The score was the least of the concern for the Novice C Lions on Saturday, as they watched promising defenceman, Aeden Norris, be carried off the ice with a possible season-ending lower body injury.
In what looked to be a routine play at centre ice, the gritty Norris, fell awkwardly, bringing a hush to the crowd in Kemptville.
The game would play out after the injury with a Lions loss to the hosting Kemptville 2s.
The loss of the young defenceman was still felt the following day as the Lions’ dressing room was solemn prior to face-off. Friend and teammate, Jordan Lowe, confirmed with coaching staff that he had spoke to Norris, and that he was told to score a goal for him.
The feisty Kemptville 1 team came out hard as the Lions seemed to be still reeling from the loss 24 hours earlier.
Stand-out goalie, Brogan Kyle, fresh off a conditioning stint turned the opposition aside time and again as his team looked to find some motivation in a game that would end, tied 2-2.
That motivation came from Lowe. During the first intermission he approached the coaches to move back to defence to honour and fill the void left by his friend’s injury.
That was just the spark the Lions needed.
With Lowe anchoring the defensive quadrant, Callum Deavey broke free of a checker in his own end, only to skate the length of the ice and bury the shot behind the Panthers netminder for a 1-0 Lions lead.
The action was intense from this point on as the home squad applied the pressure.
Unfortunately the Lions faltered for a few shifts in the third, allowing the Panthers to notch a pair and go up 2-1.
It was in the dying seconds of the final frame, down by one, that young Jordan Lowe, went to work. Showing a combination of grittiness and desperation he fought off numerous Panthers as he drove to the net, sliding the puck between the goalie’s pads bringing the crowd to its feet and fulfilling his teammate’s request. Lowe was the unanimous winner of the Lion of the Game.
“He showed great leadership for us tonight,” Coach Dickson praised.
The Lions head out on the road next Saturday to face a tough squad from Westport.