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Yard and Garden
by Brad Aubin
The West Nipissing Lynx season has come to an end. After a hard-fought best-of-three playoff series against the Bradford Rattlers, it’s time to hang up the skates. Despite the disappointment, the team and staff, in just their 2nd year as part of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL), say they exceeded their own expectations.
“We’re miles ahead, I think, of where we thought we would be,” says Lynx co-owner Patrick Miron. “Last year, we were knocked out before the playoffs. This year, our goal was to get there and we achieved that. We had only played Bradford twice during the year and those were tough games. Three weeks ago, if we talked, I would have told you we would have gotten out of the first round, regardless of the team we would be facing.”
However, some last minute defections hurt their momentum going into the series. The contest didn’t even make it to a third game, as Bradford crushed the Lynx in Sturgeon Falls in round one on Friday, Feb. 23, then again in Bradford on Sunday, Feb. 25. Friday’s score was 2-7, while Sunday saw the Rattlers earning a 1-10 victory.
“The last thing I want to do is make excuses... but we lost a top defense and forward because they signed pro contracts (brothers Davide Asselin and Adamo Asselin) just before the playoffs, we were plagued with injuries, and everyone was sick. It’s not an excuse, but our guys were exhausted come that second game. I can’t blame them at all. We showed up with a very short bench and the guys were gassed,” sums up Miron.
Still, he is proud of how far the organization has come, and already looking forward to next season. “We had a talented team this year and the guys really earned their stripes. We beat some of the best teams of the league, multiple times. (…) In only our 2nd year, we’ve learned a lot. Now it’s time to sit back a bit as the playoffs unfold... and once it’s over, it’s busy season.”