It was the first time the London Lightning faced the Halifax Hurricanes since the NBLC championship last year, when Halifax was crowned the winner – but not today.
The Lightning came off strong off the bat, looking for their 11th win in a 10-game winning streak. The 123-108 victory over the Hurricanes tied them with Windsor Express for the NBLC record for winning 11 games in a row. If they win their next game, they will have broken the NBLC game winning streak with 12 straight wins.
Family day attracted a full house of more than 7800 fans to the Budweiser Gardens. There was much anticipation for the game, as the Lightning were prepared to face the best team in the Atlantic Conference. Going in the bolts held a 14-3 record, Halifax 16-3.
The Lightning lived up to their record as they took the Hurricanes by storm, dominating the floor inside and outside of the paint. Julian Boyd was quick to sink his shots early in the game, to give London the advantage and an early lead. Boyd finished with 19 points for the Lightning with a reverse one-handed slam dunk that got everyone out of their seats.
Half time the bolts were up 19 points, 61-42. The Lightning shot out of the locker room with the same energy they began the game with, keeping their lead the entire second half.
Royce White was the star for the bolts, leading the team with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
“We just punched them in the mouth,” says White. “We didn’t listen to the chatter about who the best team is or what records mean. We just punched them in the mouth.”
Former Hurricane, Joel Friesen, was behind White with 20 points for the Lightning. Doug Herring Jr. had 16 points, while Junior Cadougan added 15 points and six assists. Ryan Anderson had 10.
Lightning Head Coach, Kyle Julius, was impressed by the way his team was able to follow the game plan, but felt they may have fell short of their potential near the end with such a high lead.
“We could have maybe sent a better statement the last four or five minutes of the night,” says Julius. “But these guys followed the game plan quite well and so I’ll take that. With only nine guys I’ll take that.”
Halifax was unable to match the Lightning’s shot percentage throughout the night and defensively lost the battle in a game they were confident at a chance of winning. For the Hurricanes, Billy White led the team with 23 points. Tyrone Watson added 21, and CJ Washington with 17.
The two teams will battle it out on Thursday on Halifax’s home turf. The game will kick off the Atlantic Division road trip for the Lightning, where they will also play against Cape Breton and Saint John.
Tip off for Thursday’s game is 7 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.