Friday, July 22, 2016

Davide DiRuscio receives 5-game suspension, out for rest of the season

Davide DiRuscio, here playing for the Kodiaks last season,
has been suspended for five games. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Cobourg Nissan Kodiaks goaltender Davide DiRuscio has been suspended for five games as a result of the match penalty he received for intent to injure in Cobourg's July 10 game against the Brampton Excelsiors.

DiRuscio became engaged with Tyler Ferreira along the boards by the Cobourg goal line. Ferreira was injured on the play and is believed to be out for the season. The goalie will also miss the rest of the season for Cobourg, as the Kodiaks had five games remaining on their schedule and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Redmen win defensive battle with Lakers 6-4

Brooklin's defence kept Mark Steenhuis and the Lakers offence in check throughout the game. (Photo: Kendall Taylor)
To paraphrase the late, great Casey Stengel, good defence always beats good offence and vice versa. Wednesday in Whitby was definitely a night for defence to shine as the Brooklin Redmen beat the Peterborough Lakers 6-4 in an MSL game where scoring chances were at a premium.

Peterborough led 3-1 after the first period as Evan Kirk made 16 saves but the Lakers were able to sneak a few past Zack Higgins. It got awfully difficult for Peterborough to find any holes after that, though, while the Redmen managed to create just enough offence to score.

Redmen forward Shawn Williams said it's a real challenge for the offences to produce in a game like that. “It's unbelievable. Both defences and both goalies played so well,” Williams said. “It's hard for the untrained eye to see, but the lanes the D gets in, the passing lanes and shooting lanes and what they take away from you... People from the stands can see what they want, but it's not there. It's tough going out there and every goal is a huge goal.”

Brooklin got a transition goal from Ryan McSpadyen two minutes into the second period. A long dry spell ensued during which neither team could connect despite a fast pace of play that put heavy demands on both transition and reverse transition players, especially given the humidity in the Iroquois Park arena.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Chiefs go to overtime yet again, pull out 11-10 win over Rock

Randy Staats, here accepting the ball in an earlier game, scored the winner
Tuesday night as Six Nations edged Oakville 11-10 in OT. 
The Six Nations Chiefs have played almost a full extra game this summer. Tuesday night marked their fifth overtime game of the Major Series Lacrosse season. That's 50 extra minutes of lacrosse.

While the players may not love the extra work, the good news for the Chiefs is they've been successful in OT. The last two goals of the game, by Dhane Smith and Randy Staats, gave them an 11-10 win over the Oakville Rock that improved their record in overtime this year to 3-0-2.

Lacrosse people talk all the time about how it's a game of runs. Seldom has the truth of that statement been more evident than in last night's game. Six Nations scored the first three goals of the game. Then Oakville scored three goals. That made it 3-3 after 20 minutes.

The second period was Oakville's turn for a run. They scored five goals, interrupted only briefly by a Ryan Benesch marker. The 8-4 lead made it look like the Rock had a good chance to move into a first-place tie with the Peterborough Lakers at 23 points, although the Lakers have two games in hand.

Not so fast, though. The Chiefs took control of the third period. In fact, the scoring played out as a mirror image of the second. Six Nations scored, Oakville's Eric Fannell responded, then the Chiefs got four in a row. Benesch's second of the game, at 18:42, forced overtime.

To recap: 3-0 run for Oakville; 3-0 for Six Nations; 4-1 for Oakville; 4-1 for Six Nations. And on to overtime.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oakville downs Brampton 9-4 to move back into second place

It's one of the oldest cliches in the book: you have to play 60 minutes. Of course, cliches become cliches for a reason, usually because there is substantial validity to them. The Oakville Rock proved once again that playing the whole game is important as they rode a 3-0 third period to a 9-4 win over the Brampton Excelsiors.

The game was close through two periods. A 4-goal Oakville run in the second put them ahead 5-2 but the Excels fought back to within a goal and trailed by just 2 after 40 minutes. But then Nick Rose shut Brampton out in the third and the Rock were back in second place.

Oakville has 21 points through 15 games, two behind Peterborough (who have a game in hand) and two ahead of Brooklin. The Rock are also three points ahead of Six Nations, where they will be Tuesday night to face the Chiefs.

Wes Berg had a pair to extend his lead atop MSL's goal-scoring. He now has 30 for the season. Bryan Cole also scored twice for the Rock while Jeremy Noble led all scorers with a goal and 3 assists. Joe Resetarits had 2 goals to lead Brampton.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Redmen use 6-2 third period to take 11-9 comeback win over Kodiaks

The Brooklin Redmen are in a battle for playoff positioning. It took over two periods for their intensity to catch up with their need for a win, but once it did they managed to do enough to pull out an 11-9 victory of the Kodiaks in Cobourg Sunday.

Brooklin was shaky early on, having trouble catching the ball to produce any scoring chances in the first half of the first period. Cobourg took advantage by scoring the game's first three goals with some nice ball movement and precise shooting.

The Redmen got one back after 13 minutes then the transition game kicked in to help them even things up. Ryan McSpadyen and Chris Corbeil scored back to back breakaway goals on almost identical shots to the top corner less than a minute apart.

The Kodiaks defence remained solid, limiting Brooklin's chances while the Cobourg offence found some holes to put in the next three goals and extend recapture a three-goal lead, 6-3.

In the blink of an eye, Brooklin took advantage of a couple of small lapses to bury a back-door quick-stick goal by Dan Lintner and a Shayne Jackson marker when he cut through the middle, took a pass and tucked the ball past Rance Vigneux after a hard fake.

Those goals came right on top of one another, at 7:37 and 7:56 of the second period, and it looked like Brooklin was taking control of the game. Cobourg refused to buckle, though, and when Pete connected on a nifty low to low backhand for a shorthanded goal at 11:37, it gave the Kodiaks a 7-5 lead they would take into the third period. Unfortunately for Cobourg, they didn't maintain their intensity after the intermission.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lakers down Redmen 9-5 to solidify hold on first place

This picture of Cory Vitarelli shooting on Zack Higgins is from two years ago, but the view was similar last night as Vitarelli scored 3 goals, all on quick releases, to lead Peterborough to a 9-5 win. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
It was a battle for 60 minutes, but the difference in the Thursday night's Major Series Lacrosse game at the Peterborough Memorial Centre came down to 96 seconds.

The score was tied 3-3 nearing the final five minutes of the second period. The Brooklin Redmen were
putting pressure on the Lakers, forcing turnovers at both ends of the floor with an aggressive forecheck and backcheck. The tide of the game seemed to be turning in the visitors' favour.

Then the Lakers struck for three quick goals and never led by less than that margin again as they took a 9-5 win that puts them solidly in control of first place in the standings.

The Lakers' run built on an outstanding penalty kill rag by Mark Steenhuis. Under heavy pressure from the king of caused turnovers, Kyle Rubisch, as well as a rotating cast of double team defenders, Steenhuis moved around the floor and controlled the ball through the final half minute or more of Brooklin's man advantage.

Towards the end of the ensuing Peterborough possession, Chad Culp fed Shawn Evans. The league's runaway scoring leader had been kept in check to that point, but Evans loaded up a dead overhand that found its way through Zack Higgins to put the Lakers ahead at 14:54.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Vote for the best players in MSL in IL Indoor's fan poll

IL Indoor is running a poll where you can vote for the best players so far this summer in Major Series Lacrosse.

One player from each team is nominated in six categories: MVP, top defender, top transition player, top goalie, top rookie and top offensive player.