The Brooklin Redmen kicked off their 2003 season tonight on the road against their long-time rivals the Peterborough Lakers. Talk amongst fans and observers of the team has been the number of veterans who may or may not return this season. That was not important on this night, and indeed Coach Troy Cordingley said on the opening night of training camp that he was only interested in effort and grit showed by players who wanted to play. The Redmen had built a 7-3 lead into the second period and despite the 10-8 loss Cordingley was happy with the effort and physical play that was displayed on this night.
Earlier in the afternoon, General Manager Barry Johnson pulled off a trade with the Brampton Excelsiors for Scott Stapleford in return for a 2nd round draft pick in the 2004 draft.
The Redmen started Gee Nash in net while the Lakers went with Mike Miron. Referees on the night were Bill Fox and Kevin MacPherson.
The teams were deadlocked at 3-3 after the first period. The Redmen were up 3-2 looking as if they would hold that lead but with three seconds on the clock, Kevin Dostie scored for the Lakers to knot the game. Jason Crosbie got the Redmen on the board in the first with goals also coming from Jay Huber and Bill Greer.
The middle frame looked very good for the visitors. In front of solid goaltending from Nash, the Redmen were able to build a 7-3 lead with six minutes to go in the second. The Lakers came back with two of their own in the last four minutes of the period and the Redmen took a 7-5 lead into the second intermission.
The final period was a tough one for the Redmen as they were held to only one goal, coming from ex-Laker Ryan Harris at 4:34 of the third. The Lakers went on a four-goal run in the second half of the third, including one into an empty net to take the victory by a final of 10-8.
The Redmen will travel to Cornwall on Friday night June 6, 2003, for an 8:30 p.m. contest against the Akwesasne Thunder.
Opening night at home for the Redmen is Wednesday, June 11, 2003, at 8:00 p.m. when they host these same Peterborough Lakers at Iroquois Park Arena.
Total penalties for the night – Redmen nine minors for 18 minutes and the Lakers have assessed seven minors for 14 minutes.