Lowe bounces back from gaffe
Third-period turnover leads to goal
By John MacKinnon, edmontonjournal.com
May 18, 2012
Edmonton Oil Kings' Keegan Lowe, right, hits Shawinigan Cataractes' Pierre-Olivier Morin (60) during the second period of their round-robin Memorial Cup ice hockey game in Shawinigan, Quebec, May 18, 2012
Photograph by: REUTERS, Mathieu Belanger , edmontonjournal.com
SHAWINIGAN, QUE. — It was the mother of “Oh, no” moments for Oil Kings defenceman Keegan Lowe.
Thankfully for him, the moment passed quickly on opening night at the MasterCard Memorial Cup for the 19-year-old Lowe and the victorious Oil Kings.
At 13:19 of the third period, with Edmonton nursing a 3-2 lead, Lowe strode out from behind his net with the puck and began to make his way up ice.
But he overskated the puck, losing it to Shawinigan sniper Michael Chaput, who roofed a wrist shot past startled Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit, tying a tight, if sloppy, game 3-3.
Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal, smart, compassionate and savvy, sent Lowe right back on the ice when he came to the bench.
Good thing, too, because Lowe was out there when Henrik Samuelsson blasted a one-timer on a pass from Stephane Legault for the game-winner just 23 seconds later.
Just like that, the pressure was off Lowe, or mostly.
“It was a pretty tough one for me,” Lowe told reporters. “I mean, I thought I had a pretty good game, overall.
“It was a little sloppy coming around the net, I don’t know if it hopped or I just skated over it. And then we all know what happened from there.
“But our team is pretty good at bouncing back. I was pretty thankful for that. They struck back right away for me.”
Samuelsson and Legault were beneficiaries of some defensive sloppiness by Shawinigan, and a good play by Oilers defenceman Griffin Reinhart less than 30 seconds later, and they took full advantage.
“Griffin made a great play, stripping the guy from the puck and passing to Legault,” Samuelsson said. “Legault made a great pass over to me and I was just happy he got it to me.”
As he entered the mix zone to talk to reporters, a playful Samuelsson tweaked Lowe’s ear and patted his shoulder. Hey, what are teammates for?
“He said he’ll buy me a drink later, or something — a Pepsi,” Samuelsson said. “I mean, I’m happy we won.
“People make mistakes. We still won, so that’s the important part.”
Here’s another important part: In the final minute, when a determined Shawinigan team pulled their goalie and was pressing for the equalizer, there was Lowe out on the ice, right where he should have been.
“It’s junior hockey, these are kids,” Laxdal said. “They’re going to make mistakes.
“We’ve had a lot of confidence in Keegan all year. It was a sign of bad ice right there. He’s trying to skate the puck up and it kind of stops on him and flips up.
“Give our guys credit, they’re really resilient, they bounced back and got the lead again and protected it.”
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