Published DateSunday proved historic for the Lakes Region Youth Hockey Association as its Peewee 1 team carried off the Division III Championship title in the New Hampshire Amateur Hockey Association Playoffs, besting Hanover 8-2. The win capped a remarkable playoff weekend for the Lakers as they were the only team in the tournament to go undefeated. The Peewee 1 players hail from ten Lakes Region communities including Gilford, Laconia, Canterbury, Belmont, Northfield, Meredith, Sandwich, Alton, Sanbornton, and Center Harbor.
The Peewee 1 team entered the tournament seeded second behind regular season champion Oyster River and drew the NH Junior Monarchs as their initial opponent. The Lakers started off slowly but beat the Monarchs 4-1. Saturday afternoon's contest pitted the Lakers against the Hanover Wild, a lower-seeded team that had already played a game in the morning. The Lakers took full advantage of a fatigued adversary and came out firing, eventually beating Hanover 8-2. The win advanced the Belknap County locals into a semi-final contest against the Rochester Black Hawks.
The rivalry between the Black Hawks and the Lakers is lengthy and spirited. The Lakers immediately dominated in the game, scoring three goals in the opening period, eventually pulling away to win by the score of 8-3.
The Lakers opened the final against Hanover by displaying great energy and developed favorable scoring chances, but they could not put the puck past the Wild goaltender. Their luck changed when they scored two quick goals with less than 38 seconds left in the first period. In the second and third periods the Lakers hit their stride, pulling away to a commanding 8-2 victory over a proud and classy Hanover team.
By winning the NHAHA Division III Championship the Lakers Peewee 1 team qualified for USA Hockey Sectional Play in Shelton CT and will be New Hampshire's representative in that tournament beginning March 15, 2013. The Tournament pits the best Division III teams from New England and New York against one another. USA Hockey is the governing body for amateur hockey in the US. This is the second time in three seasons the Lakers have qualified a team for sectional play.
The Lakers Peewee 1 team is sponsored by China Garden Restaurant and New Hampshire Ball Bearing Inc. The Lakers organization wishes to thank each sponsor for its support, and also wishes to extend thanks to all of its other generous sponsoring partners.