Captain Joseph Veleno paved the way to a 4-1 victory for the Lakeshore peewee AA Panthers with a three-point performance against the Suroît Grenadiers Saturday afternoon at Kirkland Arena.
"I was most concerned with our work ethic during this game. We had a tough loss last game. I just told the kids that we had to come back with a better work ethic and more focus. I don't think we played a perfect game but the kids worked a lot harder and they really wanted to win the game," said Lakeshore's head coach Keith Orsini.
After Veleno opened the score at 7:17, he struck again with 23 seconds remaining in the first period when he redirected a pass coming from the corner of the ice past goaltender Maxime Leblanc.
Suroît replied in the opening minutes of the second period. Lakeshore goalie Thomas Gale made a great save on Nicolas Ménard but Alexander Campbell put the rebound past him to tighten up the score.
The Grenadiers had the upper hand in terms of scoring chances in the second period. Nicolas Turcotte came down the aisle fast and took a quality shot that went just above the net at 3:25. Samuel Ianniciello also obtained a quality scoring chance on a nice wrister but was robbed by Gale at 4:15.
The Panthers proved to be more opportunists as they took advantage of a power play to augment their lead at 4:42. Mathew Toporowski deflected defenseman Thomas Roberts' shot from the point for the tally.
Veleno was at the origin of the Panthers' nailing the coffin shut on Suroît in the third period. He came in the offensive zone at blazing speed and took a quality shot at Leblanc. The rebound was netted by William Torriani at 2:49. Suroît wasn't able to mount a comeback despite five good scoring chances in the last period of play.
"We put up a good effort today though we should have taken fewer penalties. They have a good team with a good goalie. We're still going in the right direction I think. We had a difficult beginning of the season but things are looking up for us," said Suroît's head coach Christian Charland.