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Hard work is the name of the game for the players on the Lambeth Lancers Atom AE team, who compete in the Shamrock League within the Minor Hockey Association of Lambeth. And their hard work is rewarded – both on the ice and after the game.
“We award the ‘Hardest Working Player Helmet’ after each game, and the winner is picked by the previous winner of the award,” says Matt Robbins, the team’s head coach. “I’m proud to say that all 13 players have earned the helmet at least once so far this year.”
The Lancers’ primary goal at the beginning of the season was to be the hardest-working team every game. And it’s led to a lot of success. At the time of this writing, the squad had gone 26-8-1 in their first 35 games and had reached the final in all three tournaments they’d entered, including winning the Bob Tansley Memorial tournament in Tillsonburg. The Lancers were also invited to the Silver Stick International Finals in January in Pelham, ON.
“We’re hoping to continue to work hard and be successful as we start OMHA Playdowns in the new year,” said Robbins, the second-year head coach who has 42 years of hockey experience. “We’re a pretty balanced team, and we play a great heads-up team game with a lot of passing and hustle.”
They also have top-notch coaching, and Robbins is quick to credit his staff for the players’ development this season.
“My assistant coaches have a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience, and I rely heavily on them,” he said. “And we also have a great manager who looks after all the off-ice team duties.”
One of the highlights this season for the Lancer players was playing a game at the Detroit Red Wings practice facility and then watching an NHL game between the hometown Wings and Washington Capitals.
“As an added bonus, they got to play during the intermission on the same ice,” said Robbins. “That was a great experience for the boys, and it really helped them bond as a team early in the season.”
Contributions by Matt Robbins and photo by Forest City Image Centre