(LONDON, ON) – The Battle of the Basement took place Saturday night at the Sportspark in London as the Windsor Aces traveled up Highway 401 to meet the Lakers, in GMHL action. The Aces dominated for a 6-4 win to move 2 points up on both London and the Toronto Predators in the South Division standings.
Mark Gangnon and Alec Segers popped goals 35 seconds apart midway through the 1st period to open the scoring. Segers then notched a second tally 5 minutes later to put the visitor up 3-0 before London could react. Eisai Arai beat Windsor’s Alex Jones shortly before the siren sounded to salvage some respect.
Zak Parlette got an early 2nd period goal for Windsor and was followed by a pair from Brendan Mackenzie to put the Aces in front 6-1. But, again, a late marker from Arai, this time with a single second remaining, kept London alive, if not in the game.
Windsor ran into some penalty issues in the 3rd frame, especially Thomas Virban’s major for boarding at 5:50. Arai, the game’s 1st star, assisted on two resulting power play goals, one each from the Lakers’ Dylan Francis and Parker Gee. It was not enough, however, as to two teams skated the rest of the way scoreless.
Jones turned away 30 London shots, including 17 in the 3rd period, to earn the win between the pipes. London’s Thomas Ethier faced 50 Windsor bullets in the loss.
The Aces returned home to Adie Knox Arena for a Sunday matinee against the North York Renegades. The visitors were fresh off a 7-6 overtime defeat at the hands of Windsor’s cross county rivals, the Kingsville Kings. In their only previous meeting on September 16, the Aces skated to a 3-2 win at Canlan Ice Sports in North York.
North York led 2-0 before the game was 3 minutes old, however Gangon, Bjorn Wilts, and James Brooks responded through the first 20 minutes to take a 3-2 lead into the dressing room. The two teams returned to the ice for a wild 2rd period which saw 8 combined goals fired past the shell shocked goalkeepers.
Gangnon, Cale Phibbs, and Segers tallied for Windsor but could do nothing to stem the bleeding at the other end of the rink. Five goals by North York gave them the edge they needed for a 7-6 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
The wild flurry around the nets was equalled only by the flurry of activity around the penalty boxes. The period was punctuated by 37 minutes in offenses including game misconducts to Gangnon and Conor Thomson for a mid-frame misunderstanding.
Cooler heads prevailed in the 3rd period as the Renegades registered the only scoring play for a 2-goal margin of victory. Jones faced 37 shots during the evening’s activities.
Windsor (2-8-0-0) now has 6 days to recover before their next tilt against the 4th place Bradford Bulls (7-2-0-0) on October 21 at Adie Knox Arena. The puck drops at 7:30pm.