Bright spot for Penticton Lakers has been between the pipes

Good goaltending has been the one constant for the Penticton Lakers.

Penticton Lakers forward Kale Erickson fires this shot off the post as Sicamous Eagles goalie Jack Surgenor has no chance on the play. The Lakers lost 3-1. They travel to Princeton today to take on the Posse then return home for a Saturday match against the Kelowna Chiefs.

Penticton Lakers forward Kale Erickson fires this shot off the post as Sicamous Eagles goalie Jack Surgenor has no chance on the play. The Lakers lost 3-1. They travel to Princeton today to take on the Posse then return home for a Saturday match against the Kelowna Chiefs.

Good goaltending has been the one constant for the Penticton Lakers.

While the Lakers have won just six of 21 games in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, coach Robert Dirk is very happy with his netminding.

Niall McGregor has four wins in 12 games, while Stephen Yesavage has two wins in four. Yesavage also has the team’s best save percentage at .923 while Joel Wilson is at  .911 in six games and McGregor is at .906.

“He’s been pretty good,” said Dirk of Wilson. “Look at his stats (3.01 goals-against average). We have scored a total of four goals for him in six games. He’s giving us an opportunity to win hockey. We get zero or one goal.”

Dirk insists that goaltending isn’t a problem for his team, which has a 3.10 goals against average, which is third best in their division. When asked why he was using three goalies, Dirk said it was his “choosing.”

“It’s actually nobody’s business,” he responded with a laugh on the reason. “At times all three of them have shown they can be a No. 1. At times they have shown they can be No. 3. They need to stop the ones they need to stop and stop a couple of the ones they are not supposed to.”

Dirk wants to see one of them take the goaltending reigns. He feels for his goalies because the only thing they can control is stopping the puck.

“They can’t score goals,” he said.

Offence has been a problem for the Lakers, who in the last five games have scored just seven goals. The Lakers have six players injured. Paulsen Lautard, Lucas Kwasny and Joey DiCaire may return this weekend. Kwasny, who was recently acquired and has two points in four games, suffered a lower body injury last Saturday against Fernie in a 4-0 loss and didn’t dress on Sunday against the Sicamous Eagles. The Lakers lost to the Eagles 3-1 with eight forwards. Dirk said he players competed and played hard.

“I thought we out-played them, just didn’t finish,” said Dirk, whose team outshot the Eagles 38-35.

He’s surprised by the lack of offense.

“I thought we had more talent offensively than last year,” he said. “Again that’s on paper, paper means nothing on the ice. Guys have had opportunities.”

Against the Eagles, the Lakers had a goal waved off near the end of the second as the official couldn’t see that goalie Jack Surgenor didn’t have complete control of the puck and it crossed the line.

“The referee decides he was going to blow the whistle, that’s why he waved it off,” said Dirk. “That is our luck right now. ‘I was going to blow it.’ That’s the excuse that I got. It’s just frustrating. He wasn’t properly positioned.”

As the offensive struggles mystify Dirk, he said he would rather deal with it now than during the second half and in the playoffs. To help with the offence, Dirk also acquired five-foot-nine, 160-pound forward Kevin Warwick from the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. In 17 games, he has four goals and seven points.

“He’s another smaller player, but tenacious,” said Dirk. “He has some puck skills. With more ice time he will help us offensively.”

Warwick will get his first chance to prove himself on Friday when the Lakers travel to Princeton to take on the Posse. On Saturday, the Lakers host the Kelowna Chiefs in the community rink of the South Okanagan Events Centre.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read