaillancourt, Sladoje and Bryce Scarlett to round out the scoring for the night.
BLADES BITS: Prior to the opening faceoff Spence was presented with his award for being the Western Conference’s Stobbs Division player of the month for November…Spence leads the Stobbs Division in scoring with 59 points on 20 goals and 39 assists, with Bowden second at 48 points thanks to 17 goals and 31 assists…The Blades now have 17 wins, 9 losses and one tie on the season, having lost five times to Lakeshore, three times to Essex and once to Wheatley…Fans were urged to donate food to the Word of Life Church’s Food Bank, and did so to the tune of 200 pounds of food…Children 12 years of age and younger got into the game for free thanks to the generosity on CK Ward 2 councilor Anthony Ceccacci…Word of Life Church’s Tim Joyce, Ceccacci and Blades mascot Brutus Blade took part in a ceremonial puck drop prior to the game…The Blades lead the league in penalty minutes at 634, with Essex second at 567…Lakeshore outshot Blenheim 49-37…Attendance was 378…the ice time sponsors were The Bottled Grape of Blenheim and the Riverview Gaming Centre of Chatham.