Aided by the return of some key forwards, the West Nipissing Lynx snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday night, beating the Ville-Marie Pirates 7-3 at the Sturgeon Falls Arena.
Jack McLeod opened the scoring for West Nipissing less than a minute into the game. McLeod, who missed the two previous games with injury, would add another goal on a breakaway before the first period ended to give him six goals in four games with the Lynx.
Tobias Odjick also chipped in following his return from a suspension, potting a shorthanded goal and an assist.
The two provided much-needed reinforcements for a Lynx team that was admittedly lacking confidence coming off a 7-2 loss to the Bradford Rattlers the previous night and a 6-4 loss in Meaford on Oct. 28.
“We started the season off strong and we’ve lost our confidence a little bit here,” said forward Austin Holmes following the loss to Bradford. “We came out slow, we weren’t hitting, we weren’t moving the puck. That was a big team compared to us and I think we gave them too much respect and they don’t deserve an ounce of it.”
Holmes was fired up after that Rattlers loss, one where West Nipissing fell behind 4-0 after the first and couldn’t get much going after that. The Lynx forward took particular exception to the visiting team whooping it up late in the blowout.
“That’s an embarrassment, in our own barn we don’t take that,” he said. “They got up a few goals and they started hooting and hollering, and we didn’t do anything about it; that’s not going to happen next time.”
Holmes has also brought that fire onto to the ice, where no Lynx player is on a hotter streak right now. He scored a goal in all three outings last week, including a hat trick in Meaford. Holmes now has 15 points in 10 games this year.
After the weekend’s action, the Lynx (6-4-0) sit third place in the North Division, behind Temiscaming (10-1-0) and Bradford (7-0-0). Both of those teams have gotten the better of West Nipissing recently, but the Lynx are optimistic that if they meet at full strength down the line, things will be more competitive.
Next weekend, the Lynx will host a rematch with Meaford (Nov. 5) and then welcome the North Division’s last-place team, New Tecumseth the following night (Nov. 6).