For the first time this season, the Dorchester Dolphins left the ice without the victory.
Longtime rival the Lambeth Lancers are the first team to take a point from the Dolphins, tying the Provincial Junior Hockey League Yeck Division leaders 4-4 Friday night at the FlightExec Centre.
No worries, Dolphin fans, the team remains undefeated at 33-0-1, and that point did clinch first place for the second consecutive season.
The knotted affair was followed by a 5-2 win at Lucan on Saturday and a 5-3 victory at Lambeth on Sunday.
Lambeth was just 3.6 seconds away from handing the Dolphins their first loss, before Jay Ritchie scored on a penalty shot.
Trailing 4-3 entering the final minute of the third period and with goalie Riley Brown on the bench, the Dolphins pressed for the equalizer. Twice the Dolphins felt they scored, the second time resulted in the penalty shot, after the officials called the goalie for knocking the net loose.
Ritchie made no mistake, using his signature move to extend the unbeaten streak. The Dolphins held the edge in the seven-minute, three-on-three overtime but couldn’t beat Lancer goalie Anthony Hurtubise.
“They (Lambeth) played well, but at the end of the day we needed that and we’ll take it as a learning experience,” Ritchie said. “We got outworked tonight. They started off well and picked it up again in over the second half and made it difficult for us.”
Dorchester led 2-1 after two periods and 3-2 early in the third, but Lambeth’s Andrew Chambers scored twice on the power play, including with just 2:24 remaining. The Dolphins had never trailed this late in the game this season.
Adam Truax, Michael Blue and Braedon Dorion (on the power play) also scored for Dorchester.
Jonah Goodman and James McHugh had the other Lancers goals.
The Dolphins were without three defencemen, including captain Tyler Blue, sitting out the first of their two-game suspensions. The team lost Alex Weaver to a game misconduct late in the first period.
“We have a target on our backs for every team. That’s a sign we have to bring it for every game,” Ritchie said. “We were trying to put as little pressure on us to complete a perfect season. We try to keep the record off of our minds and just try to bring our best effort every night.”
At Lambeth, the Dolphins didn’t let the Lancers take any more points from them.
Trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Dolphins scored three goals in three minutes in the first half of the second period, with a pair of Brett Van Dusen goals sandwiching a goal from Ritchie.
Weaver put the Dolphins up 5-2 early in the third period. That’s around the time things heated up between the local rivals and both goalies were ejected from the game.
Michael Blue got involved with Lancer goalie Hurtubise in a tussle, while Riley Brown was shown the gate thanks to a game misconduct for taking his mask off wanting join the melee. Five minutes later, the Dolphins’ Nick Griffin dropped the gloves with former Dolphin Spencer Beer.
Lucas Wilson scored his 28th goal of the season in the first period.
It was a much calmer night 24 hours earlier in Lucan. Derek Todosichuk, with two, including his division-leading 38th goal, Michael Blue, Wilson and Dorion potted goals for Dorchester.
The Dolphins added two 20-year-old defencemen prior to the junior hockey trade deadline, while releasing defenceman Alex Takacs.
Vaughn Treppa arrives after two-and-half seasons playing for the Lambton Shore Predators, in the Greater Ontario Hockey League. The Michigan native had two goals and 19 assists in 100 junior B games.
Randy Hicks arrives from the Mt. Brydges Bulldogs. The London native has 11 goals and 32 assists in 90 games with Mt. Brydges and Lambeth.