For the second straight year the Boyer Auto Group North Kawartha Knights hosted the Lakefield Chiefs in game 7 of the Orr Division Semifinal on Sunday March 1st. However, the lead up to game 7 was quite different this year.
Where last year it was the Knights who started out to a 3-0 series lead, this season the Chiefs started by jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, outscoring the Knights 6-1 over the first 2 games. Game 3 was back at the North Kawartha Community Centre (NKCC) and was the beginning of the turn around for the Knights, defeating the Chiefs 3-1 on home ice. Game 4 saw the Chiefs back on top defeating the Knights 3-2 and put Lakefield up 3-1 in the series.
Game 5 again was back at the NKCC and the Knights were determined. going up 2-1 in the game, the Chiefs tied the game late sending it into overtime. However, the Knights would not be denied. Just 44 seconds into overtime, #7 Zack Nicholson scored to keep the Knights playoffs alive.
Game 6 was back in Lakefield and the Knights came out flying. Going into the second intermission up 2-1, the Knights came out in the third and scored 2 goals in the first minute of play pushing their lead to 4-1 and after the Chiefs get one back the Knights add an empty net goal to win this one 5-2 and force a game 7 for the second straight year.
Game 7 early saw both teams going back and forth, and was early game heroics from #30 Noah Miller stopping all 16 shots while #44 Kieran Flynn found the back of the net to put the Knights up 1-0 after the first period. The Knights came out strong again in the second tallying 2 goals by #19 Cole Arnold and #88 Karsten Leonard with Lakefield answering back late in the second but seen the Knights up 3-1 going into the 3rd period. The final frame was a back and forth battle capped off by #7 Nicholson intercepting a pass and putting the puck into the empty net with 1:34 left to go in the game, all but cementing the Kngihts victory. A bit of rough stuff between the two rivals in the last minute of the game but as the clock dropped down to zero, it was over. The Knights had completed the series comeback and eliminated the Lakefield Chiefs from the 2020 playoffs.
The Knights move on to the Orr Division Cougar Cup Final for the second straight year. They will face the winner between the Clarington Eagles and Uxbridge Bruins. Schedule to be posted as soon as available.
Photo Credit: L Fitze Photography