Lambton Central at OFSAA boys' hockey championship
The new Lancer logo at LCCVI in Petrolia.
This could be a banner week for the Lambton Central Lancers.
The Lancers will make their debut at the OFSAA A-AA boys' hockey championship Tuesday in Collingwood.
The tournament runs until Friday, then several Lancers will resume their quest for an Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship.
The high school team's roster is filled with players from the Petrolia Midget B and Midget AE Oilers. Both Oilers teams are unbeaten in their OMHA finals and are one win away from a provincial title.
“If things go right, this could be quite a ride for these guys,” Lancers head coach Chris Edgar said.
The past few days were a whirlwind for those players. Both Oilers teams made road trips on the weekend, then the boys had one day in school before climbing back on a bus Monday to the OFSAA tournament.
“I don't know if it's sunk in much yet actually being at OFSAA,” Edgar said.
The Lancers are seeded No. 5 for the tournament. They qualified by knocking off last year's OFSAA gold medallists from Belle River in the SWOSSAA final.
“(That) puts our expectations pretty high,” Edgar said, “... but it'll be interesting once we get going and once we see what kind of competition we're up against.”
Lambton Central plays No. 10 Simcoe Holy Trinity and No. 3 King City on Tuesday, No. 18 Woodstock Huron Park on Wednesday and No. 15 Madoc Centre Hastings on Thursday. The top two teams in the pool go to Thursday's quarter-finals.
The semifinals and medal games are Friday.
Edgar likes the Lancers' chances to go deep into the tournament.
“I've been coaching high school hockey for a lot of years, and between the depth of our team and the speed of our team, it's a tough matchup for anybody,” he said.
He praises the Petrolia Minor Hockey Association and the other minor systems in Lambton County for how they've prepared the Lancers.
“We're kind of reaping the benefits of some good minor hockey programs,” Edgar said. “... I'm a lucky coach to be able to combine all those groups together.”